Producer Support Of Checkoff Softens, But Remains Strong

An independent survey of producers found 69 percent continue to approve of the Beef Checkoff Program. Importantly, the more producers know about the program, the more supportive they are. The survey also found that producers are generally more optimistic about the cattle industry than they were a year ago.

“We’ve all experienced a very challenging year, both within the industry and in other aspects of our lives,” says Jo Stanko, Investor Relations Working Group (IRWG) co-chair.  “That’s why we’re not surprised by a decline in support for the checkoff,” said the Steamboat Springs, Colo., producer. “But it is heartening to see producers becoming more optimistic about the future.”

The random survey of 1,252 beef and dairy producers nationwide was conducted by the independent firm Aspen Media & Market Research in late December 2016. The survey found that while support of the checkoff is down from a year ago, a substantial majority of beef and dairy producers continue to say their beef checkoff is a good value:

  • 76 percent of producers say the beef checkoff has contributed to a positive trend in beef demand,
  • 73 percent of producers say the beef checkoff has value even when the economy is weak,
  • 66 percent of producers say the beef checkoff contributes to the profitability of their operations,
  • 67 percent say the checkoff represents their interests,
  • 58 percent believe the checkoff is well-managed.

“Although most indicators have declined in the past year, 76 percent say ‘if producers don’t promote beef through the checkoff, nobody else is going to pay to promote it’,” says Stanko. “This tells me producers believe in what our checkoff is accomplishing, believe in the programs their investments support, and believe that they have control over their own future through the Beef Checkoff Program. That’s even more reason to be actively engaged and learn, then share, what your checkoff is doing.”

The key priority of the working group is to develop strategies that communicate checkoff-funded program results, educate, and build relationships with checkoff investors to gain a better understanding of the Beef Checkoff Program, says IRWG co-chair Kristin Larson, a producer from Sidney, Mont. “One way to start becoming more engaged with your checkoff is to read the 2016 Beef Board Annual Report.”

A summary of the Producer Attitude Study research findings is available online.

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