Recent revisions by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association to its governance proposal have not erased stakeholders’ concerns. Earlier this week the Cattlemen's Beef Board's executive committee voted unanimously to urge the Federation of State Beef Councils to completely separate from NCBA.
American Farm Bureau lobbyist Mary Kay Thatcher says emotions are running high on both sides of this issue.
"NCBA believes having the Federation within NCBA is a good idea; the other groups believe that is leads to a perception in the country, or a reality that NCBA controls the checkoff," Thatcher said. "We believe that it has to be more inclusive, that the people that don't belong to NCBA or don't belong to any cattlemen's organization or dairy organization have to have as much ability to have input and have final say-so over the product as does NCBA."
In addition to Farm Bureau the other groups Thatcher referred to are the National Farmers Union, Livestock Marketing Association, National Milk Producers Federation, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association and National Livestock Producers Association. They told NCBA officials in the presence of senior USDA aides last week that they would not support any increase in the beef checkoff rate as long as the Federation of State Beef Councils remains under the NCBA umbrella.