Texas ranchers OK beef checkoff to tout industry

Cattle gaze out from a pen in a feedlot near Lubbock, Texas, on Dec. 16, 2013. Some Texas cattle producers are beginning a lengthy climb after a brutal and dispiriting stretch of years of drought. Hundreds of thousands of head in the nation's leading cattle producing state were liquidated since 2011, the state’s most intense one-year drought on record. (AP Photo/Betsy Blaney)
Cattle gaze out from a pen in a feedlot near Lubbock, Texas, on Dec. 16, 2013. Some Texas cattle producers are beginning a lengthy climb after a brutal and dispiriting stretch of years of drought. Hundreds of thousands of head in the nation's leading cattle producing state were liquidated since 2011, the state’s most intense one-year drought on record. (AP Photo/Betsy Blaney)

AUSTIN (AP) — Texas ranchers have voted to establish a state-level program to promote and market beef in the nation’s leading cattle-producing state.

The Texas Department of Agriculture on Wednesday announced approval of the program. The no more than $1 per head assessment, each time a beef animal is sold, begins Oct. 1. The state measure will supplement a similar U.S. checkoff.

The Texas Beef Checkoff program will be managed by the Beef Promotion and Research Council of Texas. Council members will be selected by Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples.

The department conducted the referendum at the request of cattle industry groups and under the authority of the Legislature.

Voting took place the first week of June. Two-thirds of those casting ballots, people who owned cattle in the previous yearlong period, approved the measure.

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