LEXINGTON - Beef producers throughout the state of Kentucky will vote on a referendum to continue the Kentucky Beef Checkoff program Dec. 7. The referendum KRS 247.610, titled Kentucky Bovine Animal Producers' Assessment Referendum, will allow Kentucky beef producers to continue to invest dollars in research, market development, education, promotion and foreign marketing.
KRS 247.610 would increase the current $.25 per head Kentucky Checkoff to $1 per head. Beef producers now pay $1 into a National Checkoff Program of which $.50 goes to the Cattlemen's Beef Board and $.50 stays in the state. The national Checkoff program has been challenged in a U.S. District Court in South Dakota as unconstitutional. The challenge is now before the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Checkoff is overturned, the national Beef Checkoff Program would cease to exist, leaving Kentucky producers' under funded to handle industry issues such as research, education and promotion.
This is a very important issue for all of Kentucky's beef producers because beef is now the second largest cash receipt industry in the state of Kentucky and demand for beef nationally is at its highest level in 20 years.