New beef checkoff fee should not raise prices of beef

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CENTRALIA - Missouri cattle farmers will vote until April 15 on a checkoff fee that would raise how much farmers pay per cow sold.

Farmers currently pay a fee of $1 per cow under the current checkoff fee program. The new program would add an additional $1 per cow.

Nathan Martin, owner of Martin Angus, said education about beef is one of the primary goals of the checkoff program.

“We want to help better educate the consumer about beef,” Martin said. “Our goal is to be able to share the truth and facts about beef and let the consumer decide.”

Under the proposal, money raised would go toward education, promotion, research and marketing.

Martin said a direct correlation between beef prices and the check off program is hard to discern, but he does expect future prices to stay close to where they are now.

“From the production side, we’d like to have a reasonable return on investments, so sure we’d like to have a good price, but it has to be fair,” Martin said. “There can’t be a lot of ups and downs. The consistency of it is real important.”