Vote on New Texas Beef Program Begins Monday

Voting begins Monday and runs through Friday on whether to establish a statewide program that would promote beef in Texas.

If approved by the state's cattle owners, the Texas Beef Checkoff would add no more than (but an expected) $1 to the price of a head of cattle, money that would go towards a new "producer funded and managed, state-level promotion, marketing, research and education program for beef and beef products," according to the Texas Department of Agriculture.

There is currently a national checkoff program, one established in 1988, but the proposed state program "may compliment" the national version, according to the state.

"Unlike the U.S. program, which requires that fifty cents of every dollar collected be sent to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board for programs, the entire Texas Beef Checkoff assessment would be managed by Texas cattlemen and women," the state ag department notes on its website. "Another difference is the Texas Beef Checkoff assessment is refundable."

Carmen Fenton, a spokesperson for the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, told the Associated Press the Checkoff is needed because the national money is not enough.

Anyone who has owned cattle from June 6, 2013 to June 6, 2014 can vote at any Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service county office. Mail-in ballots must be requested by Monday.

If approved, the Texas Beef Checkoff would go into effect on October 1.

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