S.D. Beef Industry Council approves budget for FY 2014-15

Farm Forum

PIERRE — The South Dakota Beef Industry Council (SDBIC) Board of Directors met in September in Brookings. At the annual meeting, which is held in conjunction with South Dakota State University’s Beef Bowl, the BOD approved a $3.48 million budget for fiscal year 2015, which is a reduction to the $3.75 million budget passed one year ago.

One reason for the decrease, is fewer checkoff dollars are being collected each year. However, SDBIC Director Wayne Tupper says the directors are confident that beef checkoff stakeholders will get the best bang for their buck through the promotion, research and education projects planned for 2015.

“We are anticipating the lowest cowherd since 1951, so our collections will be down for 2015,” said Tupper. “We expect more heifers will be kept for replacement heifers, which will keep those dollars out of the market, as well.”

The state’s beef council, which is responsible for collecting and administering the $1 beef checkoff on all cattle sold in South Dakota, is required to direct 50 cents of every dollar to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for programs on the national level. The SDBIC retains 50 cents, which directors can choose to invest in in-state programs and/or enhance national program investments.

One area of focus for in-state programs is research. A budget of approximately $122,000 was approved to support two new studies at SDSU that focus on beef quality, food safety, and consumer demands.

Additionally, the in-state promotion budget was set at approximately $347,700 which will fund a number of projects including Beef Up Your Game, which reaches thousands of consumers at sporting events at SDSU and University of South Dakota football, Sioux Falls Canaries baseball, and Sioux Falls Stampede hockey games.

South Dakota checkoff dollars are also invested with the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, which hosts various events on the east coast, where large numbers of consumers can be reached. Projects include promoting beef at the Pennsylvania Farm Show that draws an estimated 585,000 attendees, and holding a Beef Boot Camp and New York Beef Farm Tour for retail, media and foodservice professionals.

“We didn’t cut any programs this year, but we did have to reduce spending a little bit on all of our promotions,” said Tupper. “We wanted to maintain these great programs without going over budget.”

The consumer information budget was set at $266,000 and will fund social media outreach, foodservice and retail programs as well as Team BEEF and Ag in the Classroom. Industry information, which includes funding for the South Dakota Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, will total approximately $93,000, with the producer communications budget set at $41,000. The total budget for in-state investments in 2015, says Tupper, will be $1,147,000, with support for national beef promotion, research and education at $2,337,000.

“We try to spend producer dollars the most efficient and effective way possible,” said Tupper. “I encourage checkoff stakeholders to visit website and see what we’ve been up to. It’s a new era, and we are reaching our consumers through social media. It’s been a great outreach tool for us, and I think producers will be impressed by what they see.”

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