The renewed attempt to end the national beef checkoff has hit one snag after an 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed cattleman Michael Jacobson’s petition asking the court to force USDA to hold a referendum on the checkoff.

The court said it does not have jurisdiction over the national checkoff program. It further pointed out that unless specific statutory provisions grant jurisdiction to the appeals courts, district courts have exclusive jurisdiction to review USDA decisions.

Jacobson previously challenged USDA's decision not to hold a checkoff referendum, and he has filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the appellate court decision. There’s no indication yet as to whether the high court will hear the case.

Meanwhile, the Livestock Marketing Association, which filed a suit in a U.S. District Court in Aberdeen, S.D., last December, is proceeding with its case to determine the beef checkoff’s constitutionality. LMA officials hope that a ruling will come some time this fall.

USDA decided last January not to hold a referendum on the national beef checkoff. The agency contends that referendum opponents did not collect enough valid signatures to initiate a vote.

You can find more information about the recent decision at