Alberta beef producers to vote on mandatory check-off

Associations: News Roundup from the Oct. 22 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

Beef producers in Alberta are encouraged to make their voices heard on the issue of a mandatory check-off by voting during a provincial plebiscite between October 19 and November 13.

The vote will determine if the provincial $2 per head check-off should remain refundable or become non-refundable.

A return to a non-refundable check-off structure would launch the creation of the Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund (ABIDF). This collaboration between Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) and the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association (ACFA) would support the beef industry through strategic investments of producer check-off dollars in research and technology transfer, market development, education, consumer advocacy, and industry collaboration.

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The ABIDF is designed to avoid duplication of investments and programming by ABP and ACFA on a number of initiatives. If producers approve the change the ABP will receive $1.35 of the $2 per head provincial check-off (about what it receives now after refunds are paid out), 40 cents will be deposited with ABIDF and 25 cents to the cattle feeders. Under this structure the ABIDF should receive about $1.4 million annually.

The ABP portion includes 53 cents per head to support the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and five cents to cover the cost of collecting the check-off. The 25 cents per head for the ACFA, about $850,000 annually, will cover operating costs for the provincial group and their commitment to the National Cattle Feeders’ Association. Producers can apply to have this 25 cents per head assigned to the ABIDF instead.

Producers will be able to vote between October 19 and November 13 at one of the 27 ABP fall zone meetings held across Alberta. Alternately, producers can vote by mail or by stopping in at one of the 46 Agricultural Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) offices around the province.

The regulations governing the plebiscite fall under the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act, and the vote is conducted by the Agricultural Products Marketing Council. Producers should receive information packages with voting details from the council prior to the ABP zone meetings which run from October 22 to November 7.

The meeting schedule can be found on the ABP website.

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