Iowa Beef Checkoff Updates
April 5, 2016
Governor Branstad signed into law changes to the Iowa Beef Checkoff on March 31. Changes to the code were a priority for the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association in 2016. The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association thanks state Representatives and Senators for their support of House File 2269.
Prior to the national beef checkoff, Iowa had its own checkoff through the Iowa Code Chapter 181. For the past few years, Iowa’s cattle industry has shown interest in increasing funding for vital needs, such as promotion of our beef industry and production research specific to Iowa, by reinstating the Iowa beef checkoff. When reviewing Chapter 181 of Iowa Code, portions of the law were outdated, confusing, and irrelevant to the state’s current beef cattle industry. Therefore, during the 2016 Iowa legislative session, the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association lobbied for amendments to Chapter 181 to better align with cattle producer’s vision for the Iowa beef checkoff.
- Provide the refund request for the state checkoff online.
- Re-define uses for the state checkoff dollars.
- Strike cattle feeding contests and demonstrations.
- Add research on beef production and evaluation of Iowa beef production needs.
- Add education materials and opportunities for consumers, producers, and youth.
- Streamline engagement of the decision makers for the state checkoff.
- Two additional seats on the Executive Council (the entity that determines how checkoff dollars will be spent).
The amendments were based off of a cattle producer survey administered by the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. In late 2015, all ICA producer members received a survey to gauge interest in a state checkoff initiative. Over 900 survey results were tabulated and showed that 80% of those surveyed support reinstating the 50 cent state checkoff. Survey respondents represented all sectors of the industry and every county in Iowa.
Not only did the survey gauge interest of ICA members to reinstate the Iowa beef checkoff, but more importantly it asked members to prioritize investment resources collected through the state assