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NFU Delegates Adopt Dairy/ Beef Orders

09 March 2012

US - At the National Farmers' Union (NFU) 100th Annual Convention, delegates adopted two special orders related to beef checkoff accountability and dairy policy changes.

Beef

In light of recent information stating accountability issues concerning the beef checkoff and implementation of programmes, NFU delegates adopted a special order directly related to the checkoff.

“NFU supports amending the Beef Promotion Act, thereby allowing the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) to become a completely independent and freestanding organisation,” the order says.

“The amended Act should state that no organisation may receive contracts for more than 50 per cent of the total checkoff dollars on an annual basis. No beef checkoff dollars can be used to pay for any portion of salaries or benefits of people employed by a policy/lobbying organisation or of an individual consultant/lobbyist.”

The order continues: “NFU calls for complete separation between any policy organisation and the Federation of State Beef Councils to provide for complete checkoff accountability. We also believe any increase in the checkoff should have to be tied to a two-year periodic producer referendum on the checkoff programme. Finally, NFU calls for the rewrite of the beef checkoff act to house the programme with other mandatory checkoff programmes.”

Dairy

To represent US family dairies, the delegates passed a special order urging any changes to dairy policy acknowledge the lack of market power among dairy farmers by including meaningful supply management tools.

“If margin insurance goes forward, efforts to ensure that family dairies can remain competitive must be instituted, such as premium subsidies for the first four to five million pounds of milk to help offset the cost of the margin insurance programme should be included in the programme,” the statement says.

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