The Iowa Beef Industry Council is joining with other beef councils around the country in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Federation of State Beef Councils.
Established in 1963, the federation helps assure grassroots involvement in the national $1-per-head Beef Checkoff Program and provides assistance and support to state beef councils.
First created in 1963 as the Beef Industry Council of the National Live Stock and Meat Board, the federation is now a division of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, which is a contractor to the Beef Checkoff Program. Qualified State Beef Councils in 45 states collect the $1-per-head checkoff, and retain control of 50 cents of each dollar to be used on in-state, national and international beef promotion, research and education programs approved by their boards. The other 50 cents is sent to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for use in national and international demand-building programs.
“Over the past half century, this has been a successful cooperative effort at the state and national levels to help build demand for our beef,” says Terri Carstensen, Iowa Federation director from Odebolt. “The foundation built by visionary beef producers back in the 1950s and 60s has proven solid over time. We’re excited about what we’ve done, but even more excited about what this partnership means for the future.”
In addition to collecting the dollar and conducting in-state programs, state beef councils select representatives to the federation, which elects half of the members of the 20-member Beef Promotion Operating Committee, which helps select programs to be funded with national checkoff funds. BPOC-identified programs must be approved by both the cattlemen’s beef board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State councils also select representatives of joint advisory committees that help identify checkoff-funded programs to conduct.
Helen Wiese, Manning, who also represents Iowa on the federation says giving state beef councils such important roles assures grassroots participation in, and control over, the Beef Checkoff Program. Furthermore, research shows producers continue to support these kinds of efforts in this kind of program. In 1988 the approval level in a referendum to continue the program was 79 percent. The most recent independent producer attitude study in the December, 2012 put the producer approval level at 76 percent, which is unchanged since January 2012.
“The bottom-up structure of the Beef Checkoff Program has passed the test of time,” Wiese said. “Although there will certainly be changes to our programs and our structure as our industry matures, I’m confident the successful base we’ve established will be around for at least another half century. We’re thrilled to help wish a happy 50th anniversary to the Federation of State Beef Councils.”