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Alberta cattle producers voting in plebiscite

Alberta Beef Producers is staging plebiscite on whether a check-off should continue to be refundable or become non-refundable.
Producers can vote until Nov. 13 at one of the 27 Alberta Beef Producers fall meetings, by mail, or in person at the 46 AFSC offices in Alberta.
Zone 2 meetings are Monday, Oct. 29 at the Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange (SALE) in Fort Macleod, Oct. 30 at the tractor museum in Picture Butte and Nov. 5 at Twin Butte Community Hall.
Meetings get under way at 7 p.m. and are preceded by a free supper at 6 p.m.
Information packages about the plebiscite have been mailed to producers.
Alberta Beef Producers has issued more than $20-million in refunds since 2010 and many producers believe that this money would generate greater benefits if invested in industry initiatives.
A non-refundable check-off would help to create the Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund.
The fund would support the beef industry through investments of producer check-off dollars in research and technology transfer, market development, education, consumer advocacy, and industry collaboration.
The return to a non-refundable service charge would provide about $1.4-million annually for the fund.
Under the proposed funding structure, Alberta Beef Producers would retain $1.35 per head of the $2 check-off, about the same amount it retains now after refunds are issued.
The Alberta Beef Producers allocation includes 53 cents per head to support the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association and a rebate paid to check-off remitters, currently five cents per head.
Forty cents per head, close to $1.4-million per year, would be contributed to the Alberta Beef Industry Development Fund.
Twenty-five cents per head, around $850,000 per year, will be allocated to the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association to cover operational costs and their commitment to the National Cattle Feeders’ Association.
Producers who do not want 25 cents per head to go to Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association may apply to have this money allocated to the fund.

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