In honor of Veteran’s Day, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board would like to thank veterans for serving our country and helping to preserve our freedom. One hero we would like to recognize is Cattlemen’s Beef Board member Steve Hobbs from Great Falls, Montana. Steve joined the Navy in 1979 and served as a third-class petty officer. He began his journey working in the engine room of a destroyer ship and then trained as a Navy diver.
“I am blessed to experience the time I was at sea. At the time, I spent over a thousand days at sea and saw some of the most amazing storms, sunrises and sunsets, lived and worked with amazing men, had moments of sheer terror and days of exhaustion,” Hobbs said. “My service has never left me and has changed me for the better and the worst.”
The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) will invest approximately $38.5 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing, and producer communications during fiscal 2023, subject to USDA approval.
In action at the end of its September 7-8 meeting in Denver, Colorado, the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) approved Checkoff funding for a total of 13 “Authorization Requests” – or grant proposals – for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2023. The committee, which includes 10 producers 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 14 Authorization Requests worth $48 million to the BPOC this week, nearly $9.5 million more than the funds available from the CBB budget.
“Producers are behind all the decisions that the BPOC makes during these meetings each September,” said CBB and BPOC Chair Norman Voyles, Jr. “We carefully consider every Authorization Request to determine how to use Checkoff dollars to drive beef demand and provide producers with the best possible return on their Checkoff investments.”
“As we expected, the proposals we reviewed this week were remarkably innovative, containing many thought-provoking ideas and concepts. Our challenge is balancing the budget while also distributing our limited amount of Checkoff dollars in a manner that we believe will best drive beef demand. I’d like to thank all our contractors and committee members for their hard work and careful consideration as we all work together to advance the entire beef industry.”
In the end, the BPOC approved proposals from 9 national beef organizations for funding through the FY23 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget, as follows:
American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture – $900,000
Cattlemen’s Beef Board – $1,850,000
Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education – $450,000
Meat Import Council of America / Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative – $550,000
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association – $25,720,000
National Institute for Animal Agriculture – $70,000
North American Meat Institute – $360,000
United States Cattlemen’s Association – $450,000
United States Meat Export Federation – $8,200,000
Broken out by budget component – as outlined by the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 – the FY23 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board budget includes:
$9,400,000 for promotion programs, including beef and veal campaigns focusing on beef’s nutritional value, eating experience, convenience, and production.
$9,000,000 for research programs focusing on pre- and post-harvest beef safety, scientific affairs, nutrition, sustainability, product quality, culinary technical expertise, and consumer perceptions.
$7,470,000 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.
$2,630,000 for industry information programs, including dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, 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.
$8,200,000 for foreign marketing and education, focusing on 13 regions, representing more than 90 countries around the world.
$1,850,000 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 2023 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget is approximately $42.7 million. Separate from the Authorization Requests, other expenses funded include $270,000 for program evaluation; $585,000 for program development; $200,000 for Checkoff communications resources; $550,000 for USDA oversight; $210,000 for state services; $270,000 supporting services and litigation; and $2.1 million for CBB administration. The fiscal 2023 program budget represents a decrease of slightly less than 1% percent, or $350,800, from the $38.9 million FY22 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 DrivingDemandForBeef.com.
Larry Kendig of Osborne, Kansas, was recently appointed to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion & Research Board (CBB) and will serve on the Consumer Trust committee! Kendig is a fourth-generation rancher working and living on the original homestead settled by his great grandfather in 1871. Learn more about Larry, his family operation and why he’s looking forward to serving on the CBB.
It’s no secret that we are in challenging times right now. Inflation is unsettling the economy, droughts and floods are causing havoc throughout the U.S., supply-chain issues and other lingering impacts from COVID have no doubt caused many Americans – beef producers included – to have to reassess their business, financial and personal decisions. Organizations are not insulated from this, and in fact, find it more necessary than ever to take a hard look at themselves.
Here at CBB, we strive for constant evolution and change, especially when it leads to more effective and efficient programs. That “hard look” for continuous improvement happens frequently here, especially since Checkoff programs are reviewed and funded annually. Yet there are times that call for further introspection, and this year we were able to create and begin execution of a five-year strategic plan for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.
