Ranchers’ Flap Over Beef Ad Tax Hits Ninth Circuit
by Karina Brown, Courthouse News
Posted: 2018-03-07 15:31:44 EST

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) – Lawyers for the federal government and a Montana beef growers association argued Monday over the constitutionality of requiring ranchers to pay for the advertising campaign behind the slogan “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner.”

The Ranchers-Cattleman Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America, a political advocacy and trade organization representing independent cattle producers in the United States, sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture and its secretary in Montana federal court in May 2016.

According to the group, the government forced cattlemen in Montana to fund the federal “Beef Checkoff” program. The national media campaign promotes the beef industry, but the Montana association says it fails to highlight crucial distinctions in the beef market that would entice customers to buy Montana beef, or domestic beef at all, over meat from the 41 other countries that compete in the U.S. market.

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