The Ohio Department of Agriculture today certified the results of the 2012 Ohio Beef Marketing Program Referendum. The referendum, seeking to increase the state checkoff on cattle from $1 to $2, did not receive enough favorable votes to pass.
“It is disheartening to learn the referendum did not pass,” said Sam Sutherly, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association president. “The Ohio Beef Council has an outstanding history of leveraging Ohio beef producers’ checkoff dollars to the fullest extent to promote our product to Ohio’s 11.5 million consumers. These results indicate there is more work to do to effectively communicate how existing checkoff funds are used to increase beef demand.”
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s announcement, 674 votes were certified with 47% of producers representing 51% of the marketed cattle sold by all participants voted in favor of the increase. Voting against the increase were 53% of producers representing 49% of marketed cattle sold by all participants. Producers were able to vote by absentee ballot, at the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association office, and at OSU Extension offices.
“I would like to thank OCA members and all beef producers who turned out in support of the increase,” Sutherly said. “In doing so, you’ve proven your care and concern for the future of our industry and understand the need to increase our beef promotion efforts.”
The provisions of the Ohio Beef Marketing Program are defined in section 924 of the Ohio Revised Code. The Ohio Department of Agriculture has the authority through section 924 to oversee state commodity checkoff programs, including making sure funds are being properly spent, overseeing referendums, conducting voting, and helping to establish new programs.
The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association is an affiliate of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and is the state’s spokesperson and issues manager for all segments of the beef cattle industry including cattle breeders, producers and feeders. It is the grass roots policy development organization for the beef business. Through the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association, cattle producers work to create a positive business environment, while providing consumers with a safe and wholesome product.