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Frequently Asked Questions

Getting beef from the pasture to the consumer’s plate is a complex process, and successfully moving beef through the supply chain is just one part of it — then, the Beef Checkoff’s Channel Marketing Program comes in.

The Beef Checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Channel Marketing Program promotes beef through various distribution channels, such as retail stores, distributors, manufacturers and restaurants. By building relationships with these channels and supply chain operators, the Beef Checkoff can effectively target and engage with customers directly where they shop and dine. The Channel Marketing Program provides knowledge, education and resources to drive supply chain operators’ marketing decisions to sell more beef.


The Beef Checkoff has established itself as the educational and promotional beef hub for its supply chain partners. How? By delivering high-value content about beef that informs their beef buying and marketing decisions.

The Beef Checkoff connects with its partners and food professionals through the popular Beef News Now newsletter. Distributed to 4,300 industry professionals, the bi-monthly newsletter delivers the latest foodservice and retail news, trends and hot topics from the beef industry. Additionally, these professionals are encouraged to attend Checkoff-funded educational webinars, which focus on topics like beef sustainability and consumer insights for both retail and foodservice.

Another resource available to food professionals is Beef University. Customers rely on foodservice professionals and butchers to be expert sources on the foods they purchase. The Beef University modules provide information on how beef is raised, how to select and prepare various cuts of beef, and the health and nutrition benefits of beef. Once food professionals understand beef’s ‘ins and outs’, they can deliver superior customer service and improve their bottom line.


The Channel Marketing team can also be seen at industry conferences and events, alongside key decision makers from across the supply chain. This past fall, the team was invited to present at the Performance Food Service (PFS) Protein Summit. PFS is a leading national foodservice distributor with operating companies across the U.S., servicing thousands of foodservice operators. Participating in the summit provided the opportunity to share beef insights and trends, arming protein specialists with information and resources they can use with their top beef customers. Additionally, the team was active at the Annual Meat Conference and National Restaurant Association show. These events allow the Beef Checkoff to deepen relationships with existing partners and establish relationships with new accounts to sell more beef.

Another event coming up this fall is the Beef Business Summit, an exclusive, immersive event for leaders from top retail, foodservice, distributor and manufacturing companies. The three-day event will focus on all things beef and provide solutions to optimize beef sales in the changing marketplace. The event’s goal is to build loyalty and partnership and ultimately drive beef sales.

Leading companies, from quick-service restaurants to fast-casual restaurants to manufacturer partners, also have the opportunity to work with the Beef Checkoff-funded Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. Culinary Center1. Here, these partners can receive help with menu development, explore current trends and market insights, experiment with new cuts and cooking methods or expand existing beef items into new menu concepts.

Through these efforts, the Beef Checkoff works to provide industry professionals, partners and companies with valuable beef facts and insights they can apply to improve their businesses.


The Channel Marketing Program also directs e-commerce efforts, capitalizing on the growing trend of online food shopping. E-commerce continues to grow at a rapid pace. Looking only at grocery data, projections are that e-commerce will make up 20 percent of the grocery market by 20262.

The Beef Checkoff’s e-commerce projects involve partnering with national grocery and restaurant chains across the U.S. These projects meet consumers at their purchasing decision points and drive measurable results as the team can track a consumer from advertising to purchase, showing a direct return on investment. In 2023, e-commerce campaigns delivered an average return on ad sales of $47. This means that, on average, every $1 invested resulted in $47 in beef sales, a tremendous return on investment.

One recent e-commerce campaign with a national club store delivered the highest return on investment to date, with $18M in incremental beef sales. This campaign delivered an average return on ad sales of $93. This means that, on average, every $1 invested resulted in $93 in beef sales.

Beef nutrition was the focus of the most recent e-commerce campaign that ran during American Heart Month. “Lean Beef. Smart For Your Heart” ads were seen by consumers shopping on retailer websites and mobile apps, as well as on popular consumer websites like Weather. com, the Today Show online and more. Campaign results showed that 26 percent of the ad-exposed buyers were new and had not purchased beef from the retailer in the past year, demonstrating that e-commerce can be powerful in inspiring consumers to choose nutritious beef.

