When it comes to their own operations, producers largely believe the checkoff program has benefited them, and about seven in 10 think that the checkoff helped contribute to their profitability over the years. That's according to a checkoff-funded producer attitude survey conducted by an independent research company in January. One key to success? Ongoing communications to producers about programs funded by their beef checkoff investment.
To fill that communication need, the checkoff launched a producer Web site, MyBeefCheckoff.com, last summer. The site is updated on an ongoing basis with information that every producer needs to know – what the checkoff is doing with producers' money and the results of those programs.
Producers can stay informed on topics such as:
• Checkoff efforts to help move middle meats through foodservice, retail, public relations and advertising efforts
• Foreign marketing efforts – 95 percent of the world's population lives outside the U.S. border
• The basics: The Beef Act, The Beef Order, evaluations and annual financial reports
• Driving beef consumption through checkoff-funded efforts to develop new products
And the Web site recently received a “2008 Best of NAMA” award from the National Agri-Marketing Association for Web sites geared toward producers.
“Though we're not in this to win awards, to have our peers recognize the Web site for its value to beef producers really means a lot,” says Tennessee Beef Industry Council Chairman, Larry Cunningham, cow-calf producer from Spring City, Tenn. “Producers need to know where their checkoff investment is going in order to make informed decisions about the future of our industry AND educate consumers and producers alike who have questions about the checkoff.”
Producers can also sign up from the home page for a monthly e-newsletter (beef and/or dairy versions), and, read “Producers Talk” to learn about what others in the industry are doing to stay competitive on their own operations.
“It's a way to connect us to one another. We're all in this together for the long run, and I truly believe the only way to be satisfied with a program such as the checkoff is to be knowledgeable, informed and involved,” concludes Cunningham. “The Web site is a great tool. You can browse at your own pace and have information delivered right to your inbox; and, that's checkoff investment information that shows up, rain or shine.”
For more information about checkoff-funded programs, visit www.MyBeefCheckoff.com.