Kentucky Beef Checkoff Referendum

History of Beef Promotion in Kentucky

In 1976 the Kentucky General Assembly created legislation through KRS 247.610 that allowed for promotion of the beef cattle industry through a 10 cent per head checkoff. This state-wide beef promotion checkoff program was initiated 10 years prior to the creation of the Federal Beef Promotion and Research Act.

With the establishment of the Federal Program in 1986, Kentucky amended their existing statue to fall within the federal guidelines. Currently, a producer selling one animal will pay $1.00 per head checkoff where $.50 is sent to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and $.50 stays in Kentucky and is managed by Kentucky producers through the Kentucky Beef Council.

At the January 2012 Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association convention a resolution was adopted to pursue an additional $1.00 state beef promotion program. KRS 247.610 had to be amended to allow for an additional assessment.

Kentucky is not the first state to consider adding additional funds through a state beef promotion checkoff in the east. Presently, North Carolina, Alabama, Ohio, Georgia, and Texas have $1.00 state beef checkoff promotion programs and Tennessee has an additional $0.50.

A task force representing Kentucky beef industry stakeholders was appointed by Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association President, Steve Downs. Task force chairman, Charles Miller states, “Every effort has been made to ensure that the task force represents a broad cross section of our Kentucky beef industry. The importance of the work of this group cannot be overstated and I am proud to say the members accepting the challenge did so in a very thoughtful and serious manner.” The task force has met and reviewed the intent of KRS 247.610, along with making a recommendation to the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association board to proceed forward with the steps of calling for a referendum.

An application was made to the Kentucky Board of Agriculture requesting a call for a referendum to add an additional $1.00 state beef promotion checkoff program in Kentucky. In August, the Board of Agriculture approved the request and a referendum date of November 20, 2014 has been set.

For more information about the Cattlemen’s Beef Board/Federal Beef promotion, visit

For more information about the Kentucky Beef Council, visit

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