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Frequently Asked Questions

Consumers continue to look for the “antibiotic-free” label when shopping for groceries. 1In fact, according to the most recent International Food Information Council (IFIC) Food & Health Survey, 25 percent of U.S. consumers say they regularly purchase products labeled “raised without antibiotics.” Yet, the same survey shows a significant number of consumers are concerned with animal welfare and environmental sustainability when buying foods. Also indicated in the survey was that protein is the number one nutrient consumers seek. 2

Cultivating Change

Acknowledging these somewhat conflicting facts, how does the beef industry explain to consumers how responsible antibiotic use positively affects sustainable, safe beef production and ensures the highest standards of animal care? That’s where the Beef Checkoff comes in.

The Beef Checkoff funds multiple programs and initiatives that communicate the responsible use of antibiotics in beef production. They also give beef producers the tools and resources needed to face the ever-changing landscape of responsible antibiotic use. One way the Beef Checkoff accomplishes this is by collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC.)

Cross-Industry Collaboration

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), on behalf of the Beef Checkoff, convenes animal agriculture experts and allies in collaborative settings. Here, they explore, discuss, learn and develop knowledge that fosters interdisciplinary cooperation for the improvement and continuous progress of animal agriculture.

“Collaboration across industries is increasingly important as issues arise, but it’s even more important to work together to prevent issues before they arise,” Cattlemen’s Beef Board Vice Chair Andy Bishop said. “Through collaboration, we can work together to achieve the same goals without overlapping or superseding our efforts.”

On the Farm Tours

Group of producers posing for cameraThe Beef Checkoff engages with CDC professionals by hosting farm tours and educational events. Recently, in partnership with the Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association and Kentucky Pork Producers Association, 12 CDC doctors toured Kentucky ranches to see on-farm practices, animal preventative care and treatment protocols to understand the practical use of antimicrobials in animal agriculture. CDC professionals were able to see the University of Kentucky’s beef, swine, poultry and sheep units. They also toured Branch View Angus in Hustonville, Kentucky and learned how grains are processed at Burkmann Nutrition. The doctors walked away from the interactive event with new perspectives.

In their post-event surveys, attendees said they felt far more aware of the ways animal antibiotics may be used and who is involved in ensuring animals are getting the antibiotics they need—and not the antibiotics they don’t need. “I have learned a great deal about animal production that I feel has improved me as a scientist and a meat-consuming customer,” one attendee said.

Following the tour, 90 percent of attendees said they better understood how farmers, ranchers and veterinarians use antibiotics in their operations, and more than 80 percent said farmers, ranchers and veterinarians are responsible stewards of antibiotics. 3

“Visits like this allow us to not only tell our story but also give us the rare opportunity to meet face to face with medical professionals and scientists,” Bishop said. “The tour gave producers a voice and the chance to network with officials who make rules that will impact our operations. The ‘realness’ that this networking opportunity provides shows these officials that we work hard to provide a safe and nutritious product for consumers. For producers, it shows that the individuals making regulations are real people too, just like us.”

For Ryan Moorhouse, Cattlemen’s Beef Board secretary-treasurer, these types of events give the beef industry a steppingstone to connect with the regulation decision makers.

“By creating more transparency between the CDC officials and animal agriculture production, the voices who work for the government could advocate for us and dispel misinformation about what we do,” he said. “My hope is that we could work together to create regulations instead of having them handed down by folks who have no idea about antibiotic use in animal health management.”

Reflections and Takeaways

Farmers, ranchers, veterinarians and others in the animal agriculture industry used the CDC tour as an opportunity to tell their stories. Meanwhile, CDC professionals gained valuable access to ask questions and explain their research objectives.

“The benefit of these dialogues is incalculable,” Morgan Young, NIAA’s director of communications and outreach said. “The tour participants were incredibly gracious hosts and were open to telling their stories and engaging in a dialogue with people outside of animal agriculture. The CDC participants were very open to understanding what policies are in place and how we’re all working toward the same one-health goal.”

