The phone number for Secretary Vilsack is (202) 720-3631
The attached financial document and notes are from the year-end Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) Executive Committee meeting, held on February 16th, 2011.
Income line items for Educational Seminars, Kansas Beef Council Rent (collects the mandatory $1 per head checkoff in Kansas), and Kansas Beef Council services amount to over $329,000 for 2010. According to the financials, the KLA Stockman magazine contributes over $250,000 to KLA’s bottom line. How much of this income comes from the fancy ads they run in the magazine marketing the beef checkoff program to cattle producers (preaching to the choir) who are all forced to pay by government mandate? This full color, slick page magazine, while trying to convince cattle producers to support the beef checkoff, is also a recruiting tool for new KLA and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) members. Only a careful audit would reveal how much of KLA’s income is derived from the Kansas Beef Council which shares office space with KLA. The amount could be substantial.
It appears from the notes that the KLA allocated $130,000 of a $3.5 million budget to fight the proposed GIPSA rules (desperately needed by independent cattle producers to restore fair, open and competitive markets). Comparatively, the Kansas Cattlemen’s Association, which actually represents the interests of cattle producers, has a budget of approximately $200,000 per year.
The Secretary of Agriculture can separate the KLA from our money right now. The Secretary can stop the practice of appointing the “friends” of KLA, NCBA and members of other big feeder/big packer policy groups to the state beef councils, which then funnel enormous sums of money to themselves to lobby against us. He can require democratically elected boards of all cattlemen, like in Nebraska. Give Secretary Vilsack a call at (202) 720-3631. Ask him to stop the practice of funding political policy organizations with our money and instead focus our beef checkoff investment on producing better beef and promoting it.
St. Francis, KS 67756