Idaho beef checkoff increases to $1.50 per head
On Wednesday, April 1, 2009, Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter signed the bill to increase the beef checkoff by fifty cents in the state of Idaho. Producers across Idaho, who are presently paying a checkoff assessment of $1 per head each time a bovine animal is sold, will begin being assessed $1.50 per head effective July 1, 2009.
The bill was introduced into legislation by the Idaho Cattle Association (ICA) following overwhelming support from ICA members and Idaho’s dairy, auction market, and Farm Bureau organizations. When the national Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill, the checkoff was assessed at $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle. 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 oversees the national Beef Checkoff Program. Checkoff revenues are used for promotion, education, research and public information programs to improve the demand for beef.
More than 20 years since its inception, the beef checkoff is still being assessed at $1 per head. In today’s economy, it takes about $2.11 to get the purchasing power, due to inflation, that $1 gave the checkoff when it was initially created. “A dollar just doesn’t buy what it did two decades ago,” stated Carl Ellsworth, president-elect of ICA. “There is never a right time to increase our assessment rate, but I believe this increase is the prudent choice required in order to maintain our important and valuable programs designed to increase the consumer demand for beef and sustain growth in our industry.” — WLJ