A lawsuit was filed in federal court today seeking a permanent injunction against the use of beef checkoff funds by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association as a contractor. The suit was filed on behalf of Mike Callicrate, plaintiff, vs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) and CBB's operating committee.
The lawsuit was announced at a press conference in Kansas City, Mo., prior to the Organization for Competitive Market's (OCM) annual meeting by OCM President Fred Stokes. The lawsuit seeks an "injunction against the use of beef checkoff funds flowing to NCBA who we deem have misused those funds," Stokes said. He described the legal action as an effort to "stop the abuses occurring to the beef checkoff."
Furthermore, it was released that OCM had collaborated with lawyers at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to help evaluate and plan the lawsuit after a March meeting in which HSUS persuaded OCM that a lawsuit based on the Freedom of Information Act and a previous audit of NCBA contracts with CBB could be pursued.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander expressed disgust following the announcement that OCM had formed a partnership with HSUS to destroy more than 25 years of market development and consumer demand building by the beef checkoff program. Alexander, who is also an independent cattle feeder from Pilger, Neb., said it is paramount for cattlemen and cattlewomen to know that OCM is working with an extremist animal rights group to disable a program dedicated to building demand for beef.
Reprinted in part from Drovers/CattleNetwork