(Updated with Ohio Cattlemen’s comments)
REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio — The Ohio Department of Agriculture today (March 31) certified the results of the Ohio Beef Marketing Program Referendum. The referendum, seeking to increase the state checkoff on cattle from $1 to $2, received enough favorable votes to pass.
A total of 2,118 votes were certified; 1,527 votes, or 72 percent of the total, were cast in favor of the referendum and 591 votes, about 28 percent, were opposed to the increase.
Producers were able to vote by absentee ballot, and also in person at the Ohio Department of Agriculture and at OSU Extension offices.
ODA certifies Ohio Beef Marketing Program referendum results.
Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Elizabeth Harsh said the vote totals show great support for the state’s beef industry.
“We are elated, especially with the significant number of yes votes. Seventy-two percent shows a great amount of support for Ohio’s beef industry,” said Harsh.
She said it will now be the Ohio Beef Council’s job to look at the ways to invest funding into programing for the beef industry. The Ohio Beef Council is designed for consumer education programs promoting beef.
Harsh said it will take some time for the entire process to get underway.
Currently, Ohio gets 50 cents of every dollar the Ohio beef checkoff generates, or approximately $300,000 per year. Now that the referendum has passed, the additional $1 will stay in Ohio and could mean as much as an additional $900,000 for the Ohio Beef Council.
Producers can request a refund of the additional $1, so it is difficult to determine exactly how much money will be generated for Ohio.
The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association initiated the referendum, and covered related expenses because the Ohio Beef Council cannot legally advocate for a vote to increase the beef checkoff.