Beef Magazine is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

How does the beef checkoff help your ranching operation?

How does the beef checkoff help your ranching operation?

Yesterday, the national beef checkoff program launched its “Rev It Up” My ROI Checkoff Challenge on Facebook. The contest is open to all beef checkoff stakeholders, with the grand prize being a 3-passenger Viking EPS 4x4 (a $21,728.07 value), courtesy of contest sponsor Yamaha.

Beef and dairy producers are encouraged to participate in the contest. Visit the My Beef Checkoff Facebook page to enter for a chance to win.

The “Rev It Up” contest will have two rounds. Round one will last eight weeks; each week, a new question will be asked on the My Beef Checkoff Facebook page. To enter the contest, beef producers must simply answer the question in 250 words or less. A prize will be awarded each week.


Subscribe now to Cow-Calf Weekly to get the latest industry research and information in your inbox every Friday!


After the eight weeks, eight finalists will move on to round two, in which finalists will be required to create a short video testimonial about an assigned beef topic. Visitors to the Facebook page will vote to select the grand prize winner, who will be announced on June 8.

So what does the beef checkoff do for you? A recent ROI study of the checkoff revealed that for every dollar invested in the program, there is an $11.20 return to beef producers. This return on investment might not be obvious at the ranch level, but a visit to a local grocery store can reveal a lot about how the checkoff is hard at work for beef producers.

For example, I recently attended the South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) board of directors meeting. While there, Briana Burgers, SDBIC director of online communications and a nutrition assistant, shared how she is utilizing checkoff dollars to help meat managers in grocery stores across the state sell beef. From helping managers educate staff about beef, to providing handouts to give to customers, to offering packaging ideas, the checkoff is offering critical support to help retailers move product.

I saw Burgers’ plan in action on Valentine’s Day, when I noticed some pre-cooked prime rib displayed in red heart-shaped packages. Each package contained two steaks formed in the shape of the heart. This packaging idea was suggested by Burgers to the retailers, who then made the concept an eye-catching reality, just in time for the Valentine's Day retail push.

In March, she’s offering to retailers stickers that say things like, “Dieticians dig me” and “Surprise, I’m a part of a heart-healthy diet.” These stickers can be added to packaging to help beef stand out in the meat case when displayed next to other protein options.

These are just a few examples of how the checkoff works for me on a local level. On a wider perspective, checkoff dollars allow the industry to react quickly in a crisis; the BSE outbreak in 2003 is a good case in point. Meanwhile, on an international level, the checkoff is deriving extra value for U.S. beef producers from beef products that aren’t that popular with consumers here in the U.S. but foreign cultures love and are willing to pay premiums for.

The checkoff also promotes personal involvement by producers, giving them the tools to get involved and help spread beef’s great message. For instance, over the weekend, my news feed was full of Team BEEF members promoting America’s favorite protein while running in local 5K races. And the online presence of the checkoff on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest helps to engage millennials and teach them how to choose and prepare the right cut of beef for the occasion.

Some consider the checkoff to be a forced tax, but the vast majority of checkoff stakeholders consider the checkoff to be a worthy and effective investment in beef promotion, education, product development and research. Without it, I’m not sure beef would still be king in the meat case, especially at its current price point.

Be sure to take part in the checkoff’s Facebook contest. It sounds like a fun and easy way to celebrate what the checkoff does for the U.S. beef industry; and winning an ATV would be a nice bonus.

How does the beef checkoff impact you and your operation? What do you see as the program’s biggest successes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or the Penton Farm Progress Group.


You might also like:

How Schiefelbein Farms made room on the ranch for nine sons

Prevention and treatment of cow prolapse

Photo Gallery: Home is where you hang your hat

World's largest vertically integrated cattle operation

8 tips for being a better ranch manager in 2015

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.