New this year is the addition of regional e-commerce campaigns, reaching a broader audience of online consumers. These campaigns will support the Checkoff-funded Little League effort by promoting beef in the cities where the Little League playoffs and Little League World Series will be held.

Also, coming up this fall, a national tailgating campaign promoting beef as the protein of choice for game day. Eighteen State Beef Councils and the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative (NEBPI), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, will also participate in this campaign to extend the messaging into their local markets.

Through these collective efforts, the Beef Checkoff drives beef sales and empowers leading supply chain partners with solutions, expertise and resources to help them confidently menu and market beef.

Frequently Asked Questions

Today, approximately 400 veal farms are located in the U.S. These veal producers also pay into the Beef Checkoff, which helps the Beef Checkoff-funded National Veal Program. Managed by the Beef Checkoff contractor, Meat Institute, and subcontractor New York Beef Council (NYBC), this team produces promotional campaigns and develops educational pieces to increase consumers’ interest and trust in veal.

Here’s how the consumer-facing brand Veal – Discover Delicious capitalizes on veal’s unique taste, value and versatility through social media, e-commerce and more.

E-Commerce Success

E-commerce continues to grow at a rapid pace. Looking at grocery data, projections indicate that e-commerce will make up 20 percent of the grocery market by 20261. The Veal – Discover Delicious team has capitalized on this growing trend of online food shopping.

In a partnership with Giant Eagle, a regional supermarket chain with more than 470 locations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland and Indiana, a digital campaign beginning in March and running until the end of May encouraged consumers to purchase veal. More than 669,000 consumers explored veal options and 550 veal units were sold.

Social Media Impact

Veal – Discover Delicious also leverages social media to provide consumers with engaging content about veal meal solutions, nutrition information, preparation and veal versatility.

Last spring, the team launched its first TikTok ads, which were delivered to consumers more than 100,000 times, resulting in 1,282 link clicks to Across Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, digital ad campaigns also garnered impressive performance, with nearly 3,000 link clicks and more than 67,000 views.

The goal of these social media efforts is to attract veal customers to to explore recipes, receive veal information and purchase veal products. During the time period of April to June 2024, reached 42,531 unique users.

Homemade Partnership

Another fun, exciting tactic Veal – Discover Delicious is executing is a partnership with Homemade Cooking. Managed by professional chefs, Homemade Cooking offers free online cooking classes.

Beginning in March, Veal – Discover Delicious kicked off the 2024 Culinary Series with Homemade and featured four cooking classes: Herb-Crusted Rack of Veal, Green Chile Enchiladas, Banh Mi Burgers and Lemony Veal Schnitzel. The first class attracted 870 registered participants. In these classes, attendees not only learn how to cook a delicious recipe but also learn about the difference between veal and other beef products by emphasizing its tenderness and mild, adaptable flavor.

Re-watch the classes on

Food Service Engagement

Veal – Discover Delicious also fosters relationships with chefs and food service partners and decision-makers to educate them about how to successfully utilize veal in their professional capacities.

One event in which Veal – Discover Delicious participated was the American Culinary Federation Webinar. Here, 110 chefs and culinary professionals listened to the Beef Checkoff’s veal team explain the ins and outs of the veal industry, veal cuts and price points, as well as how to incorporate veal into their menus.

It’s important that this group of professionals understand veal’s benefits and can advocate for the industry. At these events, attendees learn how veal is distinctive in the meat space. A three-ounce serving of cooked, trimmed, lean veal has just about 170 calories, making it one of the most nutrient-dense protein foods around2.

Also, veal provides 29 percent of the recommended daily intake of zinc, 36 percent of niacin and 23 percent of vitamin B-12. In short, it provides a fat and calorie profile similar to chicken but with the nutrient density of beef3.

