Challenge to Beef Checkoff Denied

Market to Market | Clip
Jul 1, 2022 | 2 min

One of the Supreme Court’s final decisions of the term cuts the ability of the EPA to regulate power plants emissions. The ruling may be an indicator that the court is poised to block President Biden’s work to mitigate climate change.

Among the other rulings was a challenge to stop government checkoff programs.

Peter Tubbs has our report.   


This week, the United States Supreme Court rejected a challenge from Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America, or R-CALF, over the implementation of the Beef Checkoff program. 

In 2016, R-CALF alleged the Beef Checkoff required cattle producers to subsidize the private speech of private entities, namely marketing arms of state beef boards.

R-CALF won an initial injunction in 2017, after which the USDA entered a memorandum of understanding with the beef councils in  20 states to centralize the marketing messages for the Beef Checkoff. 

The 9th Circuit Court ruled in 2021 that the reorganization by the USDA satisfied R-CALF’s request  that Beef Checkoff dollars not fund private speech. The Supreme Court concurred by not hearing the challenge.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association noted the end of the lawsuit.

NCBA gfx: “The Supreme Court’s rejection of R-CALF’s petition confirms the Beef Checkoff, and its overseers, are adhering to the letter and spirit of the laws that protect and guide producer investments in the program,” - NCBA CEO Colin Woodall.”

R-CALF is pledging to seek further changes to the operation of the Beef Checkoff.

Bill Bullard, CEO, R-CALF: “Well, we continue to work in Congress on legislation that would achieve the reforms we seek in the legislative and the checkoff program, including making the checkoff a purely voluntary program as opposed to a mandatory program which makes it just a huge subsidy program in the cattle industry. And it's a subsidy program that we believe benefits the multi-national corporations at the expense of America's independent cattle producers.

For Market to Market, I’m Peter Tubbs