The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) received notification from the Ohio Department of Agriculture on March 31 certifying that the Ohio Beef Marketing Program Referendum, seeking to increase the state’s beef checkoff from $1 to $2 per head, passed with a majority of favorable votes by Ohio’s cattlemen.
"We were very happy to get the news," said Frank Phelps, OCA President. "I would like to thank cattlemen throughout Ohio and those organizations who got behind this effort and understood the need to increase checkoff resources to better promote our product."
According to the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s announcement, a total of 2,118 votes were certified; 1,527 votes, or 72 percent of the total, were cast in favor of the referendum and 591 votes, about 28 percent, were opposed to the increase. Producers were able to vote by absentee ballot, and also in person at the Ohio Department of Agriculture and at OSU Extension offices.
The Ohio Beef Checkoff currently generates $305,000 in operating funds for the Ohio Beef Council. The Ohio Beef Council develops and supports educational programs, such as Beefonomics, which bring information about beef production and nutrition into the classroom. It also supports retail grocery promotions by providing research and merchandizing ideas through a website and monthly newsletter.
The recently passed checkoff increase will generate a total of approximately $900,000 that will stay in Ohio and allow the Council to extend beef’s presence in Ohio’s schools, conduct more public relations outreach with Ohio food publications, directly connect with consumers through spokesperson training programs, provide nutrition seminars for health professionals and develop a greater statewide media presence through radio and print, all which help to reach Ohio’s 11.5 million consumers with a beef message.
"We’re excited that the beef producers of Ohio had the foresight to invest in the future of Ohio’s beef industry," said Bill Sexten, Ohio Beef Council Chairman. "These actions will provide the Ohio Beef Council stability to continue and grow programs that drive beef demand in the state."
To learn more about how Ohio beef checkoff dollars are invested, visit the Ohio Beef Council’s website at www.ohiobeef.org.
Though the OCA initiated the referendum, the organization will not benefit from the checkoff increase.
More information on the official starting date for collecting the additional $1 and obtaining refunds will be available in the coming months.
The Ohio Cattlemen's Association is an affiliate of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and is the state's spokesperson and issues manager for all segments of the beef cattle industry including cattle breeders, producers and feeders. It is the grass roots policy development organization for the beef business. Through the Ohio Cattlemen's Association, cattle producers work to create a positive business environment, while providing consumers with a safe and wholesome product.
Source: Ohio Cattlemen’s Association