The U.S Beef Check-Off Program was started in 1986 as a producer funded marketing and research program that assesses one-dollar per beef animal at the time the animal is sold. In 2014, Texas beef producers created a check-off of their own. The Texas Beef Council uses that money for research, education and marketing. Richard Wortham is the executive Vice-President of the Texas Beef Council.
“For producers putting money into the program, what’s the return on investment? The study that was done by Dr. Harry Kaiser from Cornell University says for every dollar invested eleven dollars and ninety-one cents comes back to the industry as a result of the Beef Check-Off Program. If you look at the results five years ago, it was eleven dollars and twenty cents.”
Wortham says he’s often asked, what’s the most important thing that the Beef Check-Off does?
“This study actually looked at nine different buckets of how Check-Off monies are being spent in the broad area of promotion, research, and education. It was really interesting to see how they broke down that study so producers can say how much did foreign market help? How much did promotion help? How much did research help? So it gives them a kind of good overall grade of how their Check-Off dollars are being utilized.”
Beef demand is up.
“If you think about what has beef demand meant in the last five years as a result of this study it’s up twenty-eight percent. And so if you think about that and then you think about what’s global beef demand been as a result of the Beef Check-Off Program it’s added about another five and a half percent to that. To me that’s good news for producers because I think they all need to understand the value of what the Beef Check-Off provides them when they’re selling their cattle and their calves.”
Wortham explained that participation in the Texas Beef Check-Off is voluntary and producers can ask for a refund within sixty days of the sale of their cattle.
“But if you think about the refunders, in Texas we have roughly two hundred. Two hundred out of one hundred and thirty thousand, I ‘d say that’s a pretty small percentage.”