On Monday (June 27, 2022), the U.S. Supreme Court denied R-CALF USA’s petition requesting an appeal of the first of two lawsuits the group had filed against the operation of the mandatory beef checkoff program. The first lawsuit had previously been dismissed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard says, “While obviously disappointed that our effort to force even more needed reforms upon the beef checkoff program has ended in our first of two lawsuits, we are grateful for the important reforms we did achieve for U.S. cattle producers. Specifically, we set out to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture from unconstitutionally compelling U.S. cattle producers to fund the private speech of private state beef councils.” He also says, “Another important reform won in this case was that the USDA promulgated formal rules that now allow cattle producers to opt out of funding the activities of their state beef council.”
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association CEO Colin Woodall, however, responded by saying, “For too long we have allowed R-CALF and their attorneys to divide our industry and draw attention away from the important job of beef promotion and research. The Supreme Court’s rejection of R-CALF’s petition confirms the Beef Checkoff, and its overseers, are adhering to the letter and spirit of the laws that protect and guide producer investments in the program.”