- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Legislature has passed legislation that will double the $1-per-head checkoff that ranchers pay when they sell cattle.

North Dakota’s House approved the measure Wednesday. The Senate approved it the bill earlier.

The North Dakota Stockmen’s Association supports doubling the checkoff to provide more money for beef research, education and promotion. Ranchers would have the option of asking for a refund of the additional dollar.

The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota and the North Dakota Farmers Union are opposed to the measure.

Opponents say any checkoff increase should be decided by ranchers - not by state lawmakers.

The national beef checkoff hasn’t changed for three decades. Several states have raised the checkoff at the state level to promote the industry and increase beef demand.

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