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New Structure Brings Focus, Flexibility to Checkoff

14 August 2012

US - A newly approved structure for joint beef checkoff committees endeavors to engage more cattle producers and beef importers who pay the checkoff in a more efficient decision-making process about investment of their hard-earned checkoff investments.

Adopted unanimously by both the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) and the Federation of State Beef Councils during the recent 2012 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver, the new structure effectively reduces the number of checkoff programme committees – which are responsible for making recommendations to the Beef Promotion Operating Committee about programs to fund with checkoff dollars – from the current 13 to just four in 2013.

Each of those four new committees will be tied directly to core strategies identified in the 2011-2013 Beef Industry Long Range Plan, with subcommittees for the domestic market formed around the beef demand drivers identified in that same plan. As envisioned, committees will be flexible enough to change with adoption of a new long range plan, if those strategies and demand drivers change.

“Unification of the industry around the goals of the Long Range Plan is the vision of the plan itself,” said Beef Board member Hank Maxey, who chaired the CBB Special Committee on Committee Structure, appointed by the Beef Board to examine the checkoff committee structure and determine if it was still the best fit for today’s checkoff. The resulting proposal approved at summer conference was the work of that committee, with input from and coordination with producer leaders of the Federation of State Beef Councils.

“This joint working group reviewed the draft structure presented to the Boards in February, and also reviewed many other committee models, to find the model that would best fit today’s checkoff work,” said Federation Chairman Craig Uden of Nebraska.

Results of that work was presented both to the full Cattlemen’s Beef Board and, separately, to the directors of the Federation, during the 2012 summer conference, and both boards approved the new structure unanimously.

According to the approved structure, the four initial checkoff program committees will be:

  • Domestic Consumer Preference Committee
  • Global Growth Committee
  • Beef’s Image Committee
  • Freedom to Operate Committee

From the outset, the Domestic Consumer Preference Committee will have five subcommittees, each focused on one of five consumer demand drivers in the Long Range Plan: convenience; safety; value; nutrition and health; and taste. Other committees may appoint subcommittees where deemed necessary by committee members.

“You’ll note that the goal is to improve domestic preference for beef – not demand,” Mr Maxey pointed out. “Of course, beef demand involves volume and price. The Long Range Plan committee knew that we have more direct control over improvement of consumer preference, but not so much control over improvement in beef demand, due to our inability to control price.”

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