For several years, the beef industry has struggled over how and whether to collect additional funds for industry promotion and research. The money is part of a program called the Beef checkoff.
Last month U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack proposed a second, supplementary checkoff, implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Today at the World Food Prize symposium, Vilsack told reporters he's been “pretty patient,” waiting for the Beef producers to come to an agreement, and still welcomed industry consensus. Vilsack called the current situation "a stalemate."
Vilsack said additional funds are needed to remain internationally competitive in beef exports.
"In absence of my action...we can't get additional money into the system," Vilsack said. "It seems crazy to me that we would allow that to happen."
He anticipates a second beef checkoff to be instated in late 2015, or early 2016.