A survey of 1,200 beef and dairy producers found that producers' attitudes toward the beef checkoff program are quite favorable and have improved noticeably in the past year. Currently about three in four approve of the program, a five-point positive shift in the past 12 months. The last time approval levels were this high was in 1994.
Wesley Grau, a cow-calf farmer from Grady, New Mexico, and chair of the Joint Producer Communications Committee, says producers who are 'very' or 'somewhat' well informed are more likely to approve of the checkoff, particularly among those who say they are very well informed. Among this group, 86% approve of the program, while only 10% disapprove. That's an 8% positive shift in the past year.
According to Grau, a key goal is that farmers and ranchers have a positive view of the way the checkoff is being managed. That they trust in the leadership and the decisions being made about their checkoff investment. Grau says this research shows that management of the checkoff is viewed favorably with 66% saying they believe it is being managed well.
At the request of USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service, the Office of Inspector General has begun an audit of AMS oversight of the beef checkoff and the Cattlemen Beef Board's relationship with its contractors.