The new California Cattle Council will officially start to begin to take shape after a recent announcement from the California Department of Agriculture (CDFA). The results of the referendum vote showed that 68 percent of those eligible to participate were in favor of the council being created. The new agency has officially been declared operative by the Secretary of Food and Agriculture.
“We need to have more resources to tell our story effectively, particularly on issues, I’ll call them live cattle issues,” said Dave Daley, Chair of the Cattle Council Outreach Committee and past president of the California Cattlemen’s Association. “Water quality, or fire, or grazing issues, open space, endangered species, the list goes on and on. We needed some resources to tell that story and so I’m really excited that ranchers and dairymen have agreed with that.”
The council will be funded through a $1-per-head assessment on live cattle sold with an exception for calves smaller than 250 pounds. The money will remain in California and there is also a refund provision on the assessment. “It’s kind of a proof of concept. These funds need to be spent effectively to really advocate on behalf of our industry. We think we have an opportunity to do that with this new structure,” said Daley.
The next step in the process is facilitating the council’s establishment with the assistance of CDFA. Eleven members will be appointed along with 11 more alternates for a total of 22 members serving on the council representing all sectors of the industry. “I’m hoping by summer or early fall that that group will convene,” Daley noted. “To establish bylaws and a constitution and priorities and really set up strategic priorities of what’s the most effective places to spend those funds. So those decisions will be made by that first council.”
Listen to Daley’s interview below.