Committee recommends Beef Board budget approval
The Beef Promotion Operating Committee has recommended a $41.5 million Cattlemen's Beef Board budget for Fiscal 2010, reflecting a slight decrease from the Fiscal 2009 budget but down more than 15 percent from 2008.
The 2010 budget recommendation still must be approved by the full Beef Board, which administers the national checkoff program, and by U.S. Department of Agriculture. It includes:
--$18.1 million for promotion, including advertising, foodservice, retail and veal promotion, and new-product development.
--$6.2 million for research programs, including beef safety, product enhancement, nutrition research, and market research.
--$4.7 million for consumer information programs, which includes consumer public relations and information, and outreach to nutrition influencers.
--$2.9 million for industry information programs, including beef and veal quality assurance and issues management.
--$5.3 million for foreign marketing, including promotion and public-relations programs around the globe.
--$1.8 million for producer communications, including trade advertising, media relations, and direct communications to producers about the results of their checkoff investments.
--$220,000 for evaluation of checkoff programs.
--$130,000 for program development.
--$255,000 for USDA oversight.
--$2 million for administration, which includes costs for Board meetings, legal fees, travel costs, office rental, supplies, equipment, and administrative staff compensation.
"After the severe cuts we have faced in the last couple of years, we continue to be challenged to do more with less in Fiscal 2010," said Cattlemen's Beef Board Chairman Lucinda Williams, a dairy producer from Massachusetts who also chairs the Operating Committee. "We have to continue to operate as efficiently as possible without eliminating the checkoff's effectiveness."
Before making their recommendation, members of the Operating Committee--which includes 10 members of the Cattlemen's Beef Board and 10 directors from the Federation of State Beef Councils--spent three days with state beef council executives, leaders of the checkoff's joint program committees and members of the Joint Industry Budget Committee, as these groups developed strategies for investing the limited checkoff dollars in the most efficient manner possible in Fiscal 2010.
"There are so many terrific checkoff programs that we would like to expand--especially in these competitive economic times when we need consumers to keep beef top of mind when they fire up those grills," said Beef Board Secretary/Treasurer Tom Jones, a producer from Arkansas. "But we absolutely must balance the budget. This means evaluating every checkoff program up close, balancing results against the global economic environment and consumer attitudes, then placing our investments where we think they'll do the most good to advance beef demand and producer profitability during the coming year."
Chairman Williams said she believes the state beef councils, producer leaders, and the Budget and Operating committees did the best job possible of laying out a budget strategy for Fiscal Year 2010.
"Nobody likes cutting back budgets when there's so much more to be done," Williams said. "But we understand that the industry, the country, and the global economy are all in the same boat right now, and we're doing what we have to do. We look forward to the creative programs that beef industry groups will bring to the table for investment through this budget."
The CBB Executive Committee also ratified the Operating Committee's budget recommendation. In the coming stages of the Fiscal Year 2010 budgeting process, the full Beef Board will be asked to approve the budget at its meeting in Denver in July. Joint industry advisory committees and subcommittees also will meet in Denver to prepare recommendations for specific program proposals to be funded with that budget. These proposals will be considered by the Operating Committee in September, before the Oct. 1 beginning of the fiscal year, and must finally be approved by USDA before any checkoff dollars may be spent.
Funds from the Beef Board for national checkoff programs in Fiscal 2010 will be augmented by about $4.8 million in voluntary contributions from state beef councils to their national Federation of State Beef Councils.