Checkoff Program

Created in 1967, the Idaho Beef Checkoff is a producer-funded marketing and research program designed to build the consumer demand for beef through integrated local, state, national and international programs and to increase the opportunity for producer profitability.  This is accomplished through a combiniation of initiatives, including advertising, promotion, research, education outreach, new product development, and a variety of other marketing tools.

Checkoff dollars may be used toward six program areas:  promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications. It's important to note here that the law does not allow checkoff dollars to be invested in production research or to influence government policy or action, including lobbying.

All producers selling cattle or calves, for any reason and regardless of age or sex of the bovine, by law 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)

Under the National Beef Checkoff we are 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 (IBC), 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. 


Per the Idaho State Code, a refund may be requested in the amount of $0.50 per head for the State Checkoff. No refund is available on the first dollar since it is governed by the National Beef Checkoff. Producers wishing to seek a refund will need to complete a refund request following their payment of the checkoff assessment. Refund request forms are issued by the Idaho Beef Council office. To request a form, contact the IBC office at (208) 376-6004.


Also under the National Beef Checkoff Program, the Idaho Beef Council is legally responsible for collecting monthly assessments as well as a two percent late charge on checkoff remittances if they are not received by the 15th of the month following the month of sale. No producer is exempt from the checkoff. Buyers who resell cattle no more than ten days from the date of purchase may file a non-producer status form and avoid paying the checkoff assessment. Persons in non-compliance are subject to a civil penalty of up to $5,500 per transaction, plus un-remitted checkoff dollars and interest.

Idaho BQA

The Idaho Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program is a voluntary educational program for beef producers statewide.

Funded in part by the Idaho Beef Checkoff, development and implementation of the program is overseen by the University of Idaho Beef Extension Specialists, with valuable input from industry via the Idaho BQA Advisory Committee.

Through the use of science, research and educational initiatives, the BQA program provides systematic information to Idaho's beef producers and beef consumers of how common sense husbandry techniques can be coupled with accepted scientific knowledge to raise cattle under optimum management and environmental conditions. BQA guidelines are designed to make certain all beef consumers can take pride in what they purchase – and can trust and have confidence in the entire beef industry. 

How can you participate?

Participation in the program is voluntary.  Any person who works with beef and/or dairy cattle in a cow/calf, stocker, backgrounder, or feedlot business is encouraged to be BQA certified. Certification requirements can be achieved by participating in a training session conducted by an Idaho BQA trainer, or by successfully completing the self-study course. To learn more contact the Idaho Beef Council office at (208) 376-6004.