Iowa Public Television


Court Keeps Beef Checkoff Challenge Alive...Barely

posted on July 1, 2005

A federal appeals court in Montana has kept alive a challenge to the beef checkoff, despite a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that the government has the right to force beef producers to pay the fee.

In a three-page order, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Montana ranchers Steve and Jeanne Charter can argue before a federal judge that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has wrongly tried to pass off checkoff-funded advertising as the views of individual cattle producers.

The nation's high court acknowledged in its May 23 decision that such an argument still could be made, the circuit court said.

Jeanne Charter said this week the best she and other opponents of the checkoff could hope to obtain by continuing their case would be a ruling that the federal government must identify the marketing message as its own. That, she said, may not be worth pursuing.

Tags: agriculture animals beef courts livestock meat news