Early voting is underway in an Oklahoma referendum that will give producers the opportunity to approve a $1 per head state beef checkoff assessment in addition to the current U.S. beef checkoff program. If approved, the funds would be used to market, promote and educate consumers about beef and beef producers. Oklahoma would also join 15 other states, including Texas, who have already adopted a state-level beef checkoff program.
The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) has been an strong supporter of both the U.S. and Texas Beef Checkoff programs, and is now voicing its support for the Oklahoma measure.
“Texas cattle raisers have already seen an immense benefit from their state-level checkoff program, and I hope that same success can be continued in Oklahoma,” said TSCRA President Richard Thorpe. “I encourage every eligible producer to vote in favor of the checkoff, and make an investment in the future of our industry.”
A 2014 economic study conducted by Dr. Harry Kaiser of Cornell University reaffirmed that “immense benefit.” The study concluded that current checkoff programs yield an $11.20 return for every dollar invested.
“Imagine how much value an additional dollar would add for Oklahoma producers — we have the ability to face challenges head on and the opportunity to shape the future of the beef industry,” said Weston Givens, a rancher from Arnett, Oklahoma, who also encouraged his fellow cattle raisers to join him in voting yes.
Any beef producer, regardless of age, who would be required to pay the assessment is eligible to vote in the referendum. This includes producers in surrounding states who sell cattle in Oklahoma. Eligible voters may request a mail-in ballot before Oct. 20, 2017, by calling 405-235-4391. Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Oct. 27, 2017, to be valid. Eligible producers may also vote in person on Nov. 1, 2017, at any Oklahoma County Extension office during their normal business hours.
For more information, visit www.oklahomabeefcheckoff.com.