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Cattle industry referendum vote Oct. 4

FUQUAY-VARINA — The North Carolina Cattlemen’s Association (NCCA) says the N.C. Cattle Industry Assessment Referendum vote will be on Oct. 4.

Arrangements have been made with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service to facilitate the voting by providing the polling place.

John Langdon, president of the NCCA, said  the referendum will be to assess all cattle sold and marketed in the state $1 per head to advance the cattle industry. The money will continue to fund youth programs, cattle research, education, promotion of North Carolina cattle and beef and issues management. The N.C. dairy industry will also benefit, as part of the income will be allocated to the same areas in the dairy sector.

The referendum would continue the original state assessment program, which was first established in 1957.

“The national beef checkoff does a tremendous job of promoting beef and the beef industry, returning $11.20 per dollar invested; however, these funds cannot be used for many of the production and regulatory- oriented issues facing the industry today,” Langdon said.

“The (referendum) would allow producers to continue to provide funds that would be controlled totally by the North Carolina beef and dairy producers to promote our product, our youth, our industry, and to provide research and advocacy to protect their way of life.”

Since the assessment was reinstated in 2010, research and education projects have been funded to deal with production issues facing N.C. cattlemen in management, forage production, feed efficiency and general input reductions. In addition, The NCCA has provided services to help the public have a better understanding of the industry and training for farmers to help them to be more efficient and provide more research-based management for them and the cattle in their care.

“Youth programs have been a big beneficiary of the investments from the assessment as we have been able to support livestock schools, judging contests, Skillathon contests, leadership development, and the very popular Youth Beef Industry Tour, among many others,” Langdon said.

Bryan Blinson, executive director of the NCCA, said the assessment will be for six years with a recurring referendum if requested. Blinson said producers will be eligible for a full refund of their assessment by request within 60 days of the sale of the animal with proof of sale. This is a provision that is not available in the national program.

All cattle owners who are at least 18 years of age as of Oct. 4, will be eligible to vote. All eligible voters must vote in their county. Absentee ballots may be obtained by contacting the N.C. Cooperative Extension office.

For additional details, contact N.C. Cooperative Extension Service-Rowan, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, or the NCCA.

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