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The Federation of State Beef Councils

Long before the beef checkoff became law, producer dollars for national promotion, research and information efforts were being conducted at the state and national level. In fact, checkoff programs had been created in a handful of states back in the 1950s.

In 1963, a more concerted effort to create a national, focused beef program was brought to fruition when the National Live Stock and Meat Board created the Beef Industry Council (BIC), which became the first home of the Federation of State Beef Councils.

As the years went by, more and more states started creating their own checkoff programs, and joining up with other states on national programs through the Federation. By 1983, 35 states had checkoff programs and were participating in national programs through the BIC.

When the Beef Promotion and Research Act was written into law in 1985, it was obvious that states would retain significant grassroots control over the program – both in terms of checkoff collection and in terms of program direction. Half of each checkoff dollar collected by the Qualified State Beef Council would be at the control of that council’s Board, and half of the members of the Beef Promotion Operating Committee (BPOC) – which determines which national and international programs would be funded and at what levels – would come through the Federation of State Beef Councils.

In the last 50 years, state beef councils have proven to be critical in the success and acceptance of the Beef Checkoff Program. The more than 700 beef producers and beef industry representatives who sit on their boards represent the grassroots control and involvement sought by beef producers throughout the country.

The Federation, meanwhile, provides a framework from which these councils derive their national voice. Together with the other partners in the Beef Checkoff Program, the Federation helps provide a professional beef demand-building team, guided by a broad coalition of volunteer beef producer leaders, which serves the entire industry of producers all across the United States.

Giving Structure to a Voice

In 2008, a Federation Working Group was formed in response to a recommendation from an industry-wide beef checkoff task force. The Working Group was charged with finding ways to increase the beef industry’s understanding of the Federation’s role in the checkoff process.

That Working Group created a Vision Statement that outlined the Federation’s overall goals and intentions as it established its core platform for checkoff involvement.

The group in 2009 created, and the Federation Board approved, the Federation’s Statement of Beliefs, which stresses the importance of an effective state/national checkoff partnership and recognizes producer control of checkoff dollars through the state beef councils, which are the foundation of the checkoff. These Beliefs were reaffirmed by the Federation Board in February, 2013.

Over the ensuing few years, the Federation continued to foster industry understanding of its structure, including operational ties to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), which had been created when the National Live Stock and Meat Board and the National Cattlemen’s Association merged in 1996 to form NCBA. In 2010, the Federation Board approved a resolution reaffirming its organizational independence and its intention to remain under the NCBA umbrella. That resolution was also reaffirmed in 2013.

Finally, the Working Group created a Charter of Principles to clarify the way in which the Federation makes its own business and financial decisions. The Federation Board approved this Charter in February, 2011. 

Federation information on this page funded by the Beef Checkoff.