Beef Checkoff Program Sparks Cattle Industry Rift, Lawsuit

Group files a lawsuit claiming the National Cattlemen's Beef Association is using the program money to run small ranchers and farmers out of business

The USDA's Beef Checkoff, a mandatory government program that gets $1 each time an animal is sold on its way to the slaughter house, is now the center of a dispute that has cut a deep rift in the cattle industry. The rift is centered around the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which acts as a contractor for the government program and gets about half of that annual revenue from the program, creating what its critics say is a powerful force that has helped run tens of thousands of farmers and ranchers out of the business with their own money.

The dispute has gone as far as federal court, since a lawsuit has been filed by Kansas rancher Mike Callicrate, alleging the NCBA is using the Beef Checkoff funds improperly to lobby government officials. Callicrate is president of a group called the Organization for Competitive Markets, which represents independent cattle producers. To read more, click HERE.