Investigation Adds to Questions About Federal Beef Promotion Program
On a brisk and busy January morning at the Oklahoma National Stockyards, cattle arrive for auction in trailers pulled by pickup trucks — and leave in double-decker cars towed by semis. The Oklahoma City auction is one of the largest markets for young calves that aren’t quite old enough or fat enough to be slaughtered. The day’s haul was a good one: More than 10,000 head of cattle were sold off. These large auctions and ones in much smaller sale barns across the country collectively take in about $80 million every year from a $1-per-head “check-off” fee paid every time ranchers and producers sell an animal.