Checkoff Plans

Beef Spending for FY21 Portions Out More than $39 Million

One area of proposed spending for FY21 is pre- and post-harvest safety measures for beef.(Progressive Farmer photo by Victoria G. Myers)

The Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) announced it has approved spending $39,380,000 from checkoff dollars on 13 different programs for Fiscal Year 2021. These spending plans are subject to the USDA's approval.

Authorization requests (or grant proposals) were brought by nine contractors for the new fiscal year. Total requested funds came in at $47,725,121, exceeding what was available from the CBB budget. Requests were heard by a committee of 10 producers from the CBB and 10 producers from the Federation of State Beef Councils (BPOC).

CBB and BPOC chair, Jared Brackett, noted "cattlemen and women from across the U.S. and importers carefully considered every proposal to determine where we should spend these checkoff dollars with one primary goal in mind—increasing beef demand to provide producers with the best possible value for their checkoff investments."

Brackett, a fifth generation Idaho cattle producer, described the ideas contractors brought to the meeting as "incredibly innovative". The dollars available were allotted as follows:

*National Cattlemen's Beef Association--$26,442,207

*United States Meat Export Federation--$8,350,170

*Cattlemen's Beef Board--$1,689,915

*North America Meat Institute--$994,068

*American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture--$670,996

*Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education--$646,144

*Meat Import Council of America/Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative--$497,037

*National Institute for Animal Agriculture--$89,466

The Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 requires the budget be broken out by "component" as well. That yields a clearer picture of how the money is intended to be used, as opposed to which group it is designated for.

From largest component, to smallest, the BPOC reported that $9.8 million is slated for promotion programs, which include continuing the consumer digital advertising program and veal promotion. Research programs are next at $8.9 million. These programs, according to the BPOC focus on a variety of issues including pre- and post-harvest safety, product quality, human nutrition, markets and beef/culinary innovations.

Foreign marketing and education is set at $8.4 million, which covers work in 80 countries in regions that include: the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Caribbean, the Central America/Dominican Republic, China/Hong Kong, Europe, Japan, Korea, Mexico, the Middle East, Russia/Greater Russian Region, South America and Taiwan.

Consumer information programs, which include a Northeast public relations initiative and work with school curriculum directors nationwide, is slated at $7.3 million. In a similar vein, $3.3 million is set for industry information programs, which include countering misinformation from anti-beef groups and funding for participation in the 5th annual national industrywide symposium focused on discussion and dissemination of information regarding antibiotic use.

Producer communications round out the breakdown, at $1.7 million. This is money spent for investor outreach regarding checkoff results, publishing strategies and state beef council content hubs.

The full CBB will still have to approve this plan, followed by the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service.