Beef producers serving state beef council boards throughout the country have chosen to supplement national and international research, education and promotion programs funded by the Beef Checkoff Program by about $6.6 million in fiscal year 2013, which began Oct. 1. The supplemental funds, invested through the Federation of State Beef Councils, are to be added to $40.3 million invested through the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and approved by the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, which met in Denver Sept. 19 – 20. The Committee’s decisions were submitted to the full CBB and the USDA for approval.
State beef councils in 45 states are qualified to collect the full $1-per-head beef checkoff, and retain 50 cents of each dollar for use in authorized state, national and international programs. The other 50 cents is remitted to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Collections from beef importers, who must also pay the checkoff, and from cattle producers in states with no Qualified State Beef Council, are conducted by the CBB.
Some of the funds from states with high cattle numbers and low populations are invested through the Federation to extend national and international Beef Checkoff Program efforts in a coordinated way. Decisions about specific programs to fund are made by individual state beef councils.
“A coordinated state and national Beef Checkoff Program makes the most of the $1-per-head checkoff beef producers must pay,” said Craig Uden, a Nebraska beef producer and chairman of the Federation of State Beef Councils. “It also helps assure a grassroots decision-making process that allows producers at the state level to have additional say in how and where their beef checkoff dollars are invested.”
National programs are being supplemented through the Federation by $4.9 million, while international programs are receiving $1.7 in state checkoff funds. Demand-building efforts funded through the checkoff include promotion programs, such as consumer advertising, retail and foodservice marketing and new product and culinary initiatives; research programs focusing on sustainability, beef safety, product enhancement, human nutrition and market research; consumer information, including national consumer public relations and nutrition influencer relations; and industry information, comprising beef and dairy quality assurance programs and dissemination of accurate information about the industry to consumers. Foreign marketing includes promotion and education in numerous countries around the world.
The Federation of State Beef Councils is a division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. The program is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, with oversight provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.