What Is the Beef Checkoff?

The Beef Checkoff program is a national marketing and research program designed to increase the demand for beef at home and abroad. This can be accomplished through initiatives such as consumer advertising, marketing partnerships, public relations, education, research and new-product development.

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The Beef Checkoff program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. Under the program, producers and beef importers pay a $1-per-head assessment on animals they market and equivalent on beef they import. The checkoff assessment became mandatory when the program was approved by 79 percent of producers in a 1988 national referendum vote. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) oversees the collection and spending of checkoff funds, with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Qualified State Beef Councils (QSBC) retain half of each dollar they collect for marketing and research programs in their state and other programs as identified by the Council’s board.

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