Saturday, October 3, 2015
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Ranchers approve state beef checkoff program
AUSTIN -- The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) announced July 2 that Texas beef producers have voted to establish a state-level beef checkoff program, which was approved by a wide margin of 66.79 percent of voters, according to a TDA press release. Overall, 33.21 percent of voters opposed the measure. The state ag department conducted this referendum upon petition by cattle industry organizations under the authorities designated by the Texas Legislature.
A total of 7,013 producers cast their vote, with 4,682 voting in favor. See “County Referendum Results” for area numbers.
Passage of the referendum establishes a producer-funded program without the use of tax dollars. The beef checkoff program will research ways to continue improving Texas beef quality, as well as educate prospective consumers of Texas beef around the world. Texas beef producers will pay a refundable assessment of no more than $1 per head of cattle they sell. Collection of the assessment will begin Wednesday, Oct. 1, and continue until the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas notifies cattle collection points to cease collection.
“I am proud of my fellow Texas cattlemen and women for standing up for our future,” said Coleman Locke, Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas chairman and Brahman cattle producer from Hungerford. “As a life-long Texas cattleman from a long line of ranchers, I was confident our industry’s consumer-focused heritage would result in this decision to invest in our future. Our future success depends on our ability to meet the needs of consumers and reach those individuals with the facts about the quality product we produce, which is exactly what this program will accomplish. I look forward to working with those who supported and opposed this election to earn their confidence in their investment.”
Voting on the measure took place June 2-6. The beef checkoff program will be used for the promotion, marketing, research, and educational efforts of beef and beef products for prospective consumers of Texas beef around the world.
As required under the Texas Agriculture Code, the ag department conducted the referendum following a petition from cattle industry organizations on behalf of their members. After cattle owners voted, a canvassing committee of representatives from TDA and the Texas Secretary of State counted the votes. TDA conducted an eligibility audit of voters, which confirmed the vote results.
County Referendum Results
COUNTY FOR> AGAINST
Wilson 84 15
Atascosa 36 14
Karnes 22 4
Guadalupe 52 5
Gonzales 90 12
Bexar 20 6
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