Support Governor Nixons Veto of the Beef Checkoff Tax Increase in Missouri
August 18, 2014
Adopted resolution from the NFU Legislative Committee to the NFU Board of Directors: NFU has been working for the past three years to reform the beef checkoff system with other beef industry stakeholders. In accordance with NFU’s 2014 national convention Special Order of Business on the beef checkoff, NFU is hereby withdrawing from this working group, as the process is unlikely to result in necessary reform. It is time for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to react to beef producers’ demand to reform this system. The following reforms are necessary: · The CBB must have the authority to carry out checkoff projects on its own, similar to other checkoff oversight boards. · The CBB must be allowed to enter into checkoff contracts with non-policy organizations and private companies, such as ad agencies and public relations firms, in order to prevent policy-driven organizations from using checkoff dollars to fund overhead for political activity. · The beef checkoff must be completely refundable. · A referendum on the continuation of the beef checkoff must occur every five years. It is our recommendation that USDA consider rewriting the beef check off program under the 1996 generic research and promotion act. **********************
Final count on Amendment 1 shows the yes vote ahead by about 3/10%.
A friend just pointed out that of 4 million Missouri voters, only 1 million showed up at the polls. Of those about 500,000 voted yes on Amendment 1. That means that roughly 1/8 of the total voting population have changed our state Constitution--for all of us.
If a recount validates the results and Amendment One stands we will rely more on Federal oversight in our state simply because the ability to enforce state environmental rules will be impeded by the continual question of constitutionality. That is exactly one of the things proponents of A1 said they are against.
But in the end, our argument that A1 is too vague with little meaning until courts decide it still stands. We were better off without it. A tiny majority in our state has turned the future of rural Missouri, family farms, water quality, conservation, and the source of our food over to the state legal system and the federal government to decide.
A family farm or structured family farm is operated by a family, with the family providing the base of the labor needed for the farming operation, assuming the economic risk, and making the management decisions.
Amendment One with its vague wording that demands court interpretation is really about whether or not "we the people" are capable of discerning the true meaning of today's issues. This amendment to our state constitution is unworthy of coming from our state capitol, named for American Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence.
Bad statutes can be revised from year to year, but bad amendments last a lifetime. Over the years the Show Me State has become a parking place for constitutional amendments when statutes could serve the same purpose. Now we find our state government urging us to vote for an unspecific "right to farm" amendment that could, for our rural communities, spell the end when multinational corporations claim the right to farm...everywhere.
We don't know for sure the true effects of Amendment One, simply because Amendment One fails to do the one thing it must by spelling out the purpose of its existence and how it will accomplish its goals. Amendment One fails to deliver on its sole promise of protecting the farming occupation itself for future generations of Missourians. Regardless of political persuasion or whether they favor a constitutional right to farm, voters should vote no.
Jefferson once said "I predict future happiness for Americans, if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them".
He must have been talking about Amendment One.
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