Driving the Demand for Beef
Cattle prices have plummeted in recent weeks due to supply chain disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the current challenges, Cattlemen’s Beef Board Chair Jared Brackett says the checkoff program continues to drive demand for beef. The mandatory Beef Checkoff is $1 per head collected each time cattle are sold. Brackett, who is a cow/calf producer and cattle feeder in southern Idaho, says it is bothersome when prices are not profitable. “It does bother me when I get $1.09 for a pen of cattle I trade three weeks ago that graded 42 percent prime and 58 percent choice,” says Brackett. “That’s $20 under what I got last year at this time. I tell my fellow producers keep doing what you do best; that’s producing safe, nutritious beef.” The full RRFN interview with Brackett is available 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.