Beef board evaluates spending priorities

US - More goals and less funding are making cattlemen think about how they invest in the future.
calendar icon 22 January 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
In the 20 years the beef checkoff has been around, the $1-per-head assessment on cattle sold has boosted demand, said Jay O'Brien, chairman of the Cattlemen's Beef Board. The tricky part is balancing spending priorities with resources.

The most public aspect of the checkoff's spending is the "Beef. It's what's for dinner" advertisements. However, in assessing needs the CBB has cut the television ads on that theme due to cost, O'Brien said.

Promotion takes slightly more than half of checkoff spending, but spending also funds education efforts and research on topics like nutrition and food safety.

In competing with cheap chicken, high-priced gasoline and occasional bad publicity, some in the beef industry are looking to firm up the strength of the checkoff that has an annual budget of about $50 million.

The Texas Cattle Feeders Association generally supports the idea that checkoff funding needs to increase.

"Inflation has eroded a significant portion of the spending ability," said Ross Wilson, CEO and president of TCFA. "We're supportive, but we're studying what level that should be."

Source: Amarillo Globe News
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