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Humane groups applaud effort to reform Kansas beef checkoff program

WASHINGTON (October 10, 2019)—Humane Society Legislative Fund and the Humane Society of the United States applaud efforts by independent Kansas cattle producers to reform the Kansas beef checkoff program, currently administered by the Kansas Beef Council, in concert with the Kansas Livestock Association—an arrangement rife with obfuscation and lacking in transparency and accountability.

Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund, agreed, saying, “This country was built on the sweat equity of family farmers and the commodity checkoff programs were originally established with their interests in mind. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the checkoff programs, has colluded with multinational corporations and industrial agriculture groups to keep producers in the dark about how their checkoff dollars are being used. The good work being done by the Organization for Competitive Markets and the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association reports inappropriate expenditures and an improper relationship between industrial beef interests in Kansas, who appear to be doing everything they can to hide how checkoff funds are being spent. We support efforts to impose transparency to the Kansas beef checkoff program, and more broadly, we hope this will serve as a call to action for national checkoff reforms. To that end, we urge Congress to pass the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act (S. 935), which will stop corruption within the checkoff program and provide independent producers with the information they need to understand how their hard-earned money is being spent.”

“The Humane Society of the United States has long fought to restore the commodity checkoff programs, which have been corrupted by industrial commodity interests, to their original goal of supporting the American family farmer,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “The clearly improper relationship between the Kansas Beef Council and the Kansas Livestock Association is a perfect illustration of how those interests hide from independent producers—who are required by law to pay the checkoff assessment—how their dollars will be spent. We applaud independent Kansas cattle farmers for seeking full transparency and accountability.”

Media contact:
Emily Ehrhorn: 202-779-1814; eehrhorn@humanesociety.org

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The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.

Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at humanesociety.org.

Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, A Humane World. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on Twitter. Read the award-winning All Animals magazine. Listen to the Humane Voices Podcast.