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Beef Checkoff Decision Disappoints SD Farmers Union

Beef Checkoff Decision Disappoints SD Farmers Union
SDFU president Doug Sombke says the South Dakota Beef Industry Council missed a chance to send a message that it doesn't like the way the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is re-organizing.

South Dakota Farmers Union President Doug Sombke says he's disappointed in the recent South Dakota Beef Industry Council vote to send the full portion of the state beef check-off to the Federation of Beef Councils rather than keeping part of it in the state.

The NCBA serves as the independent contractor managing the use of a portion of states' $1 per head of cattle beef check-off funds. The Federation of State Beef Councils, which the SDBIC is a member, is made up of beef councils from across the country and is overseen by the NCBA.

 "We need to send a clear and concise message to the Federation that we do not approve of the recent changes being sought in the governance structure of the Federation of State Beef Councils by the NCBA," Sombke says. "By withholding $90,000 of South Dakota beef producers' check-off dollars the SDBIC could've sent that message."

SDFU, along with several other agricultural groups, recently sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service requesting an investigation into the proposed structural changes. The NCBA recently proposed changes to the way it governs the Federation of State Beef Councils, which opposing groups say would engulf the Federation of State Beef Councils in the policy side of NCBA.

"This new structure would decrease transparency within the beef check-off system and take local control out of the hands of South Dakota ranchers and farmers and give it solely to the NCBA," Sombke says.

SDFU has asked the SDBIC with withhold funds from the Federation of Beef Cocunils.

"By keeping those funds in the SDBIC we could have elected when and where to send those funds," Sombke said. "That would have resulted in a strong statement saying we control our check-off dollars in South Dakota, not the other way around."

Source: SD Farmers Union

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