Leaders of the nation’s beef checkoff have selected nearly $40 million in projects that will be funded in the next fiscal year.
According to a release from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, contractors brought about $8.3 million more in requests than the Beef Promotion Operating Committee could support with its eventual $39.3 million in allocations for the 2021 fiscal year.
Jared Brackett, chair of the CBB and BPOC, said the contracts included “some incredibly innovative ideas and projects,” which presented “a real challenge to balance the budget and distribute our limited amount of checkoff dollars to these contractors in a way that we believe will best drive beef demand.”
As usual, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association will receive the largest allocation — more than $26.4 million — from the checkoff. The U.S. Meat Export Federation is set to receive $8.3 million; CBB is the only other contractor to receive a seven-figure sum and will receive nearly $1.7 million. Five other organizations will receive less than $1 million: The North American Meat Institute ($994,068); the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture ($670,996); the Foundation for Meat and Poultry Research and Education ($646,144); the Meat Import Council of America and Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative ($497,034); and the National Institute for Animal Agriculture ($89,466).
Promotion will make up the largest portion of the annual plan of work, which includes $9.8 million for things like digital advertising and veal promotion. There’s also $8.9 million for research on issues such as beef safety, product quality, and beef and culinary innovations. The checkoff will also fund $8.4 million for foreign marketing and education in 80 countries.
By law, checkoff funds — which are collected from a $1 per head assessment on all cattle sold and imported — are prohibited from use in lobbying and other policy work. CBB’s total $43.1 million budget — a 3.2% drop from last year — also includes $720,000 for USDA oversight.
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