NCBA Takes Stand Against HSUS Attempt to Weaken Beef Checkoff

WASHINGTON (Sept. 16, 2016) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association was recently notified that Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) attorneys have filed a lawsuit against USDA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) on behalf of the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM). This lawsuit seeks to divide the beef industry against itself by opening old wounds and weakening the beef checkoff as HSUS drives toward its ultimate goal of ending animal agriculture.

The lawsuit, filed by HSUS lawyers, seeks the release of documents related to two OIG audits of the beef checkoff and its contractors, including NCBA. Both audits found that producer investments in the checkoff are protected by the firewall, which prevents beef checkoff dollars from being used for policy activities. Two OIG full audits and multiple random audits by USDA have found contractors, including NCBA, to be in full compliance with the laws which protect checkoff funds.

“Those findings haven’t satisfied the extremist animal rights activists at HSUS or its partners at OCM,” said NCBA CEO Kendal Frazier. “Instead of working to better our industry, these two organizations and a small handful of cattlemen have chosen a devil’s pact in an effort to weaken the checkoff, which will in turn, weaken beef demand and our entire industry.”

The lawsuit is another attempt by HSUS to drive a political agenda. It diverts attention from beef promotion activities and wastes precious resources at a time when cattle prices and the profitability of the beef industry are under tremendous pressure. As part of an effort to protect the beef industry and stop the frivolous and divisive work of HSUS, NCBA will seek intervenor status in the lawsuit against OIG.

“There’s no doubt that HSUS stands against rural America. Their attacks on the beef and pork checkoff programs weaken promotion efforts. HSUS and its allies have clearly demonstrated they have no interest in the livestock business beyond ending it,” said Frazier. “They will attempt to make this about transparency and say they’re undertaking this effort on behalf of producers. But let’s be clear: HSUS intends to put every cattleman and woman in America out of business. By weakening checkoff programs and damaging producer-directed marketing and promotion efforts, they can cause economic harm to our industry and force us out of production agriculture.”

HSUS and OCM are working to rehash questions that were asked and answered long ago. Since then, multiple audits have demonstrated full and ongoing contractor compliance with regulations governing beef checkoff expenditures. Furthermore, NCBA has demonstrated that it remains committed to transparency and its role as a contractor to the beef checkoff.

“We have nothing to hide. We have, and will continue to fully cooperate with all reviews and audits of our contracting activities,” said Frazier. “However, we will not stand idly by and allow HSUS to kill the checkoff. This isn’t the first attempt to weaken our industry and it won’t be the last, but this is where we must draw a line in the sand and protect the interests of American cattlemen and women.”

Beef Checkoff Launches Online Community for Popular Training Program

Beef University Boosts Foodservice and Retail Professionals’ Beef Knowledge

beef checkoff logoDENVER (Feb. 26, 2014) – The Beef Checkoff Program unveiled a new web-based platform for its popular training program, Beef University. For nearly a decade, foodservice and retail professionals have relied on checkoff training tools to educate staff on how beef is brought to market, from farm to fork.

Beef University educates retailers and foodservice operators on all facets of beef from production and product quality to marketing and merchandising. Downloadable tools include PowerPoint presentations, fact sheets and videos; all of which can be used for self-directed education or part of a customized training session facilitated by Beef Checkoff staff or utilized within a company’s training program.

“Retail and foodservice operators have a direct connection with the people that consume the beef raised by my family and the entire beef community, and so it’s important that we share the knowledge and insights on the care that goes into raising American’s favorite high-quality protein,” said Sid Viebrock, a beef producer from Washington and chairman of the checkoff’s Value Subcommittee. “Because of this, we saw an opportunity to create a forum for increased engagement with those who are on the front lines serving and selling beef every day.”

The online community enables users to directly connect with beef subject matter experts and share feedback on resources, express interest in additional education needs and more. To explore the fully-customizable and free resources, become a member of the Beef U online community at www.BeefRetail.org/BeefUniversity.aspx or www.BeefFoodservice.com/BeefUniversity.aspx.

About the Beef Checkoff
The Beef Checkoff Program (www.MyBeefCheckoff.com) was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. In states with qualified beef councils, states retain up to 50 cents of the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

Enhanced by Zemanta