Although veal represents a small portion of the protein market, it plays a significant role in the U.S. beef and dairy industries and helps contribute to the Beef Checkoff. As such, the Beef Checkoff actively works to share the progressive message of veal’s protein strength, versatility, transparency and sustainability.

To learn more about the National Veal Program and access educational resources, visit:

Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. beef exports greatly exceeded previous volume and value records in 2021, surpassing $10 billion for the first time, according to year-end data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Part of U.S. beef’s export success in 2021 can be attributed to growth in beef variety meat exports. Beef Checkoff dollars supported this growth, helping USMEF further promote value cuts and variety meats to end-user customers and consumers. Below are a few examples of USMEF’s work in international markets.

Alternative Cut Training in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland — USMEF Mexico Executive Chef German Navarrete traveled to Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to host master classes on U.S. beef preparation for restaurateurs, distributors and social media influencers. To demonstrate how the appeal of U.S. beef extends beyond middle meats, Navarrete promoted the nutrition, versatility and affordability of top blade, hangar steak and flank steak for use in ethnic cuisines.

Differentiating U.S. Beef in Colombian Butcher Shops — Audits are the first step in a new training program intended to help importers’ butcher shops sell more high-quality U.S. beef. A primary sales channel for imported beef is through importer-owned butcher shops, which USMEF has targeted for technical and marketing support. “Our market assessments show a wide disparity in how meat is handled, merchandised and sold at retail, especially in butcher shops,” says Don Mason, USMEF representative in Colombia. Training programs developed for butcher shops will improve food safety, product management and merchandising to increase U.S. beef sales.

Social Media Raises U.S. Beef Visibility in Hong Kong — With the surge in retail and online meat purchases in Hong Kong in mind, USMEF partnered with imported meat wholesaler and key opinion leader Meat Dee to raise the U.S. beef’s visibility, promote sales of a wider range of cuts to end users and provide foodservice partners with promotional support. “The pandemic accelerated demand for high-quality protein and online content about food, meat handling and preparation,” says Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific. “In providing this educational content to the trade through Meat Dee, sales of a wider range of U.S. beef cuts have been realized in both foodservice and retail channels.”

Workshops Promote Toy Donations and U.S. Beef Recipes in Mexico — In December, USMEF utilized its mobile grill and kitchen to introduce seasonal U.S. beef recipes and collect donated toys for vulnerable families in Mexico. The recipe and donation workshops were carried out with social media influencers, local media outlets and charitable organizations in Queretaro, Guadalajara and Monterrey.

Beijing Chefs Learn New Cuts and Applications — USMEF partnered with an importer/distributor in Northern China to introduce U.S. beef cuts and new cooking concepts from Southern China to its foodservice customers. Cuts that are excellent for grilling in yakiniku and Korean barbecue restaurants – flank, tri-tip, bone-in short ribs and rib finger – were demonstrated and prepared for sampling and a new concept dinner. “We are always working to expand the range of U.S. cuts. The event served as a brainstorming session for menu development, and the 40 chefs and restaurant owners expressed strong interest in the new cuts and new ideas,” said Ming Liang, USMEF marketing director in China.

U.S. Beef Variety Meat Exports Set New Monthly Value Record — A notable bright spot in 2021 has been the rebound in beef variety meat exports, with broad-based demand in a wider range of destinations. USMEF has introduced global consumers to local, ethnic dishes featuring U.S. beef variety meat items through promotions such as “Taco Tuesdays” in Mexico. U.S. beef variety meat exports set a new monthly value record in November at $116 million and topped $1 billion for the first time in 2021. Mexico is the top volume destination and Japan leads in value.

Frequently Asked Questions

This insightful and informative roundtable is brought to you by The National Corn Association, and Pork, Soybean and Beef Checkoff Programs in partnership with Farm Journal, which will shine a light on the challenges and adjustments being made across agriculture to adapt to the global pandemic. You’ll hear firsthand knowledge from experts and agriculture commodity industry professionals, including farmer-leaders of the Corn, Pork, Soybean and Beef Checkoff Programs, who are positioning themselves for future success in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your own questions as you seek advice on how to move your business forward effectively and efficiently during this time.

