National checkoff leaders this week approved a Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) budget of about $40.7 million for Fiscal 2014, reflecting a 5.6 percent decrease from the Fiscal 2013 amended budget, amid continued tight supplies and an expected slowing of cow slaughter.
The CBB Budget Committee, the Operating Committee, and the CBB Executive Committee each reviewed their respective portions of the proposed budget during separate conference calls on June 4. The budget is based on projected beef checkoff assessment revenues of $39 million in the coming year, down slightly from 2013. In addition, it incorporates an estimated $1.7 million in FY13 funds returned from programs coming in under budget for the current year, plus funds that the Operating Committee decided last September to carry over from FY13 revenues to counter the revenue decline expected in FY14.
As approved, the budget for the fiscal year running Oct. 1, 2013 – Sept. 30, 2014 includes more than $37.9 million for the Operating Committee – made up of 10 Beef Board members and 10 directors of the Federation of State Beef Councils – to assign for funding of national checkoff work plans from promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications budget categories of the CBB budget. It also incorporates $2.8 million to fund a CBB administration and USDA oversight budget approved by the Executive Committee, as well as program development and evaluation expenses approved by the Operating Committee.
“We continue to have budgetary challenges before us, as we knew we would,” said CBB Chairman Weldon Wynn, who also chairs the Operating Committee. “But we’re just really optimistic that the changes we’ve made in the structure of our checkoff committees this year will help us be more efficient than ever with every checkoff dollar we invest through the Cattlemen’s Beef Board.”
Wynn said that a Beef Demand Determinant Study contracted through the Joint Evaluation Committee is going to provide some additional direction to help the checkoff prioritize its investments solidly on efforts that stand to further the goals of the Beef Industry Long Range Plan most effectively. It will do so by ranking demand drivers in order of importance to consumers and the checkoff’s ability to influence them, so that Beef Board members and Federation of State Beef Councils directors serving on joint program committees understand what programs would benefit most from increased – or decreased – emphasis in checkoff work plans.