So Why Is The Beef Check-off So Important To U.S. Producers?

ILLINIOS - All beef producers in Illinois pay a $1 per head check-off fee. This fee applies to cows, calves, bulls and fat cattle, no matter if they were sold through a sale barn or by private treaty. There will probably be an increase in this fee in the near future. Some producers wonder if this is really necessary, or if the industry needs a check-off.
calendar icon 2 April 2007
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All states send a portion of their check-off funds to the National Beef Board to develop national programs. More on that later.

In Illinois, our share, 50 cents of each dollar, is used to increase consumer awareness, and to work with retailers to make beef easy to find in the store, and easy to prepare at home. Check-off dollars are also used to communicate nutritional benefits of beef to retailers and consumers. Funds are also used to benefit producers through carcass data services and a Young Cattleman’s Conference. Funding is used to provide pro-active information to promote a positive image of the industry and beef. Finally, money is used to respond to and manage issues impacting the industry and producers.

On the national level, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, along with other meat associations, fund the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Activities conducted by the USMEF in international markets help spur U.S. meat purchases abroad and increase demand for our product. From 2005 to 2006, U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports climbed 41 percent in volume and 53 percent in value.

Mexico is the top destination for U.S. beef and beef variety meat, with volume increasing 33 percent and value 35 percent. The Middle East continues to post strong gains due to variety meat sales, increasing 185 percent in volume and 74 percent in value this past year.

A merchandising campaign held last November in Egypt increased awareness that U.S. beef livers are a high-quality product. Point-of-sale posters and displays, along with U.S. beef recipes, helped attract customer attention to the U.S. beef product. A complimentary supply of U.S. beef liver was offered to traditional Egyptian restaurants. Sales of U.S. beef liver increased dramatically, following the promotion. Customers asked for U.S. beef liver, and were fully aware of the difference in taste and quality of U.S. beef, compared to competitors. U.S. beef and beef variety meat exports to the Middle East through November 2006 were more than double the year end totals of 2003, for both volume and value.

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