Local Producers, What’s Your Opinion on the Beef Check Off

Checkoff

Oklahoma has proposed an additional $1.00 per head fee for the purpose of promoting beef. Currently, a national $1.00 per head fee is in place, with half going to a national program, the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board and half funding the Oklahoma Beef Council.

Heavy hitters have come out in favor of the beef checkoff: Oklahoma Cattlemens Association (OCA), American Farmers and Ranchers (AFR) and Oklahoma Farm Bureau to name a few.

But, does the Beef Council need 3 times the operating money it has now? What specifically would the money be used for?

In red below, FAQ from oklahomabeefcheckoff.com in favor of the check off.  In blue, info from  http://competitivemarkets.com/nocheckoffincrease/ opposed to the check off.

What is the Oklahoma Beef Checkoff? 

The Oklahoma Beef Checkoff is a producer funded and managed, state-level promotion, marketing, research and education program for beef and beef products.

Why is the Checkoff Needed?

The additional Oklahoma Beef Checkoff dollar would be a state, producer driven checkoff that would allow Oklahomans the ability to control what to do with that dollar. It would give Oklahoma producers a greater ability to market, promote and defend beef here at home and around the globe – something producers can’t do on an individual basis. 

Who will manage the money collected through the Oklahoma Beef Checkoff?

The Oklahoma Beef Council will serve as the management entity of the state-level checkoff program.  The Board is comprised of Oklahoma representatives who are appointed by the following: American Farmers and Ranchers, Oklahoma Dairy Producers Association, Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, Oklahoma CattleWomen Association, Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Livestock Marketing Association and the Chairman of the Oklahoma Senate and House Agriculture Committees.  

Are there safeguard measures to keep it from being misused? 

The Oklahoma Beef Council has implemented greater controls and processes to safeguard and protect the finances of the council. The Council employs an independent third-party accounting firm that has a five-step review process; as well as an audit/risk committee which includes an independent, outside financial advisor to the committee that monitors and reviews the internal controls and potential risks to the council.

What will the money be used for?

The use of funds is limited by the parameters established in state law, which are beef promotion, marketing, research and education for beef and beef products. The money can be used in Oklahoma, the U.S. and/or internationally. The law does not allow checkoff funds to be used for lobbying activities to influence public policy or government affairs.

What is meant by the assessment being “a maximum of $1?”

According to the Oklahoma Commodity Research Enhancement Act, producers set the maximum allowable rate for the assessment through the referendum vote. The actual assessment rate is set, not to exceed the maximum, by the Oklahoma Beef Council. If circumstances ever warranted an assessment less than the maximum, the Council has the authority to set that rate without another referendum. It will be an assessment of $1. 

Who will decide if Oklahoma Beef Checkoff program is started?

Eligible beef producers who would be required to pay the assessment, will vote in a referendum to determine if a state-level checkoff program is started. 

 

STOP THE OKLAHOMA BEEF CHECKOFF INCREASE

The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association is holding a referendum to double the beef checkoff tax assessed on cattle producers. Voting began October 2, 2017 and will conclude on November 1, 2017.

Background

A $1.00 tax is imposed every time cattle are sold. This is the “Beef Checkoff” imposed by federal law, and Oklahoma ranchers pay about $3 million per year. Half goes to the Oklahoma Beef Council (OBC), and half goes to the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board. The Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), with approval of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, is holding an election to add another $1 tax each time cattle are sold.

Specific Issues

  • Last year, it was discovered that $2.6 million in Oklahoma checkoff fees were embezzled by the Oklahoma Beef Council (OBC) bookkeeper from 2009 to 2016. Doubling the beef checkoff tax on cattle producers would raise an additional $3 million for the OBC, which has not released any audits or detailed expenditures on how the current checkoff funds are being expended.
  • OCA and the other proponents of this new checkoff highlight that the existing checkoff funds result in a $11.20 return on investment to the industry, but since 2014 cattle producers have seen a 43% drop in cattle prices and a 22% drop in the farm share of the retail beef dollar. The “industry” may be making money off the checkoff, but Oklahoma cattle producers are getting less today.
  • OCA launched a petition drive in 2015, and it took the organization nearly two years to collect their stated requirement of 5,100 signatures to bring the issue to a statewide vote. OCA cleared their stated signature requirement by only 77 signatures. The Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry certified signatures from out of state interests and children who are not old enough to even sign their own names.
  • There is no requirement that the beef checkoff funds be used to market only Oklahoma beef; current checkoff funds are used to market foreign beef for Brazil’s JBS as well as other foreign importers.
  • The referendum on Oklahoma cattle producers allows children, corporations, and out-of-state interests to vote. If OCA is successful, all Oklahoma cattle producers will be required to pay the increase.
  • While the backers of the measure state that a cattle producer may ask for a refund, no specific details on how a refund may be requested have been provided.

