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Plan B for beef checkoff OK'd

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HAY MAKER

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Published Thursday
February 17, 2005

Plan B for beef checkoff OK'd

BY LESLIE REED



WORLD-HERALD BUREAU
LINCOLN - State lawmakers gave first-round approval Wednesday to a backup plan in case the U.S. Supreme Court throws out the nation's beef checkoff program.

The proposed $1-per-head checkoff would be managed by a state beef development organization on contract with the State Department of Agriculture, said State Sen. Bob Kremer of Aurora, the bill's sponsor and the chairman of the agriculture committee.

Producers who want to opt out of the program could seek a monthly refund of their checkoff payments.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering a challenge of the mandatory national program as a violation of free speech.

The voluntary state program would take effect only if the high court throws out the national program, Kremer said. It would take effect 30 days after a Supreme Court ruling, but no earlier than Sept. 1 to give state officials an opportunity to develop regulations.

Kremer said he believes it is important to keep a checkoff program in place because of its significance in promoting beef consumption and opening international markets, as well as education and research on mad-cow disease and E. coli.

Some lawmakers protested that agricultural producers are required to bankroll industry development efforts, such as ethanol production incentives, when the general public pays for other business incentives.

"I don't mind paying my fair share, but enough is enough," said State Sen. Ed Schrock of Elm Creek.

John Hansen of the Nebraska Farmers Union said the backup plan probably would be challenged in court because producers still would be required to pay the checkoff even though they could later seek a refund.

Lawmakers advanced Legislative Bill 150 in a 32-0 vote.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Congratulations to Nebraska!

At least you don't have the arrogant Livestock Marketing Police and their clones trying to save you from yourselves like we do here in South Dakota.

Dont know when Johnny and Herman were elected as spokespersons for the cattleman but I sure as hell never voted for them.



~SH~
 

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