INDEPENDENT CATTLEMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF TEXAS
May 3, 2011
Mr. Tom Jones Cattlemen’s Beef Board P.O. Box 3316 Englewood, CO 80155
Dear Mr. Jones,
P.O. Box 1168 Lockhart, Texas 78644-1168
Phone 512.620.0162 Fax 512.620.0610
The Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas (ICA), representing over 8,000 cow/calf producers urges the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) to work diligently with the Federation of State Beef Councils, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and all State Beef Councils to ensure the Checkoff program will maintain credibility as well as producer trust.
Cattle producers throughout the United States must have a Beef Checkoff program that is effective and beyond criticism. Cattlemen must be assured that their Checkoff dollars are being spent wisely. There can never be a hint of misappropriation of funds. Furthermore, CBB Directors, appointed as individual representatives of all cattlemen by the Secretary of Agriculture, have a sworn duty to insure that our Checkoff funds are being utilized as required by the Beef Promotion Act and Order.
ICA has been a supporter of the Checkoff since its inception and has participated in the governance of this program at both national and state levels. Over the years all successful programs evolve to stay efficient and effective. We have made suggestions and recommendations to ensure efficiency of Checkoff expenditures and build confidence and trust of producers paying into the program. Undeniably, there have been problems with the firewall, acknowledgement, and efficiencies of the program. Solutions to these problems will come from open and honest dialog with all entities involved in the facilitation and management of the program.
It is now time for our leaders to meet and to work out a successful program for the future. Past differences and non-compliant interpretations must be sorted out and new policies adopted which leave no margin of doubt or room for error. All parties, including contractors, Federation and CBB directors, regardless of affiliation to state and national organizations should be in absolute compliance with the guidelines recommended by USDA.
We believe the CBB officers and executive committee are moving in a fair and positive direction to implement the Roles and Responsibilities Committee’s recommendations and making the Beef Checkoff more inclusive for all Checkoff paying producers. We look forward to working with other organizations as we embrace the new streamlined committee structure that is solely focused on beef promotion, research, and education. We are confident the re-vamped structure will result in a more robust competitive allocation of Checkoff dollars to contractors, which entices more innovative ideas. The Beef Checkoff is the heartbeat of our industry and everyone must work together and resolve controversy to make the program second-to-none. We commend the CBB for listening to the entire industry and moving the Checkoff in a positive direction. ICA continues to strongly support the Beef Checkoff and the enduring future of the beef industry.
Rosalee Coleman Bill Hyman State President Executive Director
cc: Tom Ramey, Chief Executive Officer, Cattlemen’s Beef Board Forrest Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association