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130 Independent Cattlemen and Nine National, State and Regional Organizations Join Lawsuit Over Mandatory Beef Promotion Program

In a motion filed in Federal District Court in Billings, Montana on September 14, 2001, 130 independent cattle producers and nine organizations joined Montana ranchers Steve and Jeanne Charter and the Center for Individual Freedom in the legal battle over the Beef Checkoff Program. The coalition of cattlemen and agriculture groups, in requesting permission to intervene on the Charter’s behalf, declared the Checkoff "unfair, undemocratic, and unconstitutional."

According to the Northern Plains Resource Council (NPRC), a Montana-based organization of family ranchers, farmers and conservationists, the motion to intervene will allow intervenors to benefit from any relief the court may grant to the Charters, and demonstrates broad-based opposition to the Beef Checkoff Program. To read the NPRC’s press release on the motion to intervene, click here.

Other intervenors in the suit include the Western Organization of Resource Councils, National Family Farm Coalition, Campaign for Family Farms, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Alternative Energy Resources Organization, North Dakota Farmers for Profitable Agriculture, Dakota Resource Council and the Powder River Basin Resource Council.

The beef checkoff program – which claims to raise more than $80 million annually – is paid for by an assessment on beef producers of $1 per head of cattle sold. The program, enacted by Congress, has become increasingly controversial as independent ranchers have challenged the large waste of money, diversion of funds for inappropriate purposes, and advertising that benefits giant corporate packing houses and retailers at the expense of independent producers.

For more on the Center’s involvement in the battle over the Beef Checkoff, click on:

Ranchers and Center for Individual Freedom

Join Forces in Beef Checkoff Lawsuit

To read the legal briefs in this case, click below:

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