Approval of Beef Checkoff slightly lower

January 29, 2009 06:00 PM

Producers continue to have a favorable opinion about the Beef Checkoff Program, despite the current economic challenges facing the industry. A representative survey of 1,200 beef producers nationwide was conducted by an independent market research firm in late December and early January and found that 68% of producers approved of the checkoff, down from 72% a year ago.

"With negative market conditions we expected that overall approval might drop,” said Richard Nielson, an Ephraim, Utah, cow-calf producer and chairman of the Joint Producer Communications Committee. He said while the shift in approval is just outside the survey's statistical margin of error of ±2.8% and is therefore ‘significant,' the survey found that producers recognize the program has some key strengths and plays an important role in the cattle business. 

Producers were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements about the checkoff. A large majority, 83%, felt the checkoff program has helped contribute to a positive trend in consumer demand for beef. About the same number believed the program had value in weak economic conditions and were confident the checkoff is on their side during a crisis.

When it comes to their own operation, producers largely said the program had benefited them. Approximately seven in 10 thought that over the years the beef checkoff helped contribute to the profitability of their operations. Management of the checkoff was viewed favorably as well. Nearly two-thirds, 64%, believed the checkoff program is being managed well.

"Our goal is to make learning about the beef checkoff as easy and as available as possible for producers everywhere,” Neilson said. A copy of the research report is available online.

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