Many of you know exactly what the beef checkoff does; however, some may be less familiar with the checkoff program. Every time a beef or dairy animal is sold, with a couple of exceptions, a dollar is collected. That dollar goes to the Missouri Beef Industry Council (MBIC) to do beef promotion, research and education work. Our overall mission is to protect and enhance beef demand.
MBIC is the entity that collects and disseminates the beef checkoff in Missouri. MBIC was officially formed back in 1986 when the national beef checkoff was implemented. Several “checkoff” programs existed in Missouri prior to the formation of the program we know today; however, at that time, many beef promotion entities were state or regionally specific. The national beef checkoff, enacted by Congress as the Beef Promotion and Research Act and Order, and then approved by a majority vote of cattle owners via referendum, helped to harmonize beef promotion and research efforts nation-wide.
Forty-five of fifty states have state beef checkoff programs. Those who don’t are the small northeastern states and Alaska. They don’t have many cattle, and can’t justify an entity to administer the checkoff programs in their states.
State beef councils like MBIC keep fifty cents of the dollar, and send the other fifty cents to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board which oversees the national programs. Let’s focus on the fifty cents we keep here in Missouri initially, and then we’ll focus on the national program in future articles.
MBIC is headquartered in Columbia, Mo., and the beef checkoff dollars are managed by a 13 member board of directors. The board is made up of nine active cattle farmers and ranchers who are elected by cattlemen and women. The state is divided into four quarters, and two farmers are elected in each quarter and one at-large state-wide. The rest of the board is made up of one representative each from the Missouri Dairy Association, the Missouri Livestock Marketing Association, the past-president of the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association and a member at-large chosen by the rest of the board. That member has traditionally been a representative from the Missouri Association of Meat Processors. Farmer members are predominantly cow-calf producers; however, there are usually several stocker/backgrounders and an occasional cattle feeder.
The board of directors oversees checkoff expenditures, and decides what the over-arching strategies should be to encourage more people in the Show-Me state to eat beef. The board directs the staff who then implements the tactics approved by the board. Each year the board and staff review programs and strategies, identifying what worked well, what needs improvement and what didn’t seem to work at all.
The next article, will discuss the board members and your MBIC staff members. Until next time, eat a steak and encourage a friend to buy one too!
John  grew up at Freistatt/Stotts City and graduated from Pierce City High School. John Kleiboeker is Executive Director of the Missouri Beef Industry Council.


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