Cattlemen’s Beef Board approves 2014 checkoff budget

Farm Forum

PIERRE – The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) Beef Promotion Operating Committee recently approved $38.5 million budget for beef promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in Fiscal Year 2014. This reflects a $1.15 million cut in Authorizations Requests.

The Operating Committee – including 10 members of the Beef Board and 10 members of the Federation of State Beef Councils – approved checkoff funding for a total of 18 proposals in the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2013. Two South Dakota beef producers were represented on the Operating Committee, including Linda Gilbert, a CBB member, and Becky Walth, who sits on the Federation of State Beef Councils.

“With the lower number of cattle in the U.S., our checkoff dollars are decreasing, and it looks like this trend will continue,” said Gilbert. “I believe we are doing really good things with the checkoff dollars we receive, and our smaller budget makes us more efficient. We have to work harder and smarter to get the most value for our checkoff dollar.”

“With fewer checkoff dollars, we need to closely evaluate projects that will increase beef demand,” added Walth. “We need to stay ahead of the curve on research in order to promote and educate our consumers about nutritious beef.”

The Operating Committee selected projects which target the Millennial Generation – consumers born between 1982 and 2002 – whom relies on social media to communicate and gather information.

“Our focus is to reach the Millennials,” said Walth. “This will be key on both national and state levels. The Millennial generation is in high school, college, getting married and starting to have children. These are the habit-forming years, and we want to influence this generation of folks to make the habit of feeding their families healthy beef.”

“Social media will be key as we move forward,” explained Gilbert. “Using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter will help us reach the Millennial generation and communicate on their level.”

The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) currently has a strong media presence online, spearheaded by Briana Burgers, SDBIC nutrition assistant and director of online communications. SDBIC can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, as well as at Burgers also writes on a blog, “Beauty and the Beef,” which can be found at

Despite the cuts, the CBB approved several project proposals presented by seven national beef organizations including: National Cattlemen’s Beef Association ($27.2 million); U.S. Meat Export Federation ($7.6 million); Cattlemen’s Beef Board ($1.5 million); North American Meat Association ($1.15 million); American National CattleWomen ($668,900); Meat Importers Council of America ($367,004); and National Livestock Producers Association ($30,000).

“We encourage all producers to reach out to SDBIC board of directors and offer feedback on how the checkoff dollars are being spent,” said Gilbert. “We can always use fresh ideas and new perspectives, so thoughts on the checkoff are always welcome.”

For details about the discussions of the Operating Committee, visit, and for general information about your checkoff, visit