Beef Board Assists State Beef Councils in Compliance Reviews
Contact: Melissa Sandfort, 402-856-2097; firstname.lastname@example.org
Producers can trust that their checkoff is working hard to collect each dollar and that those dollars are being managed well.
As a producer who invests in the beef checkoff, it is important that you trust in the management and oversight of the program, that you know your checkoff program is collecting each and every dollar, and that those dollars are being used in accordance with the Act and the Order. Since you pay in to the Beef Checkoff Program, you’re entitled to ask about program oversight, the idea that “everybody pays”, that it is fair, and that it is managed well.
That’s a long laundry list of action items. To address those questions, the Beef Board has been conducting compliance reviews for Qualified State Beef Councils (QSBCs) for many years. The purpose of any review is to fulfill the Beef Board’s oversight responsibilities for the collection and expenditure of the checkoff at the state beef council level. Beef Board staff conducts at least 10 QSBC visits per year and states are on a four to five year rotation. And, on an annual basis, the Beef Board reviews each state’s audited financial statements, their marketing plans and their budget.
“We look at several areas, but our primary focus is the collection and expenditure of checkoff dollars,” says Katherine Ayers, Cattlemen’s Beef Board Chief Financial Officer. “We look at their internal controls, policies and procedures, expenses and their cost allocation procedures. It’s a second set of eyes to look at the management of the checkoff dollars. Each beef council is required to have an external audit each year, but when we do these reviews, we bring checkoff expertise for a more in-depth review of their activity to make sure they’re complying with the Act and the Order.”
At the conclusion of the review, a report is issued by the Beef Board to the state beef council and their board outlining any issues identified during the review and the Beef Board’s recommendations for correcting those issues.
The Beef Board also provides samples of policy and procedure manuals to states to use as a guide when developing or updating policies and procedures.
“Our goal is not to come up with recommendations that don’t work for that state beef council, rather our goal is to work with them as a partner to develop the best procedures possible to ensure that all of the dollars are correctly managed in that state,” says Ayers. “And it’s unique to each beef council.”
For your state beef council contact information, click here. And for more information about how your checkoff investment is managed or programs funded by your beef checkoff, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.
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The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.