State Beef Councils and Their Vital Role to the Beef Checkoff
State Beef Councils play an essential role in the coordinated efforts in their state, alongside the national Beef Checkoff program. Currently, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) provides collections and operational support to the 43 Qualified State Beef Councils (QSBCs). Collectively, the QSBCs include more than 700 state board members who represent a wide range of industry organizations and every segment of the beef industry.
State Beef Councils first began in 1954, and more than 30 existed before the national Beef Checkoff program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. Prior to the Beef Checkoff, producer dollars for national promotional efforts flowed primarily from the state level. Today, states continue to be
a key pillar of the program. It’s where the $1-per- head Checkoff assessment is collected, and the decision-making process begins for the grassroots, producer-driven program that drives demand for beef through promotion, research and education.
While the CBB oversees the collection of $1-per- head on all cattle sold in the U.S., QSBCs collect the money in their states and may retain up to 50 cents per dollar for approved programs conducted locally or in support of nationally-funded programs.
State Beef Council representatives also sit on Checkoff Program Committees alongside CBB board members to help determine which programs receive national Beef Checkoff funds. Members of Beef Checkoff Program Committees are split evenly, with 20 members from the CBB and 20 members representing the Federation of State Beef Councils. This split reflects both national and state priorities and helps the Beef Checkoff spend dollars more effectively and efficiently.
Working collaboratively on a state and national level, the Beef Checkoff is built by producers for producers and is strengthened by those involved who lend their voices, thoughts and ideas.
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.