A strategic plan is vitally important as it sets clear direction and identifies priorities for the organization. I am particularly proud of the opening statement of the CBB’s plan, outlining a simple and encompassing belief for our organization:
We believe that: The beef industry working together will make beef the most popular protein for everyday use in the U.S. and globally based on the taste, convenience, nutritional benefits, value, safety, and versatility of beef.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what we are all working toward?
There have been several recent calls in the ag trade media for beef industry collaboration and support; several organizations have laid out common ground upon which to strengthen our industry relations with one another. Nowhere is that more important than in the producer and importer-led Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and is very present in the newly-outlined plan. As always, we continue to encourage your dialogue, questions, and feedback on the Beef Checkoff and its programs, and will continue to lead and support collaboration, communication, and transparency within arguably one of the best industries in the world.
Dr. Billy Powell of Washington County, Alabama was presented with the Cattlemen’s Beef Board’s second annual Beef Checkoff Visionary Award during the General Session of the 2022 Cattle Industry Summer Business Meeting in Reno, Nevada. This honor recognizes an individual in the beef industry who has demonstrated exemplary support of and commitment to the Checkoff’s goals and vision.
“Dr. Powell has been deeply involved with the Beef Checkoff since it was passed back in 1985,” said Norman Voyles, Jr., 2022 chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB). “His knowledge of the beef industry goes back decades, and his leadership and ingenuity helped smooth out many of the bumps in the road that the Checkoff experienced, especially in those early years. Dr. Powell is truly deserving of this Visionary Award.”
A native of Leroy, Alabama., Powell grew up on a farm, receiving his first cow when he was just two years old. Over the years, Powell’s family raised timber, along with commercial and registered cattle, primarily the Red Angus breed. He attended Auburn University’s College of Agriculture where he earned his bachelor’s degree in animal sciences in 1966, going on to earn his Ph.D. in meat science in 1970. Powell then became a food science specialist for the Alabama Cooperative Extension service at Auburn University from 1971-1975. He eventually took a position closer to home with Lapeyrouse Grain Company, and when his father passed away shortly thereafter, Powell and his mother co-managed the family’s cattle herd.
Powell served in various cattle industry leadership positions at both the state and national levels over the next few decades. He served as president of the Red Angus Association of America in 1974-75. In 1982, Powell became the president of the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association (ACA). In 1985, he took on the executive vice president role with ACA, retiring in 2017 after an incredible 32 years with the organization. Around that same time, Jo Ann Smith, then president of the National Cattlemen’s Association, appointed Powell to a committee tasked with developing the Beef Checkoff Order that still helps guide the program today.
Under Powell’s leadership and vision, the State Beef Councils organized to have a collective voice in the national Beef Checkoff program. After the Beef Industry Council and the National Cattlemen’s Association merged to become the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Powell was instrumental in getting the Federation of State Beef Councils to meet independently, strengthening their efforts to promote beef. Powell also worked with others to develop the concept of a State Marketing Plan template that ensured state efforts would complement the national Checkoff’s efforts rather than dilute them. As the purchasing power of the national Beef Checkoff decreased over the years, Powell’s forward thinking spurred Alabama and other states to pass their own $1-per-head checkoffs, providing additional funding for their promotional programs.
One of Powell’s proudest achievements was the establishment of The MOOseum at the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association. Opened in 1995 under his guidance, The MOOseum became the premier venue for children and adults to learn more about Alabama’s beef cattle industry.
“Being named the 2022 Beef Checkoff Visionary Award recipient is a tremendous honor, and I appreciate it very much,” Dr. Powell said. “It’s icing on the cake for a South Alabama country boy who spent a lifetime working in the cattle industry. There are many individuals I’d like to thank for nominating me and working with me throughout the years, because if I’ve accomplished anything, it’s been with the help of others. I still truly believe the Checkoff dollar is the best investment that a producer can make.”
“Dr. Powell’s tireless efforts over the years shaped the Beef Checkoff as we know it today,” said Greg Hanes, CEO of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “Furthermore, his knowledge and vision helped create mutually beneficial relationships between the national program and the State Beef Councils. Dr. Powell has always had faith in the power of the Beef Checkoff. He’s worked hard for what he believes is right, and we are all the better for it. All of us at the CBB congratulate Dr. Powell on receiving this very well-deserved Visionary Award.”