Who decides what programs to fund and which contractors to hire?

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When the Beef Act was passed as part of the 1985 Farm Bill, many State Beef Councils were already working together and conducting checkoff-funded programs through the Beef Industry Council. The Act recognized this state effort and by law, allowed for half of the dollar to remain in the state to be used for state programs and promotion. Then, to ensure state and national programs were coordinated, the Act created the Beef Promotion Operating Committee to make funding decisions about programs and to contract with organizations to do the work.

The Beef Promotion Operation Committee is unique in that its 20 members come from two different entities: 10 of its members are elected to serve by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, while the other 10 are selected by the states through the Federation of State Beef Councils – the Beef Industry Council’s successor organization. No program is approved unless two-thirds of the members of the Operating Committee vote to accept it. This means that a program must have recognized value in order to earn the consensus needed to be successfully funded. By formulating a committee that reflects both national and state priorities, the Beef Checkoff is better equipped to spend dollars more effectively and efficiently.