7.14.23 Drovers: Cattlemen Praise Congressional Resolution Supporting Beef Checkoff


What percentage of NCBA’s total operating budget comes from involuntary excise taxes known as checkoff funds? Estimates of over 70% are commonly used. There is a reason NCBA gets the overwhelming majority of the checkoff dollars. The checkoff operating structure is purposely tilted in favor of NCBA. No wonder NCBA does not want more transparency and clear rules of the road separating checkoff monies and lobbying organizations.

The very same organization that administers the majority of the checkoff monies is also a lobbying organization that more often than not is aligned with the beef processors at the expense of the beef producers. There is the rub. Beef producers are rightly upset that their checkoff monies are being used to fund and empower an organization that they feel does not represent their best interests.

The organizations supporting the OFF Act (Opportunities for Fairness in Farming) want USDA to do its job to properly oversee and regulate all checkoffs, with the beef checkoff clearly in mind.

All the best,

John K. Hansen, President

Nebraska Farmers Union



402-476-8815 Office 402-476-8859 Fax

402-476-8608 Home 402-580-8815 Cell

1305 Plum Street, Lincoln, NE 68502

Cattlemen Praise Congressional Resolution Supporting Beef Checkoff

By NCBA July 13, 2023

Cattle industry leaders on Thursday (July 13) praised the introduction of a bipartisan congressional resolution recognizing the importance of commodity checkoff programs, including the Beef Checkoff.

"As a cattle producer who invests in the Beef Checkoff, I know how important this program is to the continued success of America’s cattlemen and cattlewomen. The Beef Checkoff was created by cattle producers, is run by cattle producers, and provides immense benefit to cattle producers,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Todd Wilkinson, a South Dakota cattle producer. “I am proud of Representative Barry Moore (R-AL) for leading this resolution and standing with cattle producers to recognize the importance of checkoff programs. I hope more members of Congress listen to farmers and ranchers and reject animal rights activist-led proposals like the OFF Act that undermine producer control of checkoffs.”

Every time cattle are sold in the U.S., $1 from the sale goes to support the Beef Checkoff. These investments are collected by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), a producer-led organization overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Each year, industry organizations, research institutions, and land grant universities develop proposals focused on strengthening beef demand through research, consumer education, marketing, and promotion efforts. The cattlemen and cattlewomen that volunteer their time to serve on the Beef Board, as appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture, determine which proposals to fund. The organizations that receive funding become contractors to the Beef Checkoff and undergo regular audits to ensure the judicious use of producer dollars and compliance to the program.

"The Beef Checkoff might be most well-known for the Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. campaign, but the Checkoff’s benefits go far beyond advertising. Checkoff-funded programs have led to the development of new cuts of beef and strengthened consumer trust in the cattle industry’s animal welfare and sustainability," said NCBA Policy Division Chairman Gene Copenhaver, a Virginia cattle producer. "The Checkoff has made sure that beef is at the center of Americans’ dinner plates for generations while providing a strong return on investment to cattle producers. I am proud to pay into the Checkoff and know that this collective effort does way more for my operation and this industry than I could do own my own.”

View the resolution here.