Support for the beef checkoff, at 78 percent, is the highest recorded in the past 21 years, according to a recent survey of 1,225 beef and dairy producers nationwide.
The random survey conducted by the independent firm Aspen Media & Market Research in late December 2013 and early January 2014 found an overwhelming majority of beef and dairy producers continue to say their beef checkoff has value for them in many ways:
Eight out of 10 producers say the beef checkoff has helped to contribute to a positive trend in beef demand.
71 percent of producers say the beef checkoff contributes to the profitability of their operations.
77 percent say the checkoff is there for them in a crisis.
79 percent say the checkoff represents their interests.
Two in three beef producers believe the checkoff is well managed.
"Despite being challenged by drought, critics of the checkoff and groups who would like to see us go out of business," says Producer Communications Working Group (PCWG) Chair Jeanne Harland, "beef and dairy producers continue to see more in their Beef Checkoff Program than just paying for a few ads or a few promotions. I'm one of the eight out of 10 who believe the checkoff has helped to contribute to a positive trend in beef demand.
"The beef checkoff has, for nearly 28 years, served the beef industry with programs producers want and that is why we see the checkoff 'as representing our interests' according to the survey," says Harland.
One of the key priorities of the working group that Harland chairs is to 'increase the understanding of how the checkoff works … how [it] benefits them and their role as stakeholders,' she notes.
"It's an increasingly competitive world and for beef producers to continue to succeed we have to be able to not only produce a safe, nutritious and sustainable product, we have to promote its benefits in this country and worldwide. We can only do this by working together through the beef checkoff," she says.
A copy of the research report is available online.
For more information about the beef checkoff investment, go to MyBeefCheckoff.com.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.