U.S. Cattlemen's Association President Jon Wooster says enough is enough. So, in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, USCA has requested a full investigation by USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service into emerging checkoff contractor compliance and funding management issues as well as events surrounding the resignation of Cattlemen's Beef Board CEO, Tom Ramey. Wooster says Ramey's resignation is a critical blow to the Beef Checkoff Program.
"With the recent audit review findings of expanded financial irregularities, we now find ourselves in a situation where NCBA has apparently decided that its best defense is offense and that includes fostering a culture of hostility and distrust," Wooster said. "USCA believes it is essential that the Department of Agriculture step in and get control before producers lose all confidence in the checkoff program."
According to Wooster, it is abundantly clear that NCBA is not willing to take any steps whatsoever to embrace the structure changes needed to strengthen financial firewalls and restore producer faith and trust. In the meantime, USCA urges the CBB to move forward with consideration of its roles and responsibilities policy changes. The decisions made by the CBB later this summer when it considers the proposed changes will send a resounding message to cattle producers everywhere.