Checkoff Sets FY14 Plan of Work
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Committee cuts $1.15 million from proposals to meet budget needs
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board will invest about $38.5 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in Fiscal Year 2014, if today’s recommendation of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee is approved by USDA, following review by the full Beef Board.
In action concluding its two-day meeting in Denver this week, the Operating Committee — including 10 members of the Beef Board and 10 members of the Federation of State Beef Councils — approved checkoff funding for a total of 18 “Authorization Requests,” or proposals for checkoff funding in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2013. The committee also recommended full Beef Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect the split of funding between budget categories affected by their decisions.
"I am just so pleased to let all beef producers and importers that our new committee structure and process helped us devise a coordinated plan of work for 2014 that points their checkoff investments directly at the goals of the Beef Industry Long Range Plan,” said Beef Board and Operating Committee Chairman Weldon Wynn, a cattleman from Arkansas. “Our budget continues to tighten every year, but we have tightened our processes along with our belts to leverage every checkoff dollar to the greatest extent possible.”
The committee had to cut about $1 million total from proposals to meet budget requirements and, in the end, cut a total of $1.15 million.
Just one proposal submitted was cut completely, and that was a $100,000 request from the National Livestock Producers Association to help tell the beef story to consumers through participation on the established “America’s Heatland” program on public television.
The remainder of the cuts was achieved through reductions in budgets for the following programs:
- A proposal from the North American Meat Association for veal promotion (reduced from $756,250 to $631,250)
- Funding for the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative brought by the Meat Import Council of America and the Pennsylvania Beef Council (reduced from $246,325 to $199,629)
- A “Moms, Millennials and More” communications program brought by the American National CattleWomen (reduced from $797,600 to $668,900)
- The foreign marketing program managed by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (reduced from $7.9 million to $7.6 million)
- A producer communications Authorization Request from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (reduced from $1.75 million to $1.5 million)
- NCBA’s proposal for a consumer information Authorization Request (reduced from $6.9 million to $6.7 million)
“I assure you, this was not an easy task, but I am so proud of how well members of this committee dug in and made the tough decisions. We had two days of great discussion about how to do what’s best for all producers and importers who pay their hard-earned dollars into this checkoff program.”
Seven national beef organizations had project proposals approved by the Operating Committee, to be reimbursed through the FY14 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget, as follows:
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association ($27.2 million)
- U.S. Meat Export Federation ($7.6 million)
- Cattlemen’s Beef Board ($1.5 million)
- North American Meat Association ($1.15 million)
- American National CattleWomen ($668,900)
- Meat Importers Council of America ($367,004)
- National Livestock Producers Association ($30,000)
Broken out by budget component, the Fiscal Year 2014 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget includes:
- $8.1 million for promotion programs, including a new consumer digital advertising program, veal promotion, a Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative to build demand in densely populated Northeast states.
- $8.9 million for research programs, focusing on a variety of critical issues, including beef safety research, product enhancement research, human nutrition research, and market research.
- $10.8 million for consumer information programs, including a Northeast public relations initiative, national consumer public relations, including a “Moms, Millennials and More” consumer information program, the National Beef Ambassador Program, and nutrition-influencer relations.
- $1.6 million for industry information programs, comprising beef and dairy-beef quality assurance programs and dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, as well as veal quality assurance and funding for continued checkoff participation in an industry-wide antimicrobial discussion.
- $7.6 million for foreign marketing and education in some 80 countries in the following: ASEAN region; Caribbean; Central America/Dominican Republic; China/Hong Kong; Europe; Japan; Korea; Mexico; Middle East; Russia/Greater Russian Region; South America; and Taiwan.
- $1.5 million for producer communications, which includes producer outreach using paid media, earned media, direct communications, and communications through livestock markets and state beef councils.
Other expenses funded through the $41.3 million 2014 CBB budget include $224,000 for evaluation, $230,000 for program development, $375,000 for USDA oversight; and about $1.9 million for administration, which includes costs for Board meetings, legal fees, travel costs, office rental, supplies, equipment, and administrative staff compensation. Fiscal Year 2014 begins Oct. 1, 2013.
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.