USDA Clarifies Redirection of Assessments under Beef and Soybean Acts

May 13, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will amend the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Soybean Order) and the Beef Promotion and Research Order (Beef Order) to clarify that a producer can choose to redirect their checkoff assessments to the national program when allowed by state law.

Due to regulatory changes in 1990s, USDA needs to clarify through this final rule what is already allowed by AMS and Soybean and Beef program policies.  This action also finalizes a consistent form through which producers can request redirection, and makes technical amendments.

The Beef Order and Soybean Order authorize the collection of assessments from cattle and soybean producers. In most cases, assessments are collected by a qualified state board or council – either Qualified State Beef Councils or Qualified State Soybean Boards – that retains a portion of the assessments. The state boards and councils forward the remainder of the assessments to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board or United Soybean Board, which administer the national programs.  Under both programs, producers are allowed – unless precluded by state law – to “redirect” the portion of assessments retained by a state board or council to the national program.

Through this final rule, AMS is clarifying that beef and soybean producers can continue to choose to redirect assessments to the respective national program if they are in a state meeting one of the following two circumstances:

  • There is not a state law that requires assessments be directed to a state board or council; or
  • There is a state law that requires assessments and the state law allows for refunds.

Producers who have questions as to their particular situation may contact their state board or council to confirm if they are eligible for redirection of the assessments. The final rule was published today in the May 13, 2019, Federal Register, and is effective on June 12, 2019.

For additional information, contact Kenneth R. Payne, Director; Research and Promotion Division, Room 2608-S; Livestock, Poultry and Seed Program; AMS, USDA, STOP 0249; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.; Washington, D.C. 20250-0249; telephone number (202) 720-1118.

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