November 24, 2004 | By: Ellen Brightwell

A referendum to increase a possible Kentucky bovine animal check-off program will take place Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time at all county Cooperative Extension Service offices.

Under current law, Kentucky has no state check-off. However, termination of the Federal Beef Research and Promotion Act's check-off of $1 per head would initiate an immediate state check-off of 25 cents per head. The Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association's application to increase the state check-off to $1 per head was approved by the State Board of Agriculture in October.

The proposed increase for a state check-off is the same amount as the current national check-off.

Kentucky currently keeps 50 cents of the national check-off dollar, which is collected by the KCA and paid over to the Kentucky Beef Council. The KBC uses this money to develop programs to promote and stimulate domestic and foreign use and sale of bovine animal products through research, market development and education.

Eligible referendum voters are producers and marketers of beef or dairy cattle (bovine animals) who live in Kentucky or own a farm in Kentucky and are at least 18 years old. Kentucky residents will vote in the county of residence; non-Kentucky residents should vote in the county of their farm's location. Identification will be necessary to vote.

A producer can cast only one vote per person, regardless of the number of counties in which he or she produces or markets bovine animals.

Producers also can vote by absentee ballot by sending a written request with notarized signature at least 10 days in advance of the referendum date to Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Richie Farmer. The request should be sent to Mark Farrow, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Room 188, Capital Annex, 702 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. It should contain the following statement: "I am engaged in the production of bovine animals on a commercial basis and I am eighteen (18) years of age or older."

A request form is available from any county Cooperative Extension Service office.

Commissioner Farmer will supervise the referendum. The KDA will administer it and certify voting producers.

For more information on voting and the referendum, contact the county Cooperative Extension Service office, or Dave Maples, KCA, 859-278-0899, email: or Farrow, KDA, 502-564-5126, email:


Writer: Ellen Brightwell 859-257-4736 ext. 257