Register for the virtual roundtable.


Frequently Asked Questions

Derrell Peel

Driving demand for beef is at the core of the Beef Checkoff. Why? Because consumer beef demand drives producer success.

The beef industry is very complex, with many layers and sectors that must work together. Multiple factors affect the ultimate price a producer gets for their cattle at market. One particularly significant factor is beef demand.

Demand is the amount of a good or service consumers are willing and able to purchase at each price. Demand is based on several factors: income, price, quality, advertising, taste preferences and confidence in that product. Ultimately, beef demand relies heavily on sentiment, trust and loyalty. The total value consumers place on beef products affects beef carcass values, as well as prices for fed cattle, feeder cattle and calves.

In the 1980s and 1990s, when beef demand plummeted, producers were severely struggling and realized that something needed to be done to save the industry. In 1988, 79 percent of producers voted in a mandatory Checkoff assessment to salvage beef demand through a national referendum vote. To this day, the Beef Checkoff actively works to stimulate beef sales and consumption through a combination of initiatives; all of these initiatives work to maintain beef as a superior protein of choice.

Defining “Demand” and How it Affects the Producer

Producers can agree that demand is important, but many have questions about exactly what demand is and what it means to them. To answer these questions, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board talked with Dr. Derrell Peel, an Oklahoma State University extension livestock marketing specialist, to walk through what demand is and the important role it plays for cattle producers.

Listen to the full interview.

What is Beef Demand? And What Factors Determine Beef Demand?

“Demand is the willingness and ability of a consumer to purchase certain quantities at certain prices. When we evaluate demand, we first look at the price of the product and the prices of related products that might influence how a consumer would make decisions between two products; then, we look at income levels and other things that determine the consumer’s overall disposable income.”

Listen to his full response.

How Does Beef Demand Differ From Beef Consumption?

“Demand and consumption commonly get confused. Beef consumption is just the quantity part, how much consumers are purchasing and eating.”

Listen to his full response here.

What Factors Determine What Price a Producer Gets Per Head of Cattle at Market?

“All value in the beef industry comes from consumer demand for beef products. In general, the value of cattle at various levels is derived from the value that consumers place on the resulting set of beef products.”

Listen to his full response.

What Caused The Bottleneck Market During COVID-19?

“The biggest stage of the marketing margin happens when we go from fed cattle to the packing plant. There’s all of that fabrication into those beef products. There’s a tremendous amount of shipping, labor and other things involved. During the coronavirus situation, we basically created a much a larger increase in costs at that marketing margin level.”

Listen to his full response.

What Are the Effects of Restaurant vs Consumer Home Demand?

“It’s important to recognize that beef is not one thing; the beef industry ultimately produces thousands of different products, and the demand for each of those products is separate. You can see the coronavirus’s impact at wholesale prices. Some of the most expensive beef products and some of our middle meat steak-type products actually decreased in value. At the same time, we had increased demand for other products in the grocery store. The bottom line is, yes, it did have a big impact on cattle’s overall value.”

Listen to his full response.

How Does Increase Beef Demand Benefit Producers Over the Long Haul?

“All of the value in the industry starts at the consumer product demand level. Consumers who have a preference for our products, who value it and who are willing to spend part of their disposable income on it collectively – that demand then works its way back through this enormous set of markets that we can then see at the producer level.”

Listen to his full response.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 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, Checkoff social media channels and The Drive newsletter.”

Norman Voyles, Jr., Secretary/Treasurer


rancher holding bucket

Frequently Asked Questions

To help consumers understand that healthy animals produce healthy food, the National Livestock Producers Association (NLPA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, and the Kentucky Beef Council (KBC), released a new video series “Telling Your Antibiotic Story.” Launched in late March, the first video outlines how producers understand the need for careful antibiotic stewardship and work hard to use antibiotics responsibly. Many producers believe there is a disconnect between what they are doing every day and what the public hears. This video campaign is an effort to bridge the gap between the producer and the consumer.

