Today, with so many Beef Checkoff initiatives hyper-targeted to the urban consumer, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) is ensuring Checkoff dollars are being well spent by delivering messages as efficiently as possible. However, this means many rural producers may not see the promotional campaigns as often as they may remember in the past, and some may wonder what their Checkoff dollars are funding. That’s one of the reasons why the Beef Checkoff’s Producer Communications program exists. Under the guidance and supervision of the CBB this program shares investment results, highlights program successes and builds an understanding of Checkoff roles, responsibilities and processes. Ultimately, the Producer Communications program relays how Checkoff funds are allocated to drive demand for beef.
Each fiscal year, the CBB reserves a small percentage of Beef Checkoff dollars for Producer Communications. The CBB uses these funds to communicate with beef producers and importers, telling them how their dollars are being used in the Beef Checkoff’s five distinct program areas: promotion, research, consumer information, industry information and foreign marketing. Cattlemen’s Beef Board Members, along with volunteers from the Federation of State Beef Council’s on the Investor Relations Working Group oversee Producer Communications funding and projects. Twice a year, producer leaders in this working group meet to discuss and review how the program’s efforts directly tie into the strategic initiatives based on the industry’s Long Range Plan.
According to the Beef Promotion and Research Act and the Beef Promotion and Research Order, it’s the CBB’s job to let producers know how their Checkoff investments are being put to work, promoting beef worldwide. To accomplish this task, the CBB shares articles highlighting Checkoff initiatives, results and insights, delivering valuable and timely information in a variety of formats.
To reach as many producers as possible, the CBB hosts The Drive publishing platform at DrivingDemandForBeef.com. Through this platform, the CBB shares recent efforts and outcomes of projects funded with Beef Checkoff dollars. Producers can subscribe to complimentary quarterly print and monthly e-newsletter editions of The Drive, bringing important information directly to their mailboxes or inboxes. Both editions feature regular updates from Qualified State Beef Councils, providing producers with a beneficial mix of state and national Checkoff news.
The CBB also shares timely updates and educational information about the Beef Checkoff on Facebook and Twitter. Producers following the Checkoff on social media are encouraged to voice their opinions and thoughts on all posts and tweets. Through lively conversation, debate and discussion, producers can quickly and easily offer valuable input about the Checkoff and the beef industry.
Another way the CBB is reaching producers is through the Your Dollar Does campaign, which highlights the progress and wins from each of the Checkoff’s program areas.
Sharing the successes of Checkoff-funded programs and activities is at the heart of the Producer Communications program. Through multiple initiatives and a variety of formats, the CBB will continue to transparently communicate all efforts funded under the Beef Checkoff and show how the Checkoff is using producer dollars to successfully drive demand for beef.
“It’s important for producers and importers across the U.S. to know where their Checkoff dollars are being spent and to understand how their contributions positively affect all producers by driving demand for beef. Actively learning about the Beef Checkoff and getting involved in the Cattlemen’s Beef Board is the first step to realizing the benefits it offers to producers.”
Jared Brackett, Chair
“The technology on hand today is so intricate and advanced. It’s fascinating to see how Beef Checkoff contractors are using it to reach consumers successfully. As a producer, I’m proud my Checkoff dollars are being used to connect with consumers in innovative ways, and I always look forward to learning about those efforts through the Producer Communications program.”
Hugh Sanburg, Vice Chair
“The Cattlemen’s Beef Board has many moving parts. It’s understandable that producers may be confused about Checkoff programs and how funds are distributed. I encourage every producer to learn about Checkoff efforts before being dismissive of its value. Through the Producer Communications program, information is simple to find on DrivingDemandForBeef.com, Checkoff social media channels and The Drive newsletter.”
Norman Voyles, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer
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.