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ND cattle groups set to clash over beef checkoff

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- The Independent Beef Association of North Dakota says it will oppose efforts to double the $1-per-head checkoff that state ranchers pay when they sell cattle.

The North Dakota Stockmen's Association plans to ask the Legislature next year to double the checkoff to provide more money for beef research, education and promotion. Ranchers would have the option of asking for a refund of the additional dollar.

IBAND President Kenny Graner says any checkoff increase should be decided by ranchers nationwide and not by state lawmakers. And he says having to ask for a refund would be a headache for ranchers.

IBAND formed about eight years ago after becoming unhappy with the Stockmen's Association. IBAND has about 270 members, while the Stockmen's has about 3,000.