The Cattlemen’s Beef Board will invest about $39 million into programs of beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in fiscal year 2015, if this week's recommendation of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee is approved by USDA, following review by the full Beef Board.

In action concluding its Sept. 16-17 meeting in Denver, the Operating Committee — including 10 members of the Beef Board and 10 members of the Federation of State Beef Councils — approved checkoff funding for a total of 18 “Authorization Requests,” or proposals for checkoff funding, in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2014. The committee also recommended full Beef Board approval of a budget amendment to reflect the split of funding between budget categories affected by their decisions.

"As both a producer and a checkoff leader, it’s rewarding to see the tremendous efforts that go into responsible investment of producers’ and importers’ hard-earned dollars into solid checkoff programs that produce results,” said Beef Board and Operating Committee Chairman Kim Brackett (pictured), a cattle producer from Idaho. “I am truly excited about the opportunities that we have before us as an industry and so pleased that we have our checkoff to take those on.”

In the end, the Operating Committee approved proposals from eight national beef organizations for funding through the FY15 Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget, as follows:

  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (nine proposals for $27.8 million)
  • U.S. Meat Export Federation (one proposal for $7.7 million)
  • Cattlemen’s Beef Board (one proposal for $1.5 million)
  • North American Meat Association (three proposals for $1.1 million)
  • American National CattleWomen (one proposal for $371,000)
  • Meat Import Council of America (one proposal for $350,800)
  • American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture (one proposal for $222,500)
  • National Livestock Producers Association (one proposal for $45,000)

Broken out by budget component, the Fiscal Year 2015 Plan of Work for the Cattlemen’s Beef Board budget includes:

  • $8 million for promotion programs, including continuation of the checkoff’s consumer digital advertising program, as well as veal promotion.
  • $9.7 million for research programs, focusing on a variety of critical issues, including pre- and post-harvest beef safety research, product quality research, human nutrition research and scientific affairs, market research, and beef and culinary innovations.
  • $10.4 million for consumer information programs, including a Northeast public relations initiative, national consumer public relations, including a “Moms, Millennials and More” consumer information program, nutrition-influencer relations, and creation of a digital application and beef game for youth.
  • $1.7 million for industry information programs, comprising dissemination of accurate information about the beef industry to counter misinformation from anti-beef groups and others, as well as funding for checkoff participation in a fourth annual national industry-wide symposium focused on discussion and dissemination of information about antibiotic use.
  • $7.7 million for foreign marketing and education in some 80 countries in the following: ASEAN region; Caribbean; Central America/Dominican Republic; China/Hong Kong; Europe; Japan; Korea; Mexico; Middle East; Russia/Greater Russian Region; South America; and Taiwan.
  • $1.5 million for producer communications, which includes producer outreach using national communications and direct communications to producers about checkoff results; as well as development and utilization of information conduits, such as auction markets; maintenance of a seamless partnership with state beef council producer-communication efforts; and producer attitude research to determine producer attitudes and desires of their checkoff program.

Other expenses funded through the $41.3 million 2015 CBB budget include $221,000 for evaluation, $305,000 for program development, $325,000 for USDA oversight; and about $1.9 million for administration, which includes costs for Board meetings, legal fees, travel costs, office rental, supplies, equipment, and administrative staff compensation. Fiscal Year 2015 begins Oct. 1, 2014.

“These meetings are both a bit of the best of things, and a bit of the worst of things, because we have so many terrific proposals from beef organizations but we cannot fund all of them,” Brackett said. “With our task before us, though, we had two days of active discussion about how to do what’s best for all producers and importers who pay their hard-earned dollars into this checkoff program. I am proud of the plan we were able to put together toward enhancing consumer preference for beef over other proteins in the coming year.”

For details about individual proposals considered by the Operating Committee this week, visit MyBeefCheckoffMeeting.com.