According to a press release from Young County Extension Agent Brad Morrison, the Texas Department of Agriculture will conduct a producer referendum that, if approved, would create a state beef checkoff program for beef promotion, marketing, research and consumer education.

This proposed program, to be called the Texas Beef Checkoff, would be funded and managed by Texas beef producers.

The national beef checkoff program was established nearly three decades ago through the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985, and for cattle producers in Texas, it means that for every beef transaction, one dollar is allocated to a collection focusing on beef industry promotion.

In Texas, the money is collected by the Texas Beef Council, and 50 cents of that dollar stays in the state, and the other 50 cents goes to a national beef organization such as the Federation of State Beef Councils or the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB).

Should the Texas referendum pass, state cattle producers would pay an extra dollar per transaction to be used mainly for promotion of the Texas cattle industry.

“The thing about these checkoff dollars is that they are refundable to a producer. Even if the vote passes and he or she decides they don’t want to participate, the money is refundable to them through the Texas Beef Check-Off Office,” Morrison said.

Voting will take place June 2 through June 6, 2014, to approve a refundable maximum assessment of $1 per head of cattle to fund this program. If approved, the assessment will be collected at each point of ownership transfer in Texas.

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.