Wanted: Checkoff Contractors
Every year, eligible Beef Checkoff contractors submit program funding requests, called authorization requests or ARs, to the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC). But long before things get to that stage, they put on their thinking caps, brainstorm ways to drive demand for beef, and prepare their fledgling AR for the ride of its life. Oh, and here’s an interesting tidbit: if the contractor is already conducting a current-year AR, the proposal prep work and existing AR work happen at the same time! It’s a whole lot to juggle and shows contractors’ true dedication to producers and the industry!
Step 1: FROM AN IDEA TO AN AR
Based on the current state of the beef industry, contractors create promotion, research, or education proposals (ARs) to drive demand for beef.
Step 2: INPUT & SCORING
Contractors present draft ARs to the six Beef Checkoff producer committees, which, in turn, determine whether the ARs are aligned with strategies in the current Beef Industry Long Range Plan (LRP). The committees also offer feedback and “score” the ARs, giving contractors the chance to do some tweaking before their final submissions.
Step 3: REVIEW & APPROVAL
Comprised of producers with national and state perspectives—10 from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 10 from the Federation of State Beef Councils—the influential BPOC reviews each finalized AR to determine how it will impact demand. Then, it decides which ARs to approve, how much funding to grant, and submits a final budget to USDA.
Step 4: WORK & RESULTS
Ensuring each AR program is effective happens through evaluation reporting throughout the year. Results and feedback are communicated to producer committees to guarantee dollars are being spent efficiently and lawfully.
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.