WASHINGTON – National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a letter to Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) members and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advocating for the complete separation of policy organizations and the checkoff program.
“NFU has been very public with its support of a complete separation of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Beef Checkoff Program,” said Johnson. “It is impossible to build a firewall strong enough when you have one organization that picks the members of the committees that make all of the funding decisions for the checkoff and are also involved in program evaluations. The ongoing firewall breaches are no longer allegations, but have been proven in a compliance audit review that has uncovered multiple financial irregularities and misappropriations of checkoff funds.”
The letter urged USDA to move forward with plans to build a stronger firewall between NCBA and the CBB.
“NFU urges the CBB to continue and help maintain the integrity of the Beef Checkoff Program,” said Johnson. “We also believe that it is time for the USDA to step in before the program loses so much credibility that cattle producers simply refuse to support the checkoff program in its entirety. We believe the only viable solution at this time is to completely separate the national beef checkoff from any policy.”