KLA forcefully responded this week to allegations of wrongdoing by the animal activist-aligned Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA). The groups made wrongful accusations about the connection between KLA and the Kansas Beef Council (KBC).
During media interviews to correct the misinformation, KLA Chief Executive Officer Matt Teagarden and KLA Vice President of Legal Affairs Aaron Popelka framed the OCM and KCA allegations as false narrative that is another attempt by the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) to create discord among cattle producers and accomplish the ultimate goal of ending animal agriculture. OCM has documented ties to HSUS.
“It’s disappointing that an organization claiming to represent producers (KCA) has aligned itself with OCM, which has clear ties to a group (HSUS) that wants to put ranchers and feeders out of business,” said Teagarden.
Teagarden and Popelka told reporters KBC, which was created within the framework of KLA in 1973, is recognized by USDA and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board as a qualified collecting agent for the beef checkoff. The federal Beef Promotion Act & Order explicitly authorizes the kind of organizational structure used in Kansas. Checkoff funds collected by KBC for beef promotion and research purposes are kept distinctly separate and are not used for any lobbying activities, they explained.
Staff emphasized KBC undergoes an independent audit each year and periodic audits by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and USDA to ensure compliance with the Beef Promotion Act & Order. All of these audits have found KBC to be in complete compliance.