Checkoff support highest in 21 years

Opinion
Mar 21, 2014
by WLJ

As a beef producer, I’m proud to be a part of an industry that takes care of its own and is flush with individuals who go that extra mile to do their part. I am also honored to serve as Secretary/Treasurer of the Beef Checkoff Program in 2014 to represent cattle producers and importers across this great nation in putting together plans and actions to keep our heritage alive for future generations.

With that in mind, ask yourself this: “Am I as informed as possible about the checkoff? Do I help make sure that my friends and neighbors know how their checkoff dollars are invested?” Through the years, we have seen a direct correlation between knowledge about our checkoff program and support for it. Did you know that our latest Producer Attitude Survey, conducted in January, indicates that producer support for the beef checkoff—at 78 percent—is at its highest level in 21 years?! Clearly, a number of producers are doing their part to share the facts about our checkoff program.

In reading through the topline results of that survey, I was pleased to see a growing number of you identifying with the benefits of our checkoff. For example:

• Eight out of 10 of you believe the beef checkoff contributes to a positive trend in beef demand.

• 71 percent of you believe the beef checkoff contributes to the profitability of your operations.

• 77 percent believe the checkoff is there for you in a crisis.

• 79 percent believe the checkoff represents your interests.

• Two out of three of you believe the checkoff is well managed.

So, despite being challenged by drought, critics of checkoff contractors and anti-meat groups that would like to see us go out of business, beef and dairy producers continue to see more in our Beef Checkoff Program than just paying for a few ads. And I’m proud to say that I am one of the eight out of 10 who believe the checkoff has contributed to a positive trend in beef demand.

I have a long history of working for the Beef Checkoff Program, having served as Executive Vice President of the Texas Beef Council during the early years of the national checkoff, and since then serving on the Texas Beef Council and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. So, I know firsthand how our checkoff has served the beef industry for nearly 28 years, with programs that producers identify and approve—and this survey indicates this grassroots involvement is the reason we see the checkoff “as representing our interests.”

As producers, we are part of an increasingly competitive global market, and if we are to continue to succeed, we must not only produce a safe, nutritious and sustainable product, but also promote its benefits to consumers in this country and worldwide. We can only do this by working together, and our beef checkoff offers that opportunity.

Our job as guardians of that heritage is the core reason I have made time to volunteer for our industry and, specifically, for our Beef Checkoff Program. I can’t even begin to tell you how much our checkoff investments really do for all of our operations.

I know for certain that I don’t have the time, expertise or money to run a comprehensive promotion, research and communication program that safeguards my operation on a daily basis. And I would venture to guess that most of you don’t either. But, together, we can continue to grow respect and business, while constantly improving the product we provide to consumers’ dinner tables worldwide.

I urge you to make a point of sharing the good news about our checkoff program! And please remember that your checkoff leadership welcomes comments and suggestions, so call the Beef Board staff at 303/220-9890 and they will put you in touch with me – or any other board officer or member, for that matter. — Anne Anderson, Cattlemen’s Beef Board Secretary/Treasurer

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