WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is proposing to adjust membership on the Beef Promotion and Research Board to reflect shifts in cattle inventory levels since the last board reapportionment in 2017, as required by the rules governing the board.
Under the proposal, total board membership would increase by two members, from 99 to 101, and would include the following changes:
– Domestic cattle producer representation on the board would increase from 92 to 94 members.
– The states of Nebraska, Texas and Wisconsin would each gain one member.
– The Southeast Unit, made up of Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, would be dissolved.
– Alabama and Georgia would become stand-alone states due to each having enough inventory to qualify for a position on the board.
– South Carolina would be added to the Mid-Atlantic Unit, which would then consist of South Carolina and West Virginia, and would qualify for one member.
– Maryland would move from the Mid-Atlantic Unit to the Northeast Unit, which would then consist of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont, and qualify for one member.
The revised representation would be effective with nominations in 2020 for appointments effective early in 2021.
These adjustments are based on requirements of the Beef Promotion and Research Order, authorized by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985. The order provides for a review of geographic distribution of U.S. cattle inventories and the volume of imported cattle, beef and beef products at least every three years but not more than every two years. After the review, board membership must be reapportioned accordingly.
A state or unit must have an inventory of 500,000 head of cattle to be represented on the board and is entitled to an additional member for each additional 1 million head of cattle. In considering reapportionment, the board reviewed cattle inventories and cattle, beef and beef product import data from 2017 through 2019.
The proposed rule for this action was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 30, 2019. Written comments must be received by Feb. 28, 2020.
Submit comments concerning the proposed change online at www.regulations.gov or to Agricultural Marketing Specialist Kahl Sesker at Kahl.Sesker@usda.gov or (202) 253-8253, or send to Research and Promotion Division, Livestock and Poultry Program, AMS, USDA, Room 2610-S, STOP 0251, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.,