BY STEVE BYRNES
Voting will occur at all Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service offices during regular business hours, said Dr. Susan Ballabina, AgriLife Extension associate director for program development at College Station. Ballabina said the statewide election is being conducted by the Texas Department of Agriculture in accordance with provisions of the Texas Agriculture Code.
“If passed, the producer managed program would be financed through a refundable $1 per head assessment at each point of sale,â€ Ballabina said.
“The money would be used for promotion, marketing, research and educational efforts of beef and beef products in Texas, the U.S. and/or internationally. Funding decisions would be made by the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas whose members would be appointed by the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture from nominees submitted by the Texas Beef Council.â€
Ballabina said eligible producers can vote at any AgriLife Extension office regardless of where they live or where their cattle are located. Producers may vote as individuals or as a legal business entity.
Youth younger than 16 years old must have a parent or guardian co-sign their ballot. Persons unable to access an AgriLife Extension office during the voting period can request a mail-in ballot from the Texas Department of Agriculture between May 19 and June 2.
If passed, Ballabina made the following points concerning the checkoff:
* Assessment collection would begin Oct. 1.
* A producer who has paid an assessment to the Texas Beef Checkoff may obtain a refund of the amount
paid by filing an application for refund with the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas within 60 days after the date of payment.
* The Texas Beef Checkoff program differs from the current U.S. Beef Checkoff in two ways, though the Texas program may complement and extend the U.S. Beef Checkoff efforts. First, the U.S. program requires half the revenue be paid to the Cattlemenâ€™s Beef Promotion and Research Board, but all the Texas Beef Checkoff assessment would be managed by the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas. The second difference is the Texas Beef Checkoff assessment is refundable.
* Individuals are considered “non-producersâ€ and are exempt from the proposed assessment if they own cattle for less than 10 days or serve as a dealer or order buyer in the sales transaction. Non-producers are also ineligible to vote in the referendum.