image of a wendys burger ad paid for by checkoff

How Beef Companies Use the Checkoff to Squeeze Ranchers

The checkoff is a federal tax that forces ranchers to pay $1 per head every time cattle are sold, half of which is used in Montana and other states to fund the advertisements of the private, corporate run “state beef councils.” This is a form of compelled speech that is not only regressive — it’s unconstitutional.

Beef Checkoff Case (R-CALF USA v. Perdue)

We are lead counsel on behalf of the nation’s largest organization of independent cattle producers, R-CALF USA, in a suit raising a First Amendment challenge to the administration of the beef checkoff in Montana. We are arguing that although the federal government mandates all ranchers pay…