DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association says eligible beef producers can request an absentee ballot to participate in the referendum on whether the $.50 per head Iowa beef checkoff should be reinstated. The referendum will be held on November 30, 2016.
Any individual, firm, corporation, partnership or association that has owned or acquired cattle during year prior to the referendum (December 1, 2015 – November 30, 2016) is an “Eligible Beef Producer” for the purposes of this referendum.
A person shall not be considered a producer if: 1) the person’s only share in the proceeds of a sale of cattle or beef is a sales commission, handling fee, or other service fee; or 2) the person acquired ownership of cattle to facilitate the transfer of ownership of such cattle from the seller to a third party; resold such cattle no later than ten days from the date on which the person acquired ownership; and certified as required by rules adopted by the council.
Producers who wish to vote by absentee ballot may do so by contacting the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Producers may call 515-281-5321, email beefvote@IowaAgriculture.gov or visit www.IowaAgriculture.gov and download the form located in “Hot Topics.” They may also visit the Henry Wallace Building, 502 E 9th St., Des Moines, IA 50319 to solicit an Absentee Ballot Request Form.
The Absentee Ballot Request Form must be signed and returned to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. The producer will then be mailed an Absentee Ballot. Absentee Ballot Request Forms should be received by the Department by November 23, 2016 and Absentee Ballots must be postmarked by November 30, 2016.
A petition to vote on the state beef checkoff was delivered to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship on September 2. The petition contains over 500 signatures of cattle producers in the state of Iowa who are interested in a referendum.
If the referendum passes, collection will begin March 1, 2017. The Iowa beef checkoff will be mandatory, but refunds will be available to interested producers. The federal beef checkoff of $1 per head remains in place and would not be affected by the Iowa vote.
For more information on how checkoff dollars are used contact the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association at (515) 296-2266 or find out more online at www.iacattlemen.org/.
In accordance with Chapter 181 of the Iowa Code, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is responsible for holding beef checkoff referendum votes. All costs incurred by the Department will be reimbursed by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.