SURVEY: Beef producers: do you support the $1 checkoff program?


By Peggy Lowe | Mar. 18, 2014

Cattle business from the producers’ eyes

Allen and Lynda Berry own a cow-calf operation in central Missouri. (Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media)

The beginning for most cows starts on a family farm where cow-calf operators raise cattle the old-school way. But some worry that the industry is moving towards consolidation, like the hog and poultry industries. Click here to read about what life is like as a cow-calf operator.

We’ve all heard the ads that say, “Beef: it’s what’s for dinner.” The popular commercials have been funded by the people who raise cattle, producers who pay a mandatory $1 “check off” on each animal that raises $80 million annually. Most of that money is used for promotion and education. But there’s been some criticism in recent years, some from a group of small producers who argue that the marketing solely benefits the four large companies that make up more than 80 percent of the industry. And, an audit released two years ago suggested that some of the money is used for lobbying politicians, a violation of the law.

What do you think? Do you support the beef check-off? Do you believe the money goes for a good cause? Would you like to know what the money is spent on? Is there any talk in your state cattleman’s group about this? We’d like to hear from you.