Is It Time to Raise the $1 Beef Checkoff Rate?

Bob Drake of Oklahoma has given a lifetime of service to the cattle industry. The former president of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association played a big role in getting the dollar-a-head Beef Checkoff approved in the mid-1980s. While Drake is a strong supporter of the dollar checkoff, he says it’s time to move to the next level.

Drake says, “We need desperately to increase the checkoff. The dollar of 1987 – and that’s when this was passed – the dollar was worth $1. Today that same dollar’s worth 35 cents. Producers seem to not understand that for every dollar they spend, they get $11, $12, $14 at different times and different rates. But let’s just use the word $11 because that’s where it was for years. So, I don’t know of anywhere you could get a better return than 11 to one. But explaining that, particularly to small producers that are having to give that dollar a head up, has been very difficult. We turned it down in Oklahoma. It’ll be difficult to do, but it needs to be done, desperately needs to be done.”

The movement to get this done starts with cattle producers.

Drake says, “The only ones that can do it – BIC can’t do it, councils can’t do it, and CBB can’t do it. They can’t fund it – It has to be done by the producer side of the equation, the old NCA side. A Majority of the producers that I deal with are for an increase. That’s the people that understand how important it is. And that’s not the people that vote. We desperately need that dollar increase to $2. The dollar goes half to the cattlemen’s beef board and half to the councils. It’s hard to do with 35 cents what you did with a dollar.”

Story provided by Ron Hays, Radio Oklahoma Network, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and NAFB News Service