For these and many other reasons Oklahoma cattle producers should just say no; now is not the time to double the tax on the backs of Oklahoma cattle producers. We should not consider an increase of the checkoff assessment to $2 until the abuses within the Oklahoma Beef Council are fully resolved. Producers must vote and must vote “No” to stop this checkoff increase. Only the votes of those voting will be counted, meaning if a producer does not vote, he/she will be helping the proposed increase to pass.

The vote is to be held on November 1, 2017 at any Oklahoma county extension office during normal business hours. Mail-in ballots are available from October 2-20, 2017 by calling 405-235-4391 or emailing okbeefcheckoff@gmail.com and must be postmarked by October 27, 2017.

 

 

The Taloga Bridge Then and Now, Lions and Chamber Scare Up Fun, Citizen of Year Nominations Still Open

Thank you to Joann Harvey for sharing photos, including the one of the original Taloga Bridge circa 1908, a time when it’s use was more for horses and wagons than automobiles.

The Lions Club has an entire day full of fun events planned on Saturday, October 28th, including a cruise in, fun run/walk, costume contest, weenie roast, trunk or treat, carved pumpkin contest and more are planned. The Chamber will sponsor a dance on Tuesday October 31st for students in grades 5-12.

And you still have time to submit your nomination for Vici’s Citizen of the Year. Call the Chamber at (580)995-3425, email vicichamber@vicihorizon.com or stop by The Vici Vision office at 107 East Broadway in Vici and let us know about your nominee.

This and more in this week’s October 19th Vici Vision Newspaper.

“Shots In The Dark” Premiere Tonight

news-minute

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. Christmas break will start for Vici students at 11:30 a.m. today. School will resume January 2nd, 2017.

Be one of the first to see a Vision TV documentary produced by Brad Croft and Jeff Hitchcock, “Shots In The Dark”. On October 30th, law enforcement from local, county, state and federal levels of government responded to a possible sighting of Michael Vance. However it was Dewey County Sheriff, Clay Sander, who made the first contact with Vance. The premiere event is tonight at 7:00 pm at Jerald Shaw Auditorium in Vici. Admission is free.

“Leaders of Tomorrow” pictures and Santa letters from Vici and Leedey students are included in December issues of The Vici Vision. Renew your subscription today to ensure you don’t miss these or other treasured issues.

Christmas is on Sunday this year. Make plans to celebrate The Reason for the season, Jesus Christ, at the church of your choice. See the local church directory on page two of The Vici Vision Newspaper.

Basketball, Holiday Bazaar & Santa Day Scheduled Next Week

news-minute

Basketball action resumes Monday the 28th of November. Vici JH teams will take on Mooreland at home at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 29th HS teams will travel out of state for a game at Higgins TX. Please note game time for the girls is 6:00 p.m.

The Vici Chamber of Commerce meets Thursday, December 1st at 1:00 p.m., Lions Club at 7:00 pm and Masons at 8:00 pm. Vici 7th/8th teams will travel to Cheyenne, OK to take on the Bears at 4:30. JH games will follow.

At 8:30 a.m. on Friday the 2nd, 2nd grade will host Vici Elementary’s monthly assembly. And, the excitement will start building when the Vici PTO opens their annual Holiday Bazaar from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 pm at Vici City Hall. Vici HS Basketball teams will head south to Hammon with a 6:30 pm tipoff for the girls game.

Make your list so you will be ready to visit with Santa on Saturday December 3rd. A day full of fun precedes his arrival. The PTO Bazaar will again be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. A Golf Cart parade is slated to begin at 5:30. The Lions will serve up stew and chili beginning at 6:00 pm. at the school Cafeteria. And in conjunction with Santa’s arrival around 7:00 pm, the Vici HS Band will perform and the Vici Chamber of Commerce will host their annual town-wide and children’s gift drawings.

Coop Store Grand Re-opening, HS Teams look to go 4-0, JH Teams vie for Ellis Co Championship, Sheriff Sander to be Honored

news-minute

Vici Coop Store’s Grand Re-Opening is today, Friday November 18th from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm. Stop in for Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, and Door Prizes to celebrate the remodeling of the store.

The Vici High School Indians and Lady Indians are on a 3-0 run to start the year. Will they make it 4 and 0 tonight? Join us at 6:30 pm in Mooreland to cheer these basketball teams on or join Brad Croft online at vicivisiontv.com.

The JH Indians and Lady Indians are also playing to win. Specifically, they’ll be playing for the Championship of The Ellis County Tournament on Saturday, November 19th in Fargo. Game times are 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm

And, Dewey County and the entire State of Oklahoma are proud to call Sheriff Clay Sander our hero. He was wounded by shots fired at the conclusion of the state-wide manhunt for Michael Vance last month. He will be honored at 1:00 pm on Monday, November 21st at the courthouse in Taloga. Lt Governor Todd Lamb and Representative Mike Sanders will preside. Attend Monday and show your support of Sheriff Sander and all law enforcement involved or tune in online at vicivisiontv.com for live coverage.