Texas beef producers will have the opportunity to vote for a Texas Beef Checkoff program beginning June 2 through June 6. My family has raised wholesome, quality Texas beef for more than a century. We are voting yes, and here’s why.
This is a self-help program initiated by Texas cattle producers. Producers from all sectors of the industry came together and requested a vote that would allow us to invest an additional dollar-per-head into a state checkoff program. If passed, this money will be used to promote beef and educate consumers. This is crucial because the Texas beef industry cannot survive, let alone thrive, if people no longer want to eat beef.
This is not a tax and affects only those of us who sell cattle. It was requested by, will be voted on, and will be funded and controlled solely by Texas cattle producers. It’s also fully refundable. I can’t think of a single tax that’s refundable.
The current dollar-per-head checkoff program, which was approved by producers just shy of three decades ago, has been successful and should be built upon. The checkoff producers voted on in the '80s has helped to increase consumer demand for beef, which in turn has added value to all Texas cattle-whether it be organic, grain-fed, grass-fed, or large or small operations.
That dollar-per-head hasn’t changed since the '80s, but the challenges our industry faces continue to grow. In fact, what was once worth a dollar is worth a mere 44 cents today, and frankly it just doesn’t cut it anymore. We are continuously fighting back well-funded anti-meat organizations who want to put us out of business, and we are constantly rebutting false claims about beef to consumers. We are doing this with fewer cattle and fewer resources. We need to face these challenges head on and help shape our own future.
If we want to continue to see the Texas beef industry thrive, we must invest in our own industry. We can do this by approving a Texas Beef Checkoff program June 2-6. My family will be voting yes, and we hope yours will join us.
Jason Peeler is a rancher and feed yard owner near Floresville.