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HSUS targets beef checkoff; NCBA vows to take stand

I read this article on the Beef website, but only provided part of it.  

According to a recent press release from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, "HSUS attorneys have filed a lawsuit against USDA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) on behalf of the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM). The lawsuit, filed by HSUS lawyers, seeks the release of documents related to two OIG audits of the beef checkoff and its contractors, including NCBA. Both audits found that producer investments in the checkoff are protected by the firewall, which prevents beef checkoff dollars from being used for policy activities. Two OIG full audits and multiple random audits by USDA have found contractors, including NCBA, to be in full compliance with the laws which protect checkoff funds."

You have to wonder why HSUS would care about something like the beef checkoff. Well, for starters, the $1 investment yields a $5.50 return for the beef producer. It's our industry's main driver for boosting beef demand, and as such, it goes against HSUS' goal of creating a vegan society.

More than that, HSUS knows that the beef checkoff has long been a point of contention amongst various groups within the beef cattle industry. For too long, internal industry fighting has divided this industry and distracted us from focusing on larger issues. We are too busy arguing with each other about the merits of the checkoff, the execution of the dollar, and who has the rights to use those dollars in various programs that we have taken our sights off of greater, external threats, such as the HSUS.

What the animal rights activist group so clearly understands is if they rekindle old fights, they can weaken the checkoff, weaken our industry, and find our vulnerabilities, which in this case is an industry facing an unstable market, fewer resources and regulatory demands that are pushing ranchers out of business. The sad and scary thing is — there are cattlemen who are helping them out.

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