Cattlemen's Corner - Answers to Your Checkoff Questions

your checkoff program

Today’s $1.50-per-head Beef Checkoff was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill and Idaho state law. It is a producer-controlled, producer-funded self-help program returning value to cattle producers. Checkoff programs have helped increase demand for beef and improved profit opportunities for cattle producers.  The Idaho Beef Checkoff was created in 1967 by the Idaho legislature to promote the Idaho cattle industry and to support a national beef marketing effort. This law also created the Idaho Beef Council.

Who pays the beef checkoff?

By law, all producers selling (bovine) cattle or calves, for any reason and regardless of age or sex, must pay $1.50-per-head: 

• $1.00 – Per the National Beef Checkoff Program (1985 Farm Bill) 

• $0.50 – Additional per the State Checkoff (Idaho 2009 Law) 

Who collects the beef checkoff?

In Idaho, the $1.50 per head assessment is collected by the State Brand Inspector and remitted to the Idaho Beef Council. The Brand Inspector retains a portion as a collection fee.

Where does the checkoff money go and who controls it?

Under the National Beef Checkoff, the Idaho Beef Council is required to send fifty cents of the first dollar collected to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) for national programs. The remaining dollar is Idaho controlled. The Idaho Beef Council Board of Directors, who are industry nominated and appointed by the Governor for 3-year terms, provide financial oversight and determine how much of the in-state income should be invested in state, national and export programs.

What are checkoff dollars used for?

Checkoff dollars may be used toward six program areas:  promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications.  By law, checkoff funds cannot be used for production research or to influence government policy or action, including lobbying.

How can I get involved in the beef checkoff?

The best place to start is local. Producers and industry representatives can attend Idaho Beef Council board meetings, can become a member of the board, and/or can become a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), the Federation of State Beef Councils or US Meat Export Federation.