For nearly two years the National Cattlemen's Beef Association has been working on a new governance structure scheduled for possible adoption during the 2010 Cattle Industry Summer Conference this July in Denver, Colo. The proposed changes have come under question by a half-dozen other organizations and the Secretary of Agriculture, who says he has serious concerns. At issue is if the document keeps the firewall between policy and beef checkoff dollars as law requires.
According to a document posted on the NCBA Web site the principle of one plan, one budget and one voice is clearly portrayed. It speaks clearly to industry unity and collaboration. The organizational structure must reflect a policy development process that focuses on industry solutions for the good of all and not an environment of divisiveness where there are "winners and losers" between individual segments or regions.
Effectively the proposal would combine the two national councils and bring the Federation of State Beef Councils into the new national organization. The Beef Board is getting its ducks in a row and will meet with Secretary Vilsack next week to address the Secretary's concerns. As for those organizations that voiced their concerns, they will likely be paying close attention, wondering how these changes might affect their organizations in the future.