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Agricultural News

Scott George Addresses Changes to Beef Checkoff to Attract More Contractors

Thu, 18 Sep 2014 15:50:48 CDT

Scott George Addresses Changes to Beef Checkoff to Attract More Contractors

A representative of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association contends the beef checkoff is not broken, but it is underfunded. NCBA Past President and Wyoming dairy producer Scott George has been serving as a representative for NCBA in the beef checkoff enhancement working group. For the past three years the group has been meeting and discussing how to make the nation's beef checkoff better. George believes the checkoff is doing extremely well as indicated by a checkoff funded project that quantified producers return on investment from the checkoff.

"The beef checkoff is returning $11.20 for every dollar invested," George. "That is best return of any checkoff that I have ever heard of. So the program is working in my opinion very very well and quite honesty there are a lot of the groups in this group of 11 that have been meeting that feel that very way that this program is working very well. That we don't need to making any drastic changes, but we could make some tweeks that will help to be a little more efficient. No one has been opposing that."

Radio Oklahoma Network Farm News Director Ron Hays recently interviewed Scott George about the state of the nation's beef checkoff program. You can listen to feature by Clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.

The beef checkoff enhancement working group has been making changes over the past three years. In the first meeting stakeholders shared their displeasure that organizations that came into existence after 1985 and they couldn't become contractors. George said the group agreed and US Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack made that change so now all these other ag organizations are eligible. While the policy allows newer organizations to become contractors of the checkoff, so far none of them have stepped forward. George said there are a number of reasons why groups don't propose projects for checkoff funding.

"I think the biggest reason is because those organizations that do the authorization requests for the checkoff don't make any money at it," George said. "They have to get their project approved. They have to spend their own money to do the project first, then they submit their bills and get reimbursed and its a lengthy process and they don't make any money at it, so a lot of groups say if I am not going to make a profit on this, then I am not going to do it."

While the checkoff has not gained full industry support, nobody is criticizing the working being done. George said the issue is that NCBA is primary contractor for the checkoff.

"In my mind we have kind of missed the point that this checkoff is here to keep all producers in business, it's here to keep consumers buying our product," George said. "We don't want to miss that in all this discussion."

This week in a meeting in Denver, the Operating Committee which includes 10 members of the Beef Board and 10 members of the Federation of State Beef Councils approved checkoff funding for a total of 18 “Authorization Requests,” or proposals for checkoff funding, in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2014.

Click here to read more about how the Cattlemen’s Beef Board will invest about $39 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in fiscal year 2015.

This week Scott George, Past President of NCBA has been our guest on the Beef Buzz program.    You can read or listen to the daily feaure by clicking on the article's listed below.

Past NCBA President Disappointed NFU Leaves Checkoff Discussions

Beef Checkoff Working Group Moving Forward

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.


Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Scott George, Past President of NCBA
right-click to download mp3


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