CDC attendees expressed their appreciation for the gracious tour hosts and the invaluable experience they enjoyed:

  • “It was so refreshing to get out and talk to people in the industry and better understand how our work impacts one another.”
  • “The visit was one of the most enjoyable work visits of my CDC career. I really appreciate the time taken to broaden (and correct, sometimes) my understanding of food animal production.”
  • “I have a renewed appreciation for everything that goes into food animal production and a different perspective of how we can work together in the future.”
  • “I learned so much from each stop on the itinerary and came away with a new appreciation for our food producers.”
  • “I have been so impressed by how digitalized the food animal production industries are and excited about the powerful trackback systems; how academic knowledge seamlessly transformed into the power of efficient production, improved animal wellness, and better disease prevention and forecasting; how different entities care about the antibiotic resistance issue and try their best to contribute to solve it.”

NIAA sees the future of responsible antibiotic use as shaped by consistent, effective communication of scientific collaboration, and the Beef Checkoff will support this effort throughout the current 2024 fiscal year. To learn more about the Checkoff’s industry information program and NIAA’s 2024 initiatives, visit,

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions


The Beef Promotion and Research Act and Order authorizes Beef Checkoff funds to only be spent in the following program areas: beef promotion, research, consumer and industry information, foreign-market development and producer communications.

Each September, beef industry organizations present proposals – referred to as Authorization Requests, or “ARs” – to the Beef Promotion Operating Committee, comprised of members of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Federation of State Beef Councils, to request funding for year-long marketing, education and research projects in these program areas. Those organizations approved for Checkoff-funded work are referred to as Beef Checkoff contractors.

For FY24, the Beef Checkoff has approximately $42 million. The contractors and their programs and projects are approved within each of the program areas for the fiscal year 2024 (October 2023 to September 2024.)


Strives for an accurate understanding of the beef industry and helps maintain a positive cattle-marketing climate.


Administers the Veal Quality Assurance (VQA) program and fosters public awareness regarding VQA’s positive impact on animal well-being.
2024 Funding: $55,000


Promotes responsible antibiotic use and combats antimicrobial resistance by maintaining consistent scientific collaboration between the animal agriculture and human health sectors.
2024 Funding: $60,000


Conveys the message that beef offers unparalleled taste and nutrition while dispelling myths about beef to consumer audiences.
2024 Funding: $2,704,450


Strengthens beef’s image by proactively sharing nutritional data and positive messages with influential stakeholders, including media, food editors, dietitians, physicians and other key figures who shape consumers’ food knowledge.


Builds beef consumption in highly populated northeastern U.S. cities by working with restaurants and grocery store chains, marketing to specific consumer groups and garnering support from regional nutrition influencers.

2024 Funding: $900,000


Provides science teachers with high-quality immersive experiences and materials to teach science through the lens of beef production.
2024 Funding: $800,000


Increases consumer awareness of the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. brand campaign and positions beef as the number one protein with restaurants, culinary leaders, grocery stores and other markets.

2024 Funding: $5,900,550


Includes advertising, merchandising and new product development as well as training and promotional partnerships with restaurants and supermarkets that stimulate sales of beef and veal products.


Empowers consumers with innovative approaches to access and purchase veal, elevating their veal-eating experiences through creative meal solutions that maximize taste, value and versatility.

2024 Funding: $275,000


Connects directly with consumers to promote beef through the iconic Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. campaign. Through beef marketing and merchandising, Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. educates and inspires consumers to purchase, prepare and enjoy beef.

2024 Funding: $9,000,000


Provides the foundation for virtually all Checkoff-funded information and promotion by providing science related to beef nutrition, beef safety and pathogen resistance.


Conducts post-harvest beef safety and science-based research on processed beef’s nutritional and health benefits.
2024 Funding: $500,000


Works alongside universities and institutions to conduct high-quality scientific research on beef’s nutritional benefits, providing a sound factual basis to promote beef’s role in a healthy diet. 2024 Funding: $7,800,000


Informs producers and importers about how their Checkoff dollars are invested through a variety of efforts and initiatives.


Communicates to producers where their Checkoff dollars are spent through The Drive newsletter (printed and electronic versions), media relations, thought leadership, social media and other tactics.
2024 Funding: $1,800,000


Develops international markets for U.S. beef through programs aimed at expanding market penetration, gaining new market access, improving global consumer perceptions and building trust in U.S. beef.


Maximizes market access for U.S. beef around the globe, develops demand among new and existing buyers overseas and increases the value of the entire carcass through export support. 2024 Funding: $8,150,000



American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture


Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board


Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education


Meat Import Council of America


National Cattlemen’s Beef Association


National Institute for Animal Agriculture


North American Meat Institute


Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative


New York Beef Council


United States Meat Export Federation


Frequently Asked Questions


In the complex world of the Beef Checkoff, one valid question commonly arises: “Who is responsible for recommending Beef Checkoff funding to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board?” The answer is the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC.)

