From July 29th to 31st, cattlemen and women from across the country gathered at the Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting to discuss current issues and develop programs and initiatives important to the beef industry. Contractors to the Beef Checkoff presented their 2020 authorization requests to their respective program committees, receiving valuable feedback that will help them further improve the Beef Checkoff’s positive impact. The Beef Promotion Operating Committee will review these authorization requests, and in September, the committee will make funding recommendations on Beef Checkoff investments and priorities for the 2020 fiscal year. The annual checkoff budget will then be approved by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Throughout the event, cattle producers attended various interactive sessions and meetings centered around Beef Checkoff efforts and other industry-related topics. A major highlight was an industry update from Randy Blach, CattleFax CEO. Producers heard him explore various factors, from herd expansion and export markets to swine fever ramifications and corn crop expectations, that will have a future impact on the U.S. cattle market.
Because the Summer Meeting’s primary focus centers on the Beef Checkoff’s future projects, beef producers and CBB members broke out into the five different committee sessions to hear from checkoff contractors about the efforts they are making to help drive beef demand. The program committees are Safety, Nutrition and Health, Innovation, Consumer Trust and Export Growth.
“By working as a team using this committee structure, we do our best to assure that we get the biggest bang for the buck for every producer dollar we receive,” says CBB member Jimmy Taylor from Cheyenne, Okla.
Some cattle producers voiced a concern over misinformation being shared from different industry groups that oppose the Beef Checkoff.
“The checkoff program is no stranger to criticism, and every question I had was answered openly,” says first-year CBB member, Bree DeNaeyer from Seneca, Neb. “I came away from the Summer Meeting feeling better armed to not just defend, but promote the Beef Checkoff.”
Being a CBB member provides producers with a unique opportunity to positively influence and help improve the Beef Checkoff. The checkoff is a complex program that requires producer input in order to remain successful.
“Before, I had no idea the Beef Checkoff did so many things to efficiently influence demand for beef,” Taylor adds. “As a producer, this makes me feel really good about how my checkoff dollars are being used, and I now realize how important the checkoff is to the success of the beef industry. As a result, I have become a much better advocate for the industry.”
Any and all beef producers can be nominated to be a member of CBB. If you are interested in serving on the board, begin the process today by speaking with your state beef council or certified nominating organizations. Members are appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture based on nominations submitted by these certified nominating organizations. Learn more here.
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.