Cattlemen wait for checkoff results

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SALEM, Ohio – The results from last week’s vote on Ohio’s beef checkoff aren’t in yet but Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director Elizabeth Harsh already feels optimistic.
Voting ended Jan. 14 but the Ohio Department of Agriculture has to wait 10 days before it can begin processing the votes. This will leave time for postmarked absentee ballots to arrive, Harsh said, noting that she anticipates much of the vote will be from these mailed-in ballots.
A sample. From a sampling around the state, voter turnout did not seem high.
Jefferson County reported just two votes, Putnam County less than 10 votes, Darke County four votes, Hocking County about seven votes, and Fairfield County approximately 20 votes.
Topping votes in the state was Carroll County, which had 93 votes, according to extension ag educator Mike Hogan.
This high number was thanks to Hogan’s push to 4-H and FFA members and to a beef management school held during the voting period.
For the rest of the state, however, Fairfield County extension ag specialist Stan Smith said voters may not have felt a sense of urgency to vote because there wasn’t a lot of opposition to the measure.
Passed. Ohio Cattlemen’s Harsh hopes to know the results by the end of January.
If passed, the statewide referendum will keep the beef checkoff at $1 per head even if the national checkoff is declared unconstitutional.
Cattlemen already pay $1 but half goes to the state checkoff and half to the national checkoff. This change would mean cattlemen would continue to pay the dollar but it would all go to the state.
For a ‘yes.’ The measure needs either: 1. two-thirds of voters to vote “yes” and represent a majority of the volume of cattle sold in the previous year by all producers who voted; or 2. a majority of voters vote “yes” and represent at least two-thirds of the volume of cattle sold in the previous year by all voters.

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