Who pays the beef checkoff, and who doesn’t?
By law, all beef producers – including dairy and veal producers – selling cattle or calves for any reason must pay $1 per head to support beef/veal promotion, research and information programs approved for beef checkoff funding.
- Assessments of $1 per head are collected on ALL cattle sales, including over-the-fence trades between neighbors or friends and any packers who own cattle for more than 10 days before slaughter. Failure to pay may result in legal and financial penalties: USDA can assess civil penalties of up to $5,500 per sale, plus unremitted checkoff assessments, interest and late fees
- The buyer is generally responsible for collecting $1 per head from the seller, but both are responsible for seeing that the dollar is collected and paid.
- The checkoff also is collected at the same rate on every live beef animal imported and at the equivalent rate of $1 per head on all beef products that are imported [import assessments were about $6.8 million in 2009.].
- Buyers who resell cattle no more than 10 days from the date of purchase may file a non-producer status form and avoid paying an additional dollar. They are, however, responsible for remitting collected funds and reporting any transaction to the Qualified State Beef Council, or the Cattlemen’s Beef Board in states without a beef council.
- Separate legislation exempts producers of 100 percent USDA certified organic beef from paying the beef checkoff, subject to submission of all required proof and maintenance of such certification.