So, What is the BPOC?

This committee includes 10 producers and importers selected by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), and 10 producers selected by the Federation of State Beef Councils. This body
is responsible for recommending funding allocations for

the annual national Beef Checkoff budget, which must be approved by the full Cattlemen’s Beef Board and USDA, for developing plans and programs in the areas of promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications. During the two-day funding meetings, a program is only approved for Checkoff funding if two-thirds of the committee members vote to accept it. This means a program must have recognized value from both the CBB and the Federation of State Beef Councils to earn the consensus needed for funding.

Beef Checkoff Program Committees

Members of the BPOC review program recommendations from the Beef Checkoff Program Committees, which consist of beef producers and importers who volunteer their time to the CBB and the Federation of State Beef Councils, helping guide Beef Checkoff initiatives. These members, who come from diverse sectors of the beef industry – cow/calf, feeder, stocker, veal, dairy and imports – are responsible for identifying priorities and making recommendations to the BPOC.

The September Decision

Every September, the BPOC meets in Denver, Colorado, to discuss, debate and ultimately allocate more than $30 million for eligible beef industry programs within the Beef Checkoff.

In the months leading up to this meeting, the BPOC members gather feedback on all program recommendations. Calls for proposals from Checkoff contractors typically go out in May
of each year. Before contractors submit these proposals, known as Authorization Requests (ARs), they’ve already been reviewed and edited by multiple industry professionals and organizations. In July, contractors present their preliminary ARs to beef producers and importers on Beef Checkoff Program Committees, asking for honest feedback and comments on their ideas and projects. Following those July presentations, each contractor adjusts their projects based on the feedback to best ensure they meet the needs and wants of beef producers who pay into the Checkoff. That same feedback is gathered and handed over to the BPOC for the September meeting.

Dividing the Checkoff dollars between promotion, research and education projects is often accompanied by lively debate, difficult decisions, and unfortunately, even cuts to great programs. The members weigh each proposal, ultimately focusing on what they believe will best support the beef industry now and in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m a third-generation cattle producer in Southern Wisconsin, and I’m also a representative of a national livestock video auction company. As a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), I’m in a unique position to see firsthand how much care and consideration goes into allocating Checkoff funds each year.

I hear the questions that my fellow producers have about the Beef Checkoff and how their dollars are being spent. I get it – you wouldn’t put money in a stock or mutual fund without expecting regular updates on your investment’s performance. That’s why the Beef Checkoff sets aside a very small percentage of its funds each year for the Producer Communications program. This program’s goal is to inform producers with operations of all shapes and sizes about how Checkoff dollars are driving beef demand. Here are just a few ways that Producer Communications works to improve transparency between the Checkoff and its investors:

Newsletters. In 2018, the CBB launched The Drive, a newsletter available in print or via email, designed to share Checkoff news, program successes and upcoming initiatives. Over the past five years, subscriber growth has been significant, with nearly 132,000 producers receiving the quarterly print newsletter and 21,000 receiving the monthly e-newsletter. “The Drive in Five,” a quick video recap of content from The Drive newsletter, launched in late 2021, providing producers with a quick way to get their Checkoff news and information in an easily consumable format. Plans for an audio series or podcast are in the works for 2024, helping us reach even more producers via another medium.

Media Relations. Sharing Beef Checkoff and CBB news with national, regional and local publications and websites is another way that the Producer Communications program reaches producers from various backgrounds nationwide. We do this via press releases, broadcast and print interviews and opinion-editorials from CBB members. Each year, we set a new goal to increase our media “hits,” and as of June 2023, we’d already surpassed our goal and continue to seek ways to ensure even more producers see these stories.

Website. Launched in 2019, is a great place for producers to get Checkoff program updates, CBB financials, frequently asked questions, videos and more. This platform has grown significantly in traffic and content in the past four years. We’ll be refreshing our website for an even better user experience very soon.

Social Media. Love it or hate it, social media is one way that some people – especially younger producers – choose to get their news and information. Social media allows us to connect with producers where their conversations are taking place in real time. Currently, the Beef Checkoff is active on Facebook, X (Twitter), YouTube, and LinkedIn with plans to add Instagram and additional social networks if the demand exists. We have nearly 69,000 followers across those four platforms, and that number continues to grow each year.

