The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship on December 8 announced the passage of the referendum to reinstate the 50-cents-per-head Iowa beef checkoff. The vote was held November 30. The preliminary results show a positive vote of 56% to 44% in favor of reinstating the assessment. A simple majority was needed for passage.
The state ag department has until December 30 to certify the referendum results. Collection of the checkoff will begin March 1, 2017. The Iowa beef checkoff will be mandatory, but refunds will be available to interested producers. The federal beef checkoff of $1 per head remains in place and will not be affected by the Iowa vote.
Cattlemen asked for statewide referendum to be held
A petition to hold a vote on the state beef checkoff was delivered to the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship on September 2 by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. The petition contained over 500 signatures of cattle producers in the state of Iowa interested in having the referendum.
In accordance with Chapter 181 of the Iowa Code, the Iowa Department of Ag is responsible for holding beef checkoff referendum votes. All costs incurred by the ag department will be reimbursed by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association.
In early 2016, ICA’s board of volunteer leaders gathered input from ICA members across the state before initiating the process to reinstate the state assessment. The feedback indicated cattle producers wanted five “priority use options” for state checkoff funds. ICA worked with the legislature to get the change made in the state checkoff law. Iowa code governing the state beef checkoff now includes those priorities, which are:
-Marketing & promoting Iowa’s beef and beef products
-Enhancing Iowa’s beef industry image
-Expanding international trade relationships
-Providing producer, consumer and youth educational opportunities
Iowa beef checkoff will be mandatory, but you can get a refund
“We are very pleased with the results of the referendum. Reinstating our state checkoff has been a priority mission for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association over the last year and we've been encouraged at each step in the process by the input and support of producers around the state,” says Phil Reemtsma, a veterinarian and president of ICA.
The Iowa beef checkoff of 50 cents per head will be mandatory, but refunds will be available to interested producers. The federal beef checkoff of $1 per head remains in place and will not be affected by the Iowa vote. The federal beef checkoff of $1 per head is administered by a board of directors representing Iowa cattle producers. The state beef checkoff will be administered by the 10 member executive committee who will serve on both boards of directors for the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
Funding will be used for projects to build demand for beef
“We look forward to the opportunity with additional funding to build beef demand both domestically and globally. We will continue to work on behalf of Iowa’s cattle producers for the long-term sustained growth of the Iowa beef industry,” says Scott Heater, chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council.
About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The ICA represents nearly 10,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.” Contact ICA at 515-296-2266 or visit iacattlemen.org.
About the Iowa Beef Industry Council: The IBIC is funded by the $1-per-head beef checkoff. Checkoff dollars are invested in beef promotion, consumer information, research, industry information and foreign market development, all with the purpose of strengthening beef demand. For information about the beef checkoff and the programs it funds contact IBIC at 515-296-2305 or visit iabeef.org.