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BEEF COMMISSION
[Authorized:  NDCC Chapter 4 and 4.1]

The Beef Promotion Act was first introduced in the 1971 Legislature to establish a Beef Commission that would promote the sale of North Dakota beef, (S. L. 1971, Ch. 609) however, the bill did not pass until the 1973 session (S. L. 1973, Ch. 61). Powers and duties of the Commission have been expanded by the Legislature in successive legislative sessions.  

The purpose of the Commission is to promote the state’s beef industry, to provide programs that increase the consumption of beef, to encourage research and educational activities of the National Livestock and Meat Board and the state Beef Industry Council, and to find ways to resolve problems of production primarily of animal health and human nutrition (S. L. 1973, Ch. 61). 

Since 1973 the Commission has been given funding from the National Beef Board and assessments levied on per head of cattle sales. In 1981 fifty per cent of funds was to be spent on research, educational, and informational events, and to increase the promotion of beef production in North Dakota (S. L. 1981, Ch. 99). This percentage requirement was discontinued in 2001 (S. L. 2001, Ch. 73).   Also in 1981, the Legislature required several agricultural commodity groups including the Beef Commission, Dairy Products Promotion Commission, Sunflower Council, and the Wheat Commission to share office space and administrative responsibilities (S. L. 1981, Ch. 96). This was repealed in 2005 (S. L. 2005, Ch. 68).

Nine members are appointed by the Governor to the Beef Commission: three beef producers, one cattle feeder, one dairy producer, one public livestock market representative, and three representatives of the public at large. Members serve no more than two terms and if a member misses three consecutive meetings, a vacancy is declared and an election is held. Each voting member must be a U.S. citizen, a resident of the state, and must be actively engaged and managing a venture with a substantial amount of income coming from the cattle industry within a five-year period (S. L. 2003, Ch. 61). Four non-voting ex-officio members serve one-year terms (S. L. 2009, Ch. 80). The chair and other officers are selected by the Commission. The Commission must hold three regular meetings each year plus special meetings may be requested by the chairman or three voting members.

The North Dakota Beef Commission is part of the Agricultural Commodity Council. At the request of the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Legislature amended the Century Code so that the Commissioner or designee became a non-voting member of the Council. Other commodity group members are the Barley Council, Beekeepers Association, Corn Utilization Council, Dairy Promotion Commission, Dry Bean Council, Dry Pea and Lentil Council, Oilseed Council, Potato Council, and the Soybean Council (S. L. 2009, Ch. 70, Ch. 80).    

CHRONOLOGY

1971       First proposal of the Beef Promotion Act submitted but denied. (S. L. 1971, Ch. 609).

1973       Legislature creates the Beef Commission and establishes a five member board   
including the Commissioner of Agriculture as a member (S. L. 1973, Ch. 61). Funding is              accepted from the National Beef Board (S. L. 1973, Ch. 59).

1977       Amendment to Century Code authorizes the Commission to receive funding from the National Beef Board and expands the uses and purposes of assessments (S. L. 1977, Ch. 59).

1979       Legislature approves of subsidizing, initiating, and encouraging research intended to solve beef production problems (S. L. 1979, Ch.108).

1981       State law required several agricultural commodity groups including the Beef  
Commission, Dairy Products Promotion Commission, Sunflower Council, and the Wheat           Commission to share offices and administrative responsibilities (S. L. 1981, Ch. 96). Repealed in 2005 (S. L. 2005, Ch. 68).

1981       Fifty per cent of assessment levied is allocated for research and educational activities   (S. L. 1981, Ch. 99). This percentage was eliminated in 2001 (S. L. 2001, Ch.73).

1985       The Commission is authorized to spend proceeds of a 50 cent per head assessment on all cattle sold by North Dakota residents.

2003       Legislature expands the duties of the Commission, defines assessments, clarifies board qualifications and board meetings, and administrative requirements (S. L. 2003, Ch. 61).

2009       Legislature makes changes in the membership nomination and qualification process.  
Beef Commission joins the Agricultural Commodity Council. Chapter amended in North Dakota Century Code (S. L. 2009, Ch.70, Ch. 80).

SERIES

32279 North Dakota Beef Commission Records, 1955-1974

SOURCES

North Dakota Century Code, Chapter 4 and 4.1.
North Dakota Secretary of State Blue Book.
North Dakota State Legislature Session Laws.

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