Producer Communications isn’t just a one-way street. The program also helps the CBB get valuable feedback about producer concerns, interests and educational needs. We conduct various surveys throughout the year to gauge producer sentiment and learn more about their operations and the challenges they’re currently facing. This data helps us determine how to shape future Checkoff programs and allocate funds, as well as determine content for our newsletters and social media channels. Over the past year, we’ve also had discussions with various ag groups and state beef councils to seek program input and build relationships.

The Producer Communications program is far more comprehensive than many producers may realize. It’s not the Checkoff simply pushing information to producers, but a two-way conversation that helps us learn what producers would like to see the Checkoff do in the future. If you’re unclear about what’s happening with your Checkoff dollars, subscribe to The Drive, participate in our surveys, visit our website at or contact your local state beef council, your nearest CBB member, or the CBB office in Denver. We look forward to the feedback and conversation.

Frequently Asked Questions

DENVER, CO (Sept. 11, 2023) – The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) will invest approximately $38 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing, and producer communications during fiscal 2024, subject to USDA approval.

In action at the end of its September 6-7 meeting in Denver, Colorado, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) approved Checkoff funding for a total of 12 “Authorization Requests” – or grant proposals – for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2023. The committee, which includes 10 producers and importers from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and 10 producers from the Federation of State Beef Councils, also recommended full Cattlemen’s Beef Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect the split of funding between budget categories affected by their decisions.

Nine contractors and three subcontractors brought 15 Authorization Requests worth approximately $49 million to the BPOC this week, approximately $11 million more than the funds available from the CBB budget.

“We’re consistently impressed with the proposals that our contractors bring forward each year, and choosing which initiatives to fund is a real challenge,” said Jimmy Taylor, CBB and BPOC chair. “Our budget amounts to slightly less each year because of inflation. To put it in perspective, a dollar in 1985 is worth just 35 cents1 today. That means we simply don’t have the buying power that we had when this program first started.

“As we expected, the Authorization Requests we reviewed this week were full of new ideas and innovative approaches supporting the Checkoff’s core programs of research, promotion, foreign marketing, industry information, consumer information and producer communications. Our committee did a great job of balancing our budget and distributing our limited funds in what we believe is the most optimal way possible. I personally thank our contractors and committee members for all their hard work, and I look forward to future Checkoff successes throughout FY24.”

In the end, the BPOC approved proposals from eight national beef organizations for funding through the FY24 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget, as follows:

  • American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture – $800,000
  • Cattlemen’s Beef Board – $1,800,000
  • Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education – $500,000
  • Meat Import Council of America / Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative – $900,000
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – $25,405,000
  • National Institute for Animal Agriculture – $60,000
  • North American Meat Institute – $330,000
  • United States Meat Export Federation – $8,150,000

Broken out by budget component – as outlined by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 – the FY24 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board budget includes:

  • $9,275,000 for promotion programs, including beef and veal campaigns focusing on beef’s nutritional value, eating experience, convenience, and production.
  • $8,300,000 for research programs focusing on pre- and post-harvest beef safety, scientific affairs, nutrition, sustainability, product quality, culinary technical expertise, and consumer perceptions.
  • $7,600,550 for consumer information programs, including Northeast influencer outreach and public relations initiatives; national consumer public relations, including nutrition-influencer relations and work with primary- and secondary-school curriculum directors nationwide to get accurate information about the beef industry into classrooms of today’s youth. Additional initiatives include outreach and engagement with food, culinary, nutrition and health thought leaders; media and public relations efforts; and supply chain engagement.
  • $2,819,450 for industry information programs, including dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from other groups, as well as funding for Checkoff participation in the annual national industrywide symposium about antibiotic use. Additional efforts in this program area include beef advocacy training and issues/crisis management and response.
  • $8,150,000 for foreign marketing and education, focusing on 13 regions, representing more than 90 countries around the world.
  • $1,800,000 for producer communications, which includes investor outreach using national communications and direct communications to producers and importers about Checkoff results. Elements of this program include ongoing producer listening and analysis; industry collaboration and outreach; and continued development of a publishing strategy and platform and a state beef council content hub.

