FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The Kentucky Cattlemen's Association has asked the Kentucky State Board of Agriculture for approval to conduct a statewide referendum of Kentucky beef cattle producers on a proposed state assessment of $1 per head of cattle marketed in the state.
In a letter dated Aug. 11, KCA Executive Vice President Dave Maples wrote that the assessment would be used "to promote [and] stimulate, by research, market development, and education, the use and sale, domestic and foreign, of bovine animal products."
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, total cattle marketing in 2013 was 1.054 million. Calves make up 503,000 of those sold and are counted separately from 551,000 sold.
The request is on the agenda for the board's meeting Aug. 21 in Louisville. If the board approves the request, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture will be required by state law to conduct the referendum.
According to Ted Sloan at the Department of Agriculture, the last time a referendum was conducted in 2009, producers voted in their county extension office.
If approved by producers, the assessment would become effective April 1, 2015.