Operating Committee Approves FY19 Plan of Work
The Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board will invest about $40.5 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications during fiscal year 2019, subject to USDA approval.
In action at the end of its September 11-12 meeting in Denver, the Operating Committee approved checkoff funding for a total of 14 “Authorization Requests” – or proposals – brought by seven contractors for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2018. The committee, which includes 10 producers from the Beef Board and 10 producers from the Federation of State Beef Councils, also recommended full Beef Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect the split of funding between budget categories affected by their decisions.
The seven contractors had brought a total of $45 million worth of funding requests to the Operating Committee this week, almost $5 million more than what was available from the CBB budget.
“The members of the Operating Committee listened with open minds as contractors presented their requests for funding. The committee engaged in respectful debate as they went through the funding for each request, mindful of program committee comments from summer convention,” said Beef Board Chairman Joan Ruskamp, a feedlot owner from Nebraska. “Trimming nearly $4.8 million to meet the budget of $40,521,900 was not an easy task, yet the committee remained focused on program funding that would best strengthen demand for beef.”
In the end, the Operating Committee approved proposals from seven national beef organizations for funding through the FY19 Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board budget, as follows:
- National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (five proposals for $27.4 million)
- U.S. Meat Export Federation, a subcontractor to NCBA (one proposal for $8.3 million)
- North American Meat Institute (four proposals for $1.9 million)
- Cattlemen’s Beef Board (one proposal for $1.7 million)
- American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (one proposal for $700,000)
- Meat Import Council of America (one proposal for $417,000)
- National Livestock Producers Association (one proposal for $60,000)
Broken out by budget component, the Fiscal Year 2019 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board budget includes:
- $10.5 million for promotion programs, including continuation of the Checkoff’s consumer digital advertising program, as well as veal promotion
- $9.2 million for research programs, focusing on a variety of critical issues, including pre- and post-harvest beef safety research, product quality research, human nutrition research and scientific affairs, market research, and beef and culinary innovations
- $7.6 million for consumer information programs, including a Northeast public relations initiative; national consumer public relations, including nutrition-influencer relations and work with primary- and secondary-school curriculum directors nationwide to get accurate information about the beef industry into classrooms of today’s youth
- $3 million for industry information programs, comprising dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, as well as funding for checkoff participation in the fifth annual national industrywide symposium focused on discussion and dissemination of information about antibiotic use
- $8.3 million for foreign marketing and education in 80 countries in the following regions: ASEAN region, Caribbean, Central America/Dominican Republic, China/Hong Kong, Europe, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Middle East, Russia/Greater Russian Region, South America, Taiwan and new markets
- $1.7 million for producer communications, which includes investor outreach using national communications and direct communications to producers and importers about checkoff results; as well as development and utilization of a publishing strategy and platform, and a state beef council content hub
The full fiscal 2019 budget is $43.9 million. Separate from the authorization requests, other expenses funded include $227,000 for evaluation; $300,000 for program development; $800,000 for USDA oversight/CBB legal; and about $2 million for administration. The fiscal 2019 budget represents an increase of $3 million from the $40.9 million FY19 budget.
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.