Federal Ruling Supports Checkoff Programs


A Federal Magistrate Judge, John Johnston, granted the USDA and State checkoff programs summary judgement in an action initiated by the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund [R-CALF USA]. Judge Johnston stated, “The plaintiff has not demonstrated that an injunction would prove necessary at this point.”

The decision of the Magistrate Judge will require a final ruling by a Federal District Court that could be appealed. R-CALF USA had claimed that checkoff programs were unconstitutional.

The lesson, which emerges from litigation between R-CALF USA and various State beef promotion boards, is that it is necessary for commodity promotion boards to remain relevant with respect to their production constituencies and to be seen to serve the interest of producers.

The egg production industry is fortunate in being served by the AEB, which has undertaken to promote eggs and egg products to diverse consumer and customer groups, enhancing the image of the product and deflecting negative health-related publicity through the activities of the Egg Nutrition Council.