California Creates Cattle Council

By Kayla Sargent

California cattlemen recently voted to beef up their contributions toward research, education, and outreach on issues that pertain to the state’s live cattle industry.

Senate Bill 965, creating the California Cattle Council (CCC), will be funded by an additional mandatory one dollar per head fee to be collected at the point of live cattle sales. Following passage by the state, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) sent out an implementation referendum to the state’s beef producers encouraging them to vote on the new council.  On April 5, CDFA announced that 68 percent of producer votes were in favor of establishing the CCC — making it fully operative from that point forward.

The CCC, a separate entity from the California Beef Council, was created in an ongoing effort to defend and promote cattle production in the state.  According to CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, the council will “perform research aimed at the development of best management practices to improve sustainability and efficiency of California’s beef industry; assist with regulatory compliance; and develop consumer education programs.”

The California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) was a major sponsor of the bill, campaigned extensively for its passage in the state legislature, and was instrumental in establishing the implementation referendum.

“I am extremely pleased with the strong support demonstrated by ranchers throughout California for the Cattle Council,” CCA Cattle Council Outreach Chair Dave Daley said.  “It became clear to me very early on that, once ranchers learned more about the Cattle Council, they were overwhelmingly supportive.  This outcome is reflective of the dozens of grassroots volunteers throughout the state and the thousands of volunteer hours that have gone into educating ranchers over the last two years.”

CCA members made it clear that, upon creation of the Cattle Council, three provisions were to be followed: the money is to stay in California; the work is to include live cattle issues like grazing for wildfire control and water and air quality; and there are to be refund provisions for those who don’t wish to support the Cattle Council.

Similar to the Beef Checkoff, the new assessment will be collected at the point of sale either by the sale barn or the brand inspector.  However, if a producer does not wish to contribute to the Cattle Council, a refund may be issued upon submitting a claim to the Council within 90 days of the sale.

CDFA will appoint 11 directors and 11 alternatives to the CCC consisting of three range cattle producers; three cattle feeders; three dairy producers; one processor; and one public member.  The appointees are to be nominated by the state’s cattle industry, the first order of business for the new council.

Individuals may nominate themselves to the Board of Directors or other cattle producers whom they see fit. Multiple nominations can be made by the same individual.  Nominations must be submitted to the CDFA no later than May 22, 2019.

“It is the Department’s goal to appoint individuals to the Council who reflect the diversity of California’s cattle industry with representation from various counties across the state,” CDFA stated in its call for nominations.


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