Marketing Plan

National Beef Checkoff

Legislation was passed in the 1985 Farm Bill that established the first national checkoff program. This self-help assessment program provides a vehicle for producers to pay one dollar per head each time cattle are sold. These funds are collected at the state level with half of these monies staying instate and the other half going to the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board where they are pooled to provide programs to increase consumer demand for beef.

In 1988, cattle producers throughout the U.S. voted overwhelmingly to make the checkoff program mandatory with 79% voting in favor. Producer support over the years has been strong with approximately 70% of the producer’s surveyed voicing support for the national program. In Alabama, the Alabama Cattlemen’s Association is the qualified state beef council. The ACA collects and administers the national beef checkoff program in the state.

Alabama Beef Checkoff

Alabama has one of the oldest state checkoff programs the nation, being enacted into law in 1961. When the national checkoff program went into effect in 1986, the state checkoff was placed on the shelf. In 2003, producers voted to re-activate the state checkoff program with a 50 cent assessment on all cattle sold. In October of 2011, producers voted to increase the state checkoff assessment to $1; a change effective as of January 1, 2012. The Alabama Cattlemen’s Association is the organization certified by the Alabama Department of Agriculture Board to manage the program. A producer task force representing all segments of the cattle industry and beef organizations meets annually to develop a marketing plan on how checkoff dollars will be spent. The state checkoff program differs from the national checkoff program in three major ways:

  1. State Checkoff program has a refund provision
  2. State Checkoff monies can be spent in a much broader area of programs including production and marketing
  3. A producer referendum is held every five years on whether or not to continue the State Checkoff program

To download this year's copy of the producer-developed Beef Checkoff Marketing Plan which details how and where both state and national checkoff dollars are spent in Alabama, please click the image below: