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Agricultural News

Beef Checkoff Sets FY2016 Plan of Work

Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:46:53 CDT

Beef Checkoff Sets FY2016 Plan of Work The Cattlemen's Beef Board will invest about $42 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in fiscal year 2016, if this week's recommendation of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee is approved by USDA, following review by the full Beef Board.

In action concluding its Sept. 15-16 meeting in Denver, the Operating Committee including 10 members of the Beef Board and 10 members of the Federation of State Beef Councils approved checkoff funding for a total of 11 "Authorization Requests," or proposals for checkoff funding, in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2015. The committee also recommended full Beef Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect the split of funding between budget categories affected by their decisions.

"Tremendous efforts go into making decisions about responsible investment of producers' and importers' hard-earned dollars into checkoff programs that produce results for its investors," said Beef Board and Operating Committee Chairman Jimmy Maxey, a cattle producer from California.

"This committee spent a full day listening to proposals for checkoff funding from numerous potential beef-industry contractors, then engaged in extensive discussions before making important decisions about how we invest this industry's checkoff dollars," Maxey said. "After members of the Beef Board and Federation of State Beef Councils worked over months to help develop efficient programs for fiscal 2016, it's always a challenge to cut back some of those viable programs to meet our budget challenges, but I feel confident that the plan of work we created for fiscal 2016 will put us in a position to continue increasing consumer confidence in and preference for beef over other protein options." Cuts from contractor proposals to meet budget requirements totaled $696,200.

In the end, the Operating Committee approved proposals from seven national beef organizations for funding through the FY16 Cattlemen's Beef Board budget, as follows:

-- National Cattlemen's Beef Association (four proposals for $30.3 million)

-- U.S. Meat Export Federation (one proposal for $8.4 million)

-- Cattlemen's Beef Board (one proposal for $1.5 million)

-- North American Meat Association (two proposals for $1 million)

-- Meat Importers Council of America (one proposal for $350,800)

-- American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (one proposal for $400,700)

-- National Livestock Producers Association (one proposal for $47,500)

Broken out by budget component, the Fiscal Year 2016 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen's Beef Board budget includes:

-- $9 million for promotion programs, including continuation of the checkoff's consumer digital advertising program, as well as veal promotion.

-- $10.3 million for research programs, focusing on a variety of critical issues, including pre- and post-harvest beef safety research, product quality research, human nutrition research and scientific affairs, market research, and beef and culinary innovations.

-- $8.1 million for consumer information programs, including a Northeast public relations initiative, national consumer public relations, including, nutrition-influencer relations, and work with primary- and secondary-school curriculum directors nationwide to get accurate information about the beef industry into classrooms of today's youth.

-- $4.7 million for industry information programs, comprising dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, as well as funding for checkoff participation in a fifth annual national industrywide symposium focused on discussion and dissemination of information about antibiotic use.

-- $8.4 million for foreign marketing and education in some 80 countries in the following: ASEAN region; Caribbean; Central America/Dominican Republic; China/Hong Kong; Europe; Japan; Korea; Mexico; Middle East; Russia/Greater Russian Region; South America; Taiwan; and new markets.

-- $1.5 million for producer communications, which includes investor outreach using national communications and direct communications to producers and importers about checkoff results; as well as development and utilization of information conduits, such as auction markets; maintenance of a seamless partnership with state beef council producer-communication efforts; and producer attitude research to determine producer attitudes about and desires of their checkoff program.

Separate from the authorization requests, other expenses funded through the total $44.8 million 2016 CBB budget include $221,000 for evaluation, $303,000 for program development, $325,000 for USDA oversight; and about $2 million for administration, which includes costs for Board meetings, legal fees, travel costs, office rental, supplies, equipment, and administrative staff compensation. Fiscal Year 2016 begins Oct. 1, 2015.

"As a cattle producer, the more I continue to see all of the tremendous results that our checkoff dollars are accomplishing, the more thankful I am for the Beef Checkoff Program and the dedicated contractors we have working for us," Maxey said. "With all of the challenges before our industry, I am proud of the plan we were able to put together for fiscal 2016 on behalf of all beef producers and importers who invest into this program."

For details about the proposals considered by the Operating Committee this week, visit the Meeting Center on www.MyBeefCheckoff.com.



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