By Alan Guebert / Columnist | Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 10:30 pm

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In a toughly worded statement last week, the executive committee of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the group created by Congress to collect and oversee the $1-per-head beef checkoff, served notice that it strongly backed the independence of the Federation of State Beef Councils in the debate over the checkoff’s future.

“The Federation,” noted the CBB “should be separate from any policy organization… The checkoff is owned by, and responsible to, all producers and importers, and no specific organization.”

The declaration of independence was aimed directly at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. For almost two years NCBA has been designing and debating a massive “governance” plan to pull state beef councils under its meatpacker-dominated umbrella.

Several state councils, who, by law, control 50 percent of all checkoff funds (the Cattlemen’s Beef Board controls the other half), view the plan as little more than a NCBA grab for a chunk of the $80 million or so per year checkoff. More