Question: About The Beef Checkoff Program

Return to FAQ Home

About ‘The Beef Checkoff Program’

Understanding Your Beef Checkoff Program1) What is the beef checkoff?
The Beef Checkoff Program is a producer-funded marketing and research program designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for beef. This can be done through promotion, research and new product development, and a variety of other marketing tools. The Cattlemen's Beef Board and USDA oversee the collection and spending of checkoff funds.
2) How can beef checkoff dollars be used?
As mandated by law, checkoff dollars must be invested in programs to increase consumer demand for beef and create opportunities to enhance producer profitability. The Beef Act defines six program categories: promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications. It’s important to note here that the law does not allow beef checkoff dollars to be invested in production research that it not aimed at improving the end beef product.
3) Who benefits from the beef checkoff?
The fundamental goal of every checkoff program is to increase commodity demand, thereby increasing the potential long-term economic growth of all sectors of the industry. The overwhelming majority of beef and dairy producers say their beef checkoff has value for them in many ways:[1]
  • 78 percent of producers currently approve of the Beef Checkoff Program -- the highest level in 21 years.
  • 80 percent of producers continue to believe that the checkoff has contributed to a positive trend in consumer demand for beef.
  • 71 percent believe that the checkoff has, over the year, contributed to the profitability of their cattle operation.
  • 79 percent of producers believe the Beef Checkoff Program does a good job of representing their interests.
  • 65 percent believe the Beef Checkoff Program is being managed well.

4) What would the Beef Board do with the money if the amount were to be increased?

Should producers agree to an increase after more than two decades – and producers would have to vote on this change – producers who represent us on the Beef Board or state beef councils would carefully analyze where it could have the biggest impact and produce the most benefit to the industry. They may consider putting the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” message back on television, increasing our foreign market development efforts and stepping up our consumer education efforts, among others.

[1] Beef Producer Attitude Survey, Aspen Media & Market Research, January 2014, a random survey of 1,200 beef producers nationwide with a ±2.8% margin of error.