CBB weighs in on NCBA/Federation structure

Jun 25, 2010
by WLJ

In a surprising move last week, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) executive committee voted to support a split between the Federation of State Beef Councils (Federation) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). The vote, which occurred in Chicago, IL, was the latest move in the ongoing plan to restructure the leadership operations at NCBA and the Federation.

In a memo obtained by WLJ, which the CBB executive committee sent to CBB members and Qualified State Beef Councils, they said last week that they firmly support the role of the Federation and its activities in administering checkoff funds and programs, but also expressed concerns over the plan to change the relationship with NCBA in a way that many in the industry see as moving closer to the policy side of NCBA.

“The CBB Executive Committee believes that the Federation of State Beef Councils should exist independently from any policy organization,” the memo said. “The Executive Committee prefers a Federation structure that assures that no policy organization has influence on programming, budget or governance decisions made by the Federation.”

Tom Jones, chair of the CBB executive committee, said the vote last week, which was unanimous, was a way of formalizing discussions which have been taking place since the merger of National Cattlemen’s Association and the National Livestock and Meat Board in 1996.

“For years, the issue of separation has been a topic of conversation under the table. It has been the 800-pound gorilla in the room, and that gorilla has finally gotten out into the light,” said Jones.

The statement approved by the CBB’s 11-member committee was unanimous, with one member absent, Jones said. It read: “The Federation should be a strong, independent, checkoff entity. The Federation should be separate from any policy organization since all funds for the checkoff come from mandatory assessments of producers and importers. The

See Reorganization on page 6