Kentucky State Beef Council producers attended the 9th Annual Antibiotic Symposium for the first time in October of 2019. They were inspired by the events and conversations there as they learned about the importance of communication and transparency.

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), hosted the symposium with the theme, “Communicating the Science of Responsible Antibiotic Use in Animal Agriculture.” Kentucky producers, along with other attendees, learned how positive, effective communication with the public could shift consumer attitudes. An interactive event held by Iowa State University’s Greenlee School of Journalism and Communications gave these producers the tools and communication strategies to tell their stories more confidently.

“When we’re able to share the story of cattle producers to others where animal care is not part of their everyday life, it brings a whole new perspective,” says Anna Hawkins with the KBC.

The chairman of the NIAA Antibiotic Council, Dr. Eric Moore, says producers play a big part in telling the antibiotic story and being transparent about usage. “Develop and practice your message; say you have the best interests of your animals and environment in mind. Understand that you’re doing the right thing and be proud of it.”

Antibiotics play a critical role in the beef industry, and when used appropriately, are a helpful tool for producers in safeguarding the health of their cattle and promoting high-quality beef. The Beef Checkoff is committed to continuing antibiotic research, education and outreach. The NLPA and KBC will continue to cultivate and share those messages of what producers are doing on their operations to ensure a safe and nutritious beef product for consumers through the “Telling Your Antibiotic Story” campaign.

Watch the campaign video.

Frequently Asked Questions

Created 34 years ago through a vote of producers all over the country, the Beef Checkoff launched to add support to the industry through promotion and research to ultimately grow beef demand. After all, if beef producers aren’t promoting their product, who will? The program started in 1985 with a simple process: pay $1 per head of cattle at the time of sale. It’s something you may only do a few times a year or maybe you do it several times a month. Most likely it shows up as a line item on your sale barn receipt or you might send in a check through the private treaty program. Did you know those dollars are contributing to a larger, multi-faceted program?

And do you know the journey your dollar takes once it leaves your hand?

The Beef Checkoff Dollar

When the Beef Promotion and Research Act and Order was created, the producers involved wanted the process to be a simple one. The idea of “one head / one dollar” seemed to be the best and fairest way to easily pull together assessments on cattle to fund the state and national programs. At the time, those founding producers had the forethought and experience to understand that the program needed national exposure and reach, as well as “boots on the ground” to provide local experience and feedback from back home. By creating a joint effort between state beef councils and the national office of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the checkoff was assured to have input from producers from all over the country.

When you pay your dollar, it is collected and sent to your state beef council office. There the money is split: fifty cents to your state, fifty cents to the national office. Why the split? Because producers desire the efficiency of a national, unified voice and the promotional power of the national Checkoff programs (Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner campaigns, national research, media relations, etc.) combined with the customized support at the local level at home. State beef councils support their states through unique consumer and producer events, information, and outreach.

Why the Dollars Live at the State and National Level

Before the Beef Checkoff was created, the beef industry’s promotion and research efforts were somewhat fragmented. Multiple organizations were duplicating efforts and there was no central coordinated effort to reach a greater audience of consumers and keep the spotlight on beef in an increasingly competitive protein marketplace. The checkoff was built to bring those organizations together into a unified voice, to improve efficiencies, and to build shareable – yet customizable – resources to increase beef demand.

By coordinating efforts, funding, and ideas, great things have been happening as resources are shared across multiple platforms and audiences. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board office works with national contractors to develop targeted programs and information that can be shared at the state level. State beef councils use their local resources to build programs, create local, targeted campaigns, and develop research for their own particular group of consumers. Contractors share with states, states share with other states, contractors share with contractors. This unified front creates a powerful web of support for producers and helps to build demand for beef throughout the country. After all, if beef producers aren’t promoting their product, who will?

To be continued…