In today’s global marketplace, every successful cattle producer and importer knows the importance of planning when it comes to succeeding in their businesses. The same value holds true for the producers and importers who volunteer to make decisions about how to invest folks’ hard-earned dollar-per-head investments into the Beef Checkoff Program.

Those decisions are not made in a vacuum. In fact, every decision about investing checkoff dollars into beef promotion, research, education, information and foreign-market development aimed at building consumer demand for beef is directly tied to long-range planning.

In whole, checkoff planning is an integration of sorts between research of various types – beef safety, human nutrition, product enhancement and consumer market research – because they all come together to provide a roadmap for the future of the beef community.

So how does research helpwith long-range planning?

  • Provides basis for all checkoff programs
  • Keeps us on right track and in tune with trends/hones in on needs
  • Provides understanding of global marketplace
  • Maintains highest levels of safety and quality
  • Prepares us for worst-case scenarios
  • Measures strengths and weaknesses in existing programs

What is the process for planning checkoff expenditures?

  • Market research – Where it all begins. Consumers drive beef demand, so they are in charge. Market research goes directly to the source of what it is that they want and expect from our end products. This is critical in defining what is most important to accomplish and tells us how and to whom to deliver specific beef resources.
  • Beef industry Long-Range Plan – Developed every three to five years by representatives from various segments of the industry based on research of consumer trends and market forecasts by segment. The checkoff targets those Long-Range Plan goals that require promotion, research, information and foreign-market development programs that are appropriate for checkoff funding and develops a quarterly “scorecard,” which combines with a Long-Range Plan Advisory Group annual review to ensure checkoff programs stay on track and make meaningful progress toward the goals of the Long-Range Plan.
  • Annual Industry Scan – Annual review of the latest consumer market research to identify consumer trends and perceptions about beef and the beef industry. Identifies demand drivers such as taste, value, nutrition and health, safety and convenience.
  • Adaptation to demand drivers – Twice a year, producer leaders meet in committees based on the demand drivers defined in the Long-Range Plan and the Industry Scan to plan for the coming months and year. The goal is to identify promotions and other projects that directly focus the findings of the Industry Scan and the goals of the Long-Range Plan. See all program plans for the year at the Beef Checkoff website. PD

PHOTO:Be sure to visit thewebsiteto watch a video and read more from Don Schiefelbein, seedstock producer from Kimball, Minnesota, and 2014 Long-Range Plan Task Force Advisory Group member.Photo courtesy of Beef Checkoff.


The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.