Checkoff survey says program is producer-supported
Three out of four producers (76 percent) continue to approve of the Beef Checkoff Program and the more they know about the program, the more supportive they are. Results of the January 2016 producer attitude study show support at the same level as a year ago, despite much more pessimism about what lies ahead for the live cattle market.
The random survey of 1,200 beef and dairy producers nationwide was conducted by the independent firm Aspen Media & Market Research in late December 2015 and early January 2016. The survey found an overwhelming majority of beef and dairy producers continue to say their beef checkoff has value for them in many ways:
84 percent of producers say the beef checkoff has helped to contribute to a positive trend in beef demand.
73 percent of producers say the beef checkoff contributes to the profitability of their operations.
76 percent say the checkoff represents their interests.
67 percent of producers believe the checkoff is well-managed.
“With limited budgets, we’ve had to move more and more of our producer communications into digital media over the past couple of years,” says Investor Relations Working Group (IRWG) Co-Chair Jo Stanko. “This survey found younger producers better informed and more supportive of checkoff programs than the older producers surveyed. This may the first indication that the digital strategy is paying off, since younger producers also are more likely to go online for information about their industries and they seem to be getting to know their checkoff while there,” the Steamboat Springs, Colo., producer adds.
The key priority of the working group is to ‘develop strategies that communicate checkoff-funded program results, educate, and build relationships with checkoff investors to gain a better understanding of the Beef Checkoff Program,’ notes IRWG co-chair Kristin Larson, a producer from Sidney, Mont.
“While we know it’s our responsibility to make checkoff information available to all who pay into the program, we will always struggle with finding the right level of funding to do the job,” says Larson. “This latest survey illustrates conflicting realities when it comes to the checkoff. On the one hand, only 67 percent of producers consider themselves ‘informed’ about the checkoff, yet 84 percent now say the checkoff ‘has contributed to a positive trend in consumer demand.’ We know ‘better informed’ leads to greater support. So, for now, we’re hanging in there.”
A summary of the research findings is available online.