Producers on Federation Help Plan for Future at Summer Conference
Directors on the Federation of State Beef Councils were among the more than 700 producers wrestling with issues at the 2012 Cattle Industry Summer Conference the week of July 23. Jennifer Houston is a beef producer and auction market owner/operator from Sweetwater, Tenn., and serves as a vice president of the Federation representing Region Two of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Serving as a member of the Joint Advertising Committee, she says the Summer Conference is where producers roll up their sleeves to recommend programs for the coming year.
This is where really we sit down; for example yesterday on the Advertising Committee we actually evaluated three new – four, actually – new proposed ad campaigns, and made a decision to bring to the Operating Committee this September. So it’s really down in the dirt with the grassroots making decisions. (17 seconds)
Houston says the structure of the Beef Checkoff, which was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill, allows representatives from states to provide significant input into the $1-per-head program that funds research, education and promotion programs that increase consumer demand for beef.
We sort of bring the state perspective of the 50 cents that stays in our state, whereas the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, we can consider them the other half of the dollar that goes to national, and we come back together on the Operating Committee, which is made up of 10 people from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, 10 people representing state beef councils; truly it brings the state and national dollars together, because at the state beef councils, we can choose to send some of the 50 cents that we keep in our state to the national to further carry out national programs or to buy goods and services that we use back in the states to carry out our programs, in my example, in Tennessee. (40 seconds)
According to Houston, the relationship between the Federation of State Beef Councils and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board is an important one.
It’s a good relationship. Again, we both have the careful and wise use of your checkoff dollars – and our checkoff dollars – at heart. And I think each of us take that to heart very seriously. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board has more of an oversight role, and I think the state beef council’s, the Federation’s point of view is more, most of us do serve, and all of us have served, on our state beef councils, and we see exactly how it’s carried out in our states. So I think we bring two perspectives that work together to do the best job that we can with your checkoff dollars. (33 seconds)
The national Beef Checkoff Program is administered by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board subject to USDA approval.