Publications: Checkoff Programs

 

Beef, Beans & the First Amendment: Disappearing Sovereignty for State Beef Councils and Soybean Boards?

Harrison Pittman, Director, National Agricultural Law Center

On May 2, 2016, a legal action challenging the constitutionality of a key aspect of the national beef research and promotion program established by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Beef Act) was filed in federal district court in Montana.  The suit asserted that the portion of the federally-mandated one-dollar-per-head of cattle assessment retained by the Montana Beef Council constitutes a “government-compelled subsidy of the speech of a private entity” which is unconstitutional under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  The case and surrounding regulatory action raises legal issues that could significantly impact the beef and soybean research and promotion programs, specifically including a loss of state sovereignty in the operation and administration of state beef councils and soybean boards throughout the United States.  These issues warrant careful consideration by any person, entity, or institution that pays, collects, remits, expends, administers, or is otherwise impacted by the national beef and soybean research and promotion programs, and are discussed in this article. Download this article. Posted 2/9/17


 

Soybean Checkoff Dollars & USDA “Redirection”: Compatible with Federal Law?

Harrison Pittman, Director, National Agricultural Law Center

On July 15, 2016, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a proposed rule that seeks to provide soybean producers in certain states the option of “redirecting” to the United Soybean Board the full, federally-required assessment of one-half of one percent of net market price of soybeans.  Redirection deprives a state’s Qualified State Soybean Board of funding it would have otherwise retained and expended in accordance with the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act (Soybean Act) and accompanying regulations- the Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order (Soybean Order). This article discusses AMS’s existing policy of “redirection”, the AMS proposed rule, and how redirection appears to be incompatible with the plain language of the Soybean Act and Order.  Download this articlePosted 8/21/17 


 

Beef Checkoff Dollars & USDA “Redirection”: Compatible with Federal Law?

Harrison Pittman, Director, National Agricultural Law Center

On July 15, 2016, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) issued a proposed rule that seeks to provide beef producers in certain states the option of “redirecting” to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board the full, federally-required assessment of one dollar per head sold.  Redirection deprives a state’s Qualified State Beef Council of funding it would have otherwise retained and expended in accordance with the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 (Beef Act) and accompanying regulations- the Beef Act and Beef Promotion and Research Order (Beef Order). This article discusses AMS’s existing policy of “redirection”, the AMS proposed rule, and how redirection appears to be incompatible with the plain language of the Beef Act and Order.  Download this articlePosted 9/1/17