Minnesota beef producers reject check-off fee hike

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota’s beef producers have rejected a proposed increase in the check-off fees they pay for research and promotion.

The Minnesota Beef Research and Promotion Council had asked the state to hold a referendum on increasing the current state check-off by an additional $1 for each animal they sell.

But the Minnesota Department of Agriculture says 63 percent of the 1,525 voting producers opposed the proposal, while 37 percent voted for it.

The current $1 per head check-off fee supports the state and federal beef councils and will remain in effect. Half of the fee supports the state council and the other half supports the national beef check-off.

Minnesota’s legislative auditor last month called for greater oversight and transparency for the state’s 13 farmer-elected agricultural research and promotional councils.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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