FRANKFORT - Kentucky beef producers have voted to increase the mandatory assessment for Kentucky's beef promotion program if the national program is terminated.
In a statewide referendum held Dec. 7, voters elected to raise the state check-off 2,019 to 442 votes.
Votes were tabulated Dec. 14 in state Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's office in Frankfort.
The referendum asked bovine animal producers to increase the mandatory assessment for the Kentucky program from 25 cents to $1 per head only if the federal check-off program is discontinued.
Funds would be used for beef promotion, consumer information, producer communication, industry information and research.
The state Board of Agriculture approved the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association's request for a referendum in its October meeting.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 8 heard arguments on the constitutionality of the national beef check-off and is expected to rule in the first half of 2005.
A federal appeals court has ruled that beef producers do not have to pay the check-off fee.