The full fiscal 2024 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget is approximately $42 million. Separate from the Authorization Requests, other expenses funded include $270,000 for program evaluation; $640,500 for program development; $200,000 for Checkoff education resources; $550,000 for USDA oversight; $205,000 for state services; $270,000 supporting services and litigation; and $2.0 million for CBB administration. The fiscal 2024 program budget represents a decrease of slightly less than 1.6% percent, or $605,000, from the $38.6 million FY23 budget.

For more information about the Beef Checkoff and its programs, including promotion, research, foreign marketing, industry information, consumer information and safety, contact the Cattlemen’s Beef Board at 303-220-9890 or visit

Frequently Asked Questions

My husband Craig and I are the fifth generation of the Moss family to farm and feed cattle here in Northwest Iowa. His parents, Arlan and Ruth, continue to work with us on the operation, and our two boys, Merritt (11) and McCoy (9), also pitch in as needed.

Years ago, a life-changing college internship with the Mississippi Beef Council launched me into the beef business. From there, I became even more engrained in the industry as part of the Montana Beef Council. I gained a lifelong passion for the beef industry, and I saw firsthand how important it is for producers to step up and become leaders. My husband currently serves as the Northwest Regional Vice President for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, and I became a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board – the governing arm of the national Beef Checkoff program – earlier this year. It’s been an eye-opening experience.

You may know that the Beef Checkoff drives demand both here and internationally through various promotional efforts. However, you may not realize the Checkoff is also constantly addressing misinformation about beef. You’ve probably seen and heard a lot of chatter about beef recently, from dietary guidelines and sustainability claims to meat substitutes and animal welfare and everything in between. Of course, much of that chatter is not factual. However, it still has the potential to affect beef purchases at grocery stores or restaurants, which impacts not just my livelihood, but that of the nearly 800,000 other beef producers in the United States today.

During my relatively short time on the CBB, I’ve learned how the Beef Checkoff actively monitors television, online and social media to discover emerging issues that could threaten consumer confidence in beef. By knowing what issues are out there in real time, the Checkoff can fund research that will help the beef industry uncover and share the facts about our product’s sustainability, nutrition, safety and quality.

Those efforts come to life through Checkoff-funded initiatives like middle and high school curriculums about greenhouse gases and cattle, attendance at New York City’s Climate Week conference and immersion events that bring inner city teachers to real farms to learn about how much we producers care for our land and cattle.

There are partnerships with the American Heart Association to educate consumers about beef’s role in a healthy diet, as well as programs providing health care providers with educational content through webinars, in-office visits and at professional conferences. By sharing information through both consumer and professional outreach, the Checkoff can also respond to questions about how beef compares with other proteins, including the plant-based, alternative proteins that have emerged in recent years.

I’m proud to represent Iowa producers on the CBB. I now have the opportunity to share cattle producers’ perspectives from right here in Northwest Iowa with the rest of the country. And I know the Beef Checkoff will continue to focus on funding projects that have a tremendously positive impact on the American beef industry.

Not everyone is aware of how the Checkoff works, and that’s why I encourage my fellow producers with questions to get involved. Go to the meetings – they’re open to all producers. Come chat with me as one of your state’s CBB representatives. It’s by making our voices heard that we get the most value from this program we help fund.

Frequently Asked Questions

Nine Out of 10 Healthcare Professionals Advocate Beef Consumption After a Successful Medical Office Outreach Campaign1

In a world where opinions on what to eat are so diverse, many consumers find themselves relying on the recommendations of doctors and medical professionals. With their wealth of knowledge and experience, doctors are seen as trusted guides for both people’s individual health and for parents looking to give their children the most nutritious meals. Knowing the significance of a doctor and patient relationship, the Beef Checkoff ensures that doctors and medical offices are well informed about lean beef’s role in a balanced, nutritious diet.

Strong Minds, Strong Bodies Toolkits

Recently, a beef toolkit, Strong Minds and Strong Bodies, which focused on school-aged and adolescent nutrition, was delivered to 3,324 targeted family practice and pediatric health professionals across 48 states. The toolkit materials included a “Dear Health Professional” letter, a MyPlate teaching tool and beef tips and recipes for parents. Of the toolkits delivered, 51 percent of them went to pediatric offices and 49 percent went to family practice1.

Following the delivery of the toolkits, a post-program survey was sent out to medical professionals and consumers to measure the program’s success.

