Kentucky Votes on Beef Checkoff

Cattle ranchers will decide on Dec. 7 whether to initiate a $1 state checkoff program to fund the Kentucky Beef Council. Compiled by staff

Published on: Nov 23, 2004

Kentucky livestock and dairy producers will vote Dec. 7 on whether to create a state checkoff to replace the national checkoff, which is scheduled to be in the Supreme Court at the beginning of December.

Voting in the referendum to create a Kentucky bovine animal checkoff program will take place from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time, Dec. 7, at all county Cooperative Extension
Service offices.

Under current law, Kentucky has no state checkoff. However, termination of the Federal Beef Research and Promotion Act's checkoff of $1 per head would initiate an immediate state checkoff of 25 cents per head. The Kentucky Cattlemen's Association's application to increase the state checkoff to $1 per head was approved by the State Board of Agriculture in October.

The proposed increase for a state checkoff is the same amount as the current national checkoff.
Kentucky currently keeps 50 cents of the national checkoff dollar, which is collected by the KCA and paid over to the Kentucky Beef Council. The KBC uses this money to develop programs to promote and stimulate domestic and foreign use and sale of bovine animal products through research, market development and education.

Eligible referendum voters are producers and marketers of beef or dairy cattle (bovine animals) who live in Kentucky or own a farm in Kentucky and are at least 18 years old. Kentucky residents will vote in the county of residence; non-Kentucky residents should vote in the county of their farm's location. Identification will be necessary to vote.

A rancher can cast only one vote, regardless of the number of counties in which he produces or markets bovine animals.

Producers also can vote by absentee ballot by sending a written request with notarized signature at least 10 days in advance of the referendum date to Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer. The request should be sent to Mark Farrow, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Room 188, Capital Annex, 702 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601. It should contain the following statement: "I am engaged in the production of bovine animals on a commercial basis and I am eighteen (18) years of age or older."

A request form is available from any county Cooperative Extension Service office.
Farmer will supervise the referendum. The KDA will administer it and certify voting producers.
For more information on voting and the referendum, contact the county Cooperative Extension Service office, or Dave Maples, KCA, 859-278-0899, email:
dmaples@kycattle.org or Farrow, KDA, 502-564-5126, email: mark.farrow@ky.gov.