Texans Share Their Success Story as Oklahomans Consider Establishing Their Own State CheckoffThu, 14 Sep 2017 12:21:11 CDT
The National US Beef Checkoff has been around since the late 1980s, collecting a dollar a head on cattle sold to fund efforts pertaining to promotion, education and research. This fall, Oklahoma cattle producers will vote on whether or not to approve a secondary state beef checkoff program, to collect an additional dollar on cattle sold in the state to enhance those same purposes here in Oklahoma. Texas cattle producers approved their own secondary checkoff back in 2014 and according to Texas Beef Council Executive Vice President Richard Wortham, they have found great success with the new program as he explained recently to Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
"With the additional state dollar, it has given us the opportunity to do things that we could have only dreamed about, four or five years ago," Wortham said. "We've enhanced our advertising, specifically as it relates to television ads in Texas."
This year, Wortham says the promotional budget is focused on digital TV, radio, print and billboard advertising. Another program being funded with this additional money, is what the Texas Beef Council calls its MD Outreach project. TBC began the project in the Dallas and Houston areas, employing knowledgeable representatives with ties to the medical community to engage physicians and educate them on the health and nutritional benefits of beef. Wortham says this project has steadily changed the minds of physicians who once limited beef in their patients' diets, to now recommending more. At the end of the day, Wortham insists the program has been highly successful and believes producers see the value in it, based on producers' right to opt out of the program.
"The good news is, refunds are running well below what we projected when the program started," he said. "With no historical data to go off of, we budgeted 20 percent. Right now, it's running less than five percent, which has been very encouraging."
If approved, Oklahoma's secondary beef checkoff program will also be refundable. The actual voting will begin on November 1st of this year, at your local county extension office. Any beef producer that would be required to pay the checkoff, regardless of age, is eligible to vote. Producers can also request a ballot in the mail from the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association between October 2-20. Learn more about OCA's proposed State Beef Checkoff program in an earlier interview with OCA Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey, by clicking here. For further information, click over to www.oklahomabeefcheckoff.com.
Listen to Wortham and Hays discuss the success of the Texas State Beef Checkoff program, on today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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.
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