The Beef Checkoff program has been around since 1973. “It is not necessarily something new for cattle producers,” says Nancy Jo Bateman, executive director, North Dakota Beef Commission. Like other commodity groups, the North Dakota Beef Commission is a state agency that functions under law that sets the amount deducted when cattle change ownership. “A total of $2 are collected. Fifty cents of that goes to the national program, while the remaining $1.50 per head is budgeted by the state board of directors for research, promotion and other programs,” says Bateman. “Those dollars help reach consumers in North Dakota and around the world understand the benefits of beef when purchasing our product.” A bill has been introduced in the North Dakota House that would reword current language, making paying into the state checkoff optional for cattle producers. Currently, North Dakota cattle producers can request a refund for dollars allocated for the state checkoff within a certain time frame. Listen to the full Red River Farm Network interview with Bateman here.