Beef Checkoff Outlines 2013 Investments

US - The Cattlemen’s Beef Board will invest about $40.3 million into programmes of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in Fiscal Year 2013, if the recommendation of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee is approved by USDA, following review by the full Beef Board.
calendar icon 25 September 2012
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In action concluding its two-day meeting in Denver this week, 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 42 “Authorization Requests,” or proposals for checkoff funding in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2012. The committee also will request full Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect recategorization of the FY2013 budget in accordance with the programmes approved.

"We really had a tremendous task before us,” said Beef Board and Operating Committee Chairman Wesley Grau, a cattleman from New Mexico. “We had to find ways to cut nearly $3 million from the proposals presented to us for checkoff funding in the coming year.”

Among the cuts in programme proposals was a $300,000 cut from consumer advertising; $100,000 from nutrition research; a $275,000 proposal for programming about the beef industry on America’s Heartland on PBS; a $100,000 cut from the national Beef Quality Assurance programme; and a total of more than $811,000 in cuts from various foreign-marketing proposals.

“It was a stressful process,” Grau said, “but I am just so pleased with how members of the committee dug in and made the tough decisions. In the end, I think the producers and importers who invest in their beef checkoff will be proud of the Plan of Work the Operating Committee has moved forward. We are leveraging every checkoff dollar to meet our goals the best we possibly can with the limited budget we have.”

Seven national beef organizations, serving as checkoff contractors and subcontractors, had proposals approved by the Operating Committee (and the number of proposals and dollar amounts approved) are as follows:

  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (20 programmes totaling about $29.9 million)
  • US Meat Export Federation (13 programmes totaling about $7.4 million)
  • American National CattleWomen (two programmes totaling about $600,000) Meat Importers Council of America (three programmes totaling $475,000)
  • North American Meat Association (two programmes at $415,000)
  • National Livestock Producers Association (one programme at $25,000)

Broken out by budget component, the Fiscal Year 2013 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget includes:

  • $16.78 million for promotion programmes, including consumer advertising, retail marketing, foodservice marketing, new product and culinary initiatives; a Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative to build demand in densely populated Northeast states, and veal marketing and communications.
  • $6.76 million for research programmes, focusing on a variety of critical issues, including beef safety research, product enhancement research, human nutrition research, and market research.
  • $3.74 million for consumer information programmes, including a Northeast public relations initiative, national consumer public relations, the 2013 National Beef Cook-Off, a "Telling the Beef Story" speakers bureau, including the National Beef Ambassador Programme, and nutrition-influencer relations.
  • $4.11 million for industry information programmes, comprising beef and dairy-beef quality assurance programmes and dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, also referenced as "issues and reputation management."
  • $7.42 million for foreign marketing and education efforts about US beef in the ASEAN region; the Caribbean; Central America/Dominican Republic; South America; Europe; the Middle East; China/Hong Kong; Japan; Mexico; Russia; South Korea; and Taiwan.
  • $1.5 million for producer communications, which includes producer outreach using paid media, earned media, direct communications, and communications through livestock markets and state beef councils.

Other categories funded through the 2012 CBB budget include $179,000 for evaluation, $200,000 for programme development, $453,000 for USDA oversight (increased by $150,000 because of estimated costs of defending recently filed litigation against the beef checkoff); and about $1.97 million for administration, which includes costs for Board meetings, legal fees, travel costs, office rental, supplies, equipment, and administrative staff compensation. Fiscal Year 2013 begins Oct. 1, 2012.

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