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Published April 04, 2014, 03:42 PM

Minn. cattle group will consider its options after failed beef check-off increase

The president of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association says he doesn’t know why cattle producers in the state rejected a proposal to increase the existing beef check-off by $1 per head.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

The president of the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association says he doesn’t know why cattle producers in the state rejected a proposal to increase the existing beef check-off by $1 per head.

“To me, it’s befuddling why they’d vote down a voluntary program,” says Dar Geiss, a Pierz, Minn., producer.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture announced on April 1 that a proposal by the Minnesota Beef Resource and Promotion Council to raise the check-off was rejected by a margin of 960 to 564.

The failed proposal would have raised an additional $700,000 to promote beef, with all the money staying in Minnesota. Producers who asked for a refund could have received one, however.

Currently, in an arrangement that dates to 1985, the Minnesota Beef Council collects $1 for every head sold in the state. Half the money collected goes to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to use in national marketing association, with the other half spent by the Minnesota Beef Council.

Geiss says more promotional money is needed because of inflation and declining cattle numbers in the state.

He says his organization will talk with other agricultural groups and consider its options, including the possibility of eventually sending another check-off proposal before voters again.

“At some point, we could run this (higher check-off) up the flagpole again,” he says.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture says that, under state rules, another beef check-off referendum can’t be held for at least a full year.

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