By: Sarah Metzler, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Director of Organizational Communications

When asked about checkoff activities, two out of three producers said “informing producers about the results of beef checkoff programs” was essential. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board invests a small percentage (about 3.5 percent) of its total budget to keep all producers informed about what their money is accomplishing. This year, funding will be spent on an initiative called The Drive.

If you are on this website, you already are experiencing The Drive. It is a movement to build a strong, trusting partnership with producers through listening, transparency and clear, direct communication.

Your beef checkoff has been your partner through challenging operating and economic conditions, negative news coverage about beef and cyclical cattle markets. However, over the past few years, the annual Producer Attitude Survey has revealed downward trends in producer knowledge, awareness and interest in the Beef Checkoff program:

  • Producers who recalled seeing, hearing or reading about the program was 43 percent in 2018 versus a high of 54 percent in 2015.
  • Awareness of who controls their checkoff is low – 46 percent “don’t know.”
  • Interest in the checkoff is also low – 56 percent said they did not want to know more about the program and its activities.

We understand that communication is a two-way street, and listening is as important – if not more important – as talking.

That is why The Drive will make every effort to better understand what producers want to know about the Beef Checkoff program. Through conversations with producers like yourself, we will gauge your checkoff awareness and perceptions, as well as gain valuable insights about your educational interests and needs.

That’s right – it is all about YOU. We will conduct roundtable discussions with key opinion leaders and have one-on-one conversations with beef producers (YOU!). Then, we will share those topics of interest with your fellow beef producers across the country.

And, we all know that our industry continues to face challenges from various action groups. The Drive will help address misconceptions and challenges by establishing an industry voice to educate producers, the media and other influencers about the facts.

The bottom line? We are focused solely on you. Let’s start having an open and honest conversation that will benefit the entire beef industry.

To be a part of our conversation, please email beefboard@beefboard.org.