Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s CEO, Colin Woodall, about the threat of the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act to the beef industry.
“The concern is that this is not about the (Beef) Checkoff,” Woodall said. “It is actually about animal activists attacking us as beef producers. The reason why I say that is when you look at the provisions of the OFF Act, the bill that was put in place or introduced, rather, by Senator Cory Booker, who is a Democrat vegan from New Jersey, and Senator Mike Lee, who is a meat-eating Republican from Utah, you can quite clearly see they do not understand how the checkoff works.”
For example, Woodall said the OFF Act says Checkoff money should not be used for lobbying.
“You can’t do that today,” Woodall said. “It says that checkoff money should not be used to disparage other agricultural commodities. You can’t do that with the checkoff today.”
Woodall said the OFF Act also states that the financials of checkoffs should be published so producers can see them. Producers can easily visit the Cattlemen’s Beef Board website and see all of this information, he added.
“It says that the checkoff should be allowed to be investigated or audited by the office’s inspector general- something else that can also happen today,” Woodall said. “So, you have to step back and say, ‘If all this stuff is already happening, why are they doing it?’ Because it is an attack on the checkoff and the real underlying support here are animal activist groups.”
The OFF Act, Woodall said, is part of a bigger effort to slow down meat consumption.
“They figure the best way to hit us now is just to make it harder for us to do what we do,” Woodall said. “In all honestly, when you look at that strategy in the checkoff in the OFF Act, it shows that the checkoff is extremely successful because we have been able to build some great beef demand with the checkoff programs. These animal activist groups know if they make it harder for us to use the checkoff, then hopefully, that will impact demand.”
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