Government Asked to Take Action on Beef Checkoff

Government Asked to Take Action on Beef Checkoff

Groups want in depth inspection of NCBA use of checkoff funds.

In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and USDA Inspector General Phyllis Fong 29 groups have formally requested urgent and decisive action to protect against misuse of National Beef Checkoff Program dollars by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The letter states collective concern that NCBA's lobbying influence is facilitated and greatly enhanced by its receipt of checkoff dollars that are being used unlawfully to defeat public policy initiatives viewed as critically important to many U.S. cattle producers and to advance public policy initiatives that are viewed by many producers as detrimental to their financial interests.

Specifically, the groups are requesting that USDA immediately freeze all checkoff accounts managed or controlled by NCBA; immediately suspend the checkoff contract between NCBA and the Cattlemen's Beef Board; immediately conduct a full and complete investigation and audit into NCBA's fiscal management of checkoff funds for a period to include at least the past five years; take any and all action necessary to redress any violations, non-compliance, and fraud that may be discovered, and reimburse the checkoff in full for each dollar that may be found to have been misappropriated; and take action to completely separate the NCBA from the Federation of State Beef Councils.

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