Pass It On! Checkoff Increases Consumer Awareness of Beef Quality
The Beef Industry Long Range Plan (LRP) is developed every three to five years and lays out aggressive goals to strengthen the beef industry. As part of this initiative, the Beef Checkoff interviewed cattlemen and women across the country to hear the checkoff is helping them for long-term success on their operations.
Driggers Cattle Company, South Carolina
The Driggers Cattle Company was started in the 1970s and now spans four counties in North and South Carolina. They have continued to pass along the operation, and as natural beef producers, Jamie Drigger says the Beef Checkoff helps create marketing opportunities and increase consumer knowledge of beef quality, resulting in the ability to grow their operation.
“We want to create a product for the consumer that they desire,” says Drigger. “[The Beef Checkoff] has raised consumer awareness in quality, which is important to us because we try to focus heavily on our genetics. The checkoff has allowed us to do that by promoting a product that is good-quality, safe, it’s nutritious, and they are going to want to be return customers.”
How does the Beef Checkoff Help?
The Beef Checkoff plays an important role growing and maintaining beef demand, thus opening new opportunities for cattle producers to sustain their businesses for generations to come. That includes keeping close tabs on what consumers want in terms of end products, as well as sharing information regarding safe and sustainable beef production carried out by cattle producers — ensuring that’s what they find at the meat case when they go to purchase food for their families.
It’s no small task, but checkoff investments are part of the reason that beef demand has remained strong throughout the extremely tight supplies of recent years. In fact, a study by Dr. Harry Kaiser at Cornell University demonstrates that every checkoff dollar invested has a return on investment of $11.20. That means that every dollar invested by cattle producers returns $11.20 more to an operation than would have received without the checkoff in place.
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 may 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.