Responses showed 91 percent of professionals have already recommended beef to patients and 95 percent of consumers have prepared or plan to prepare meals that include beef since receiving these materials1. Additional results showed:

  • More than 7 in 10 professionals feel a more favorable impression of beef as a nutritious, high-quality protein food to support children1.
  • More than three-quarters of professionals feel more knowledgeable about the role of beef as a nutritious, high-quality protein food to support children1.
  • Seventy-four percent of consumers said their health professional specifically recommended beef as a nutritious part of a balanced meal1.
  • Receiving the handout from their health professional makes 76 percent of the respondents more likely to prepare a meal for their child that includes beef1.

Heart Health Cookbooks

Additionally, heart health cookbooks were delivered to 854 family practice and cardiology professionals nationwide. Within those cookbooks were a health professional letter written by the cookbook author in collaboration with the beef nutrition team, a beef research booklet, and pamphlets on lean beef in a heart-healthy diet that medical professionals could share with their patients.

Responses to this effort were also very positive, with 76 percent of medical professional and consumer respondents saying they found the cookbook to be valuable1. Respondents commented on how visually appealing the cookbook was and how the letter added a personal touch. One respondent specifically added, “The research studies were very informative for providing evidence for including lean beef in a healthy, balanced diet.”

The doctor’s office mailing program is only one part of the Beef Checkoff’s nutrition and health program. This promotion would not be possible without Checkoff-funded human nutrition research, which is the foundation for all industry nutrition education and communication initiatives. Explore the current Checkoff-funded human nutrition research projects and resources that are shared across consumer and health audiences.

Frequently Asked Questions

John Huston of Chicago, Illinois, was honored with the Cattlemen’s Beef Board’s third annual Beef Checkoff Visionary Award during the General Session of the 2023 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in San Diego, California. The award recognizes an individual in the beef industry who has demonstrated exemplary support of and commitment to the Checkoff’s goals and vision.

“John has been an important part of the beef industry for decades,” said Jimmy Taylor, 2023 chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB). “He had a vision and an energy that made a powerful imprint on the people and processes behind the Beef Checkoff program. John saw the strength of the state beef councils and the importance of having a consistent national Checkoff across all states. He also greatly valued producers and approached his role as their advocate and champion. For these and so many other reasons, John truly deserves the 2023 Visionary Award.”

A native of Roseville, Illinois, John Huston grew up on a general livestock and grain farm. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education with an animal science option from the University of Illinois, receiving the Coultas Memorial Award as the college of agriculture’s outstanding senior in 1966. After graduation, Huston became assistant secretary of the National Livestock and Meat Board’s Beef Industry Council (BIC). He was named vice president of the Meat Board in 1969, taking a leave of absence in 1978 to serve as executive director of the Beeferendum campaign for the National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA).

In 1980, following the campaign, Huston was named Meat Board president, and he served in that capacity until the organization merged with the NCA in 1996 to form the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Huston was inducted into the International Stockmen’s Hall of Fame and named Agri-Marketer of the Year in 1995 by the Chicago Chapter of NAMA. He served as the leader of the NCBA Consumer Marketing Center until 1999, retiring in 2000.

“I’m incredibly honored to receive this award from my peers, colleagues and others who are shaping today’s beef industry,” Huston said. “For 32 years, I was privileged to work for the beef industry with some of the finest, most dedicated leaders in this country. They’re the ones who’ve made the Checkoff a success. The Checkoff isn’t something that happened overnight. It took time to build. I’m gratified to be recognized for the role I played over the years, but all these achievements wouldn’t have happened without strong leadership from volunteer cattlemen and women who served not for compensation, but out of love for the industry.”

Huston’s former employees and colleagues cite his natural leadership abilities, sense of humor, love of the beef industry and knack for unifying diverse groups of people as his most outstanding qualities. Huston was also one of the first beef industry leaders to recognize the value of consumer research and apply that data to create a roadmap, identify trends and work with others to develop programs that answered consumer needs. He was instrumental in creating and implementing the Beef Checkoff’s famous red “check” logo, helping producers across the country identify their dollars at work.

“Certainly, the Beef Checkoff as we know it today wouldn’t exist without John’s tireless efforts spanning more than three decades,” said Greg Hanes, CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “John never forgot who he worked for – producers – and he worked hard to build the Beef Checkoff and evolve it into a national program. He was instrumental in creating the first long-range plan, integrating different programs that led to a singular goal. On behalf of everyone at the CBB, I congratulate John on this well-deserved award.”