By ROXANA HEGEMAN
BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — It’s one of the nation’s most iconic marketing slogans, but today the checkoff program that created the “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” campaign is under attack by cattle producers who fund it. The beef checkoff program forces ranchers to pay $1 per head of cattle sold — purportedly to get consumers to eat more beef. But its opponents are urging cattle producers to sign a petition calling for a referendum vote on termination of the program. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last month granted an extension until Oct. 3 for them to collect the required signatures due to the coronavirus pandemic.