NCBA Calls Timeout on Governance Structure
WASHINGTON – The leadership of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the largest organization dedicated solely to representing the interests of U.S. cattle producers, are suspending plans to proceed with changes to its governance structure to allow the Federation of State Beef Councils an opportunity to clarify its role and intentions to all industry shareholders. According to Scott George, division chair of NCBA’s Federation, NCBA is not turning its back on revising its governance structure, but rather turning its attention to U.S. producers to ensure a governance structure is developed that fosters unity within the industry. George said the unintended controversy around NCBA’s governance proposal was getting in the way of an accurate discussion about the Federation.
“We want to do this right. The Federation effectively represents all cattle producers paying into the checkoff,” said George, who is also a Wyoming beef and dairy producer. “Quite frankly, it is impossible to do so when there is so much controversy driving a divide within the industry. We have critical issues affecting this industry that requires us to be united, not divided. We are calling a timeout to clarify our role and wishes to all shareholders.”
Patti Brumbach, executive director of the Washington State Beef Commission, said the Federation of State Beef Councils is the body that develops and executes a coordinated checkoff plan to build and protect beef demand at the state and national level. She said in order for the Federation to effectively continue building beef demand and addressing critical industry issues, delaying NCBA’s governance discussions is necessary until the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and other “vocal” industry groups fully understand the role and wishes of the Federation.
“Without a functioning Federation, coordination is lost and producers’ checkoff dollars become ineffective at tackling issues and breaking through a very cluttered consumer environment. Consumers are bombarded everyday with misinformation about beef, and the only way for producers’ story to be heard is through the Federation’s coordinated efforts. Let me re-emphasize the word coordinated,” said Brumbach. “Delaying the discussion about NCBA’s governance is not only the right thing to do for state partners, but essential to the effectiveness of the Beef Checkoff Program, which is no more important to any other organization than it is to NCBA. We are doing this to coordinate our efforts for the good of cattle producers working hard to feed a growing global population.”