This article can’t be further from the truth. It’s filled with lies and misconceptions.
First and foremost, the Texas Beef Checkoff program will not be a government tax. Taxes are paid to our local, state and federal government bodies and they’re certainly not refundable.
Our checkoff is not paid for by taxpayer dollars and is not a government program. In fact, checkoff programs cannot influence legislative issues listed in the article. It is a marketing assessment on cattle to be used for promotion, marketing, research and education. It is funded by everyday “average” Texas cattle producers. I raise cattle, so building demand for beef improves demand for my cattle. I like that.
Programs funded by the beef checkoff also have nothing to do with imports. In fact, the United States, by law cannot import beef from countries that have active foot-and-mouth herds. To say that we are putting our herds at risk and increasing supply is far from the truth and shouldn’t be used as a scare tactic.
Currently, checkoff programs are governed by an 18 producer directors, nominated by nine Texas beef and cattle organizations with two at-large members elected by the board. Take a look at the Texas Beef Council's financial report and you will see 88% of the funds were used for promotion, marketing, research and education. Only 11% was used for program administration. Our Texas Beef Council today has a staff of 14. This has dramatically decreased through the years, because of declining checkoff revenues due to drought and decreased cattle herds.
I also take offense to the comments about large industry groups. I’m a member of Texas Farm Bureau and our organization operates through our policy book. This policy book is developed by so-called “average” farmers and ranchers just like me.
The organizations supporting this referendum and representing me as a member are made up of “average” producers across Texas. I don’t understand how someone could write an article claiming there is no effort to educate “average” producers. You can’t hand feed everyone across this state and the information about the referendum is widely available.
If the author truly understood how checkoff programs work they would know the Texas Beef Council can only fund things like promotion, education, marketing, and research for beef.
I am an “average” cattle owner and see the value of the checkoff programs. To call this a tax is false. A Texas Beef Checkoff is refundable. By law, this program has a refund policy. If you don’t believe in the program, you have 60 days to ask for a refund. Taxes are not refundable. I’d like to see you try and get your income taxes refunded from the IRS. Let me know how that goes for you.
Don’t dim a bright future for the Texas Beef industry, get the real facts about the beef checkoff at texasbeef.org, texasbeefcheckoff.com or to see consumer programs in action visit txbeef.org.
Upshur County - Cattleman and Farm Bureau Board Member