North Dakota To Consider Voluntary Checkoff
North Dakota cattlemen currently pay $2 per head in mandatory Beef Checkoffs, but state representative Sebastian Ertelt has introduced a bill that would make the state’s checkoff voluntary. If adopted, the legislation would have no impact on the national Beef Checkoff in the state.
As with all 50 states, the mandatory national Beef Checkoff is collected in North Dakota, and the state has an additional $1 per head checkoff adopted in 2015 that send the money to the North Dakota Beef Commission. Ertelt has introduced House Bill 1487 which would reword the state statute from “must” pay into the state checkoff to that they “may” pay into the checkoff.
Currently, North Dakota cattlemen may request a refund of their state checkoff contributions, although they must file paperwork with the state within a set timeframe to be eligible. The proposed change in the wording would shift the onus to the N.D. checkoff organization to convince cattlemen to pay, rather than allowing them to request a refund.
In fiscal 2020, the North Dakota Beef Industry council took in net revenues of about $1.5 million, most from the state checkoff. The bill has been referred to the Agriculture committee, where the measure is expected to face strong opposition.