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The Arkansas Beef Checkoff program
In 1983, cattle industry groups in Arkansas supported and the Arkansas Legislature passed enabling legislation to create the Arkansas Beef Checkoff program for beef research and promotion. As called for in Act 160 of 1983, collection of assessments under this program could not begin until cattle producers, themselves, voted in favor of the program in a producer referendum. This referendum vote was conducted in the summer of 1983 and resulted in an 80% favorable vote among producers. Collection began ($0.25 per head) in October of 1983. Along with establishing the assessment rate, the Arkansas Beef Council was created as the governing board to administer the funds collected under this program.
Much discussion and deliberation existed across the country over the need to unify each individual state’s efforts in beef promotion and research. National cattle industry groups developed proposed national legislation to allow for a more structured and coordinated beef checkoff program.
Congress created the Beef Promotion and Research Act, the “Beef Checkoff Program,” with passage of the 1985 Farm Bill. Collections began on Oct. 1, 1986; producers approved making the Beef Checkoff Program mandatory in 1988, with 79 percent voting in favor of it.
Producers asked that the checkoff program be built on these tenets: