Senate Ag Committee Chairman Brian Munzlinger (R-Williamstown) is surprised a proposed state beef checkoff failed by such a wide margin. Three-quarters of cattle producers who voted opposed the one-dollar-per-head checkoff.

Senator Brian Munzlinger

Senator Brian Munzlinger

“In a declining market is when you actually need the marketing arm to reach out and encourage people to use your product,” said Munzlinger.

He expected the results to be close.

Munzlinger says a 50-cent-per-head checkoff might have had a better chance of passing.

“I do know that by them jumping out there and going to the whole dollar that turned the Missouri livestock marketers against being supportive, which kind of surprised me because really it’s the same paperwork they have to do whether it’s 50 cents or a dollar,” said Munzlinger. They were opposed to it. Those marketing institutions, the sale barns, they have a pretty large influence around the state.”

Opponents of the checkoff blame declining cattle prices for the measure failing.

“Some say beef prices are down. Yes, the market bounces around like a yo-yo all of the time. You have to keep your supply of beef up there, compared to poultry, chicken or whatever the other meats are or counter some of the ads against red meat too.”

Checkoff revenue would have been used to promote beef.

The vote was open to Missouri cattle producers who registered online or at county FSA offices.

Several states are either considering or have established beef checkoffs in addition to the national dollar-per-head checkoff that’s been in existence since the 1980s.  Other states have defeated attempts to put a checkoff in place.