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Yowzers! No Wonder USDA Has Demanded a Clearer Separation Between The Checkoff And The Federation

13 Jun

Following is a snippet taken from the Operating Committee Meeting Minutes from September 2010 (available on the Beef Board web site for those who want to validate the information).  By now you know that the Operating Committee consists of ten members from the CBB and ten members from NCBA’s Federation Division.  By now you also know that an “Implementation” Authorization Request provides funding for overhead costs at NCBA, including salaries for administrative personnel and checkoff personnel.  Think of it sort of like an operating note that’s drawn on to pay the day-to-day bills to keep the lights on and the hired help paid.  Only this isn’t a loan; it’s a pot of money that doesn’t have to be repaid.  The math is startling.  Projections of checkoff collections for 2011 reflected a $42.8 million dollar budget for the year.  Of that, $10,333,269 was set aside for NCBA’s Implementation Authorization Requests.  In other words, 24% of total 2011 checkoff collections have been set aside for NCBA’s overhead.  

Make no mistake – ten…count ’em..ten members of the Operating Committee voted against the original motion to suspend the Implementation ARs in the event that the CBB Executive Committee determined that NCBA had not fully complied with requirements in the USDA-approved resolution of NCBA’s compliance review!  Huh? They voted against suspending the flow of cash if NCBA didn’t meet financial compliance requirements? Is the checkoff being run as a business or as an entitlement program?  Making things even worse in terms of transparency for cattle producers, leaders of NCBA’s Federation of State Beef Councils motioned for an Executive Session to hammer out the committee members’ differences over whether to suspend or not to suspend. What was so secretive or sensitive that it couldn’t be discussed in the sunshine and open air with minutes taken so checkoff-paying producers can see what was said and by whom?  

Just so you know who was who when this happened, the 2010 Operating Committee members from the CBB were:  Dan Dierschke, TX; Tom Jones, AR (now chair of the CBB); Robert Fountain, GA; Glenda Flora, KS; Ten Greidenhaus, CA; Richard Hodge, TX; Al Pedigo, KY; John Schafer, MN; Don Stewart, IL; and Weldon Wynn, AR.  The 10 members from NCBA’s Federation were:  Scott George, WY (chaired the Federation in 2010 and is now a vice-president of NCBA’s Policy Division); David Dick, MO (now chair of the Federation); Sally Angell, MO; Dave Hamilton, NE; Cevin Jones, ID; Linda Stovall, TX; Sid Viebrock, WA; Craig Uden, NE; Becky Walth, SD; and Jim Wilson, OR..  Read on…

(Here’s the motion that started the whole discussion): Craig Uden moved and Linda Joy Stovall seconded to fund P-08-2011 Implementation (NCBA) in the amount of $4,643,146 (CBB funding – $4,045,573). (This figure did not include $597,573 in Federation checkoff funding support).

Richard Hodge moved and Tom Jones seconded to amend the above motion to approve funding of P-08- 2011 Implementation by adding the following – an automatic suspension of this implementation AR on December 31, 2010 in the event that the Executive Committee of the CBB determines that NCBA has not fully complied with the agreed-upon requirements contained in the USDA-approved resolution of NCBA’s compliance review. Discussion. The motion failed with 10 yes and 10 no. (Exhibit 5)

The original motion failed with 10 yes and 10 no. (Exhibit 6) Craig Uden moved and David Dick seconded to move into Executive Session.

Upon returning to open session, Tom Jones moved and Weldon Wynn seconded to approve the following implementation authorization requests with an automatic suspension of all NCBA implementation ARs on December 31, 2010 in the event that the Executive Committee of the CBB determines that NCBA has not fully complied with the agreed-upon requirements contained in the USDA-approved resolution of NCBA’s compliance review:

P-08-2011 Promotion Implementation (NCBA) in the amount of $4,643,146 (CBB funding – $4,045,573); R-06-2011 Research Implementation (NCBA) in the amount of $2,278,677 (CBB funding – $1,985,411);

CI-06-2011 Consumer Information Implementation (NCBA) in the amount of $1,991,134 (CBB funding $1,734,875); II-05-2011 Industry Information Implementation (NCBA) in the amount of $1,420,312 (CBB funding – $1,237,518).  (For the record, it’s all checkoff money folks, the total figures reflect CBB funding combined with Federation funding support).

The motion passed.

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Posted by on June 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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