Date: 6/14/2016 12:00:00 AM

Title: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association BeefMeets Bring New Policy Development Process and State Checkoff Discussion

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is a grassroots membership organization, with a dedication to “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.” 

This year’s policy development process will begin at the regional BeefMeets in June. In addition to several educational sessions, a full tradeshow and opportunities for networking, cattlemen will have the opportunity to share policy and industry issue concerns with ICA leaders. BeefMeets will be held June 22 in Spencer, June 23 in Independence, June 28 in Atlantic and June 29 in Riverside.

Time has been set aside at each BeefMeet for ICA districts to gather and provide input. “Our district breakouts will allow cattle producers to weigh in on topics that matter to their operations,” says ICA’s Director of Government Relations, Justine Stevenson. “As a grassroots organization, our policy is developed by members for members, and provides guidance for staff and leaders as we work on behalf of the industry.” All cattle industry stakeholders are invited to attend BeefMeets and learn more, but only current ICA members are allowed to participate in the policy development.

One of ICA’s priorities in 2016 was to update portions of the Iowa beef checkoff code.  Input gathered from an ICA members survey spurred the need for legislative changes. Branstad signed the changes into law in March of this year.  

Based on an 80% approval rating from members, the ICA board is making efforts to now hold a producer referendum on the state checkoff. To initiate the producer vote, a petition to conduct a referendum needs to be submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture, along with 500 producer signatures. Iowa Cattlemen’s Association staff and leadership plan to start collection of signatures at the 2016 BeefMeets and will continue collection over the summer months. 

Upon receiving the petition to conduct a referendum the State Secretary of Agriculture shall conduct the referendum providing an official voting place(s) in each county.  Producers will have the opportunity to vote in person on Wednesday, November 30, or request an absentee ballot to cast their vote starting mid-September. Absentee ballots will need to be postmarked by Wednesday, November 30 to be included in the final tally.  Votes will be tabulated in the first half of December by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. If a simple majority (50%) is in support of reinstating the Iowa Beef Checkoff, collections will begin January 2, 2017. 

One of the sessions at each of the four BeefMeets will be devoted to information regarding the proposed state checkoff and referendum process. To register for BeefMeets, visit



About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association represents more than 10,000 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa’s beef industry. ICA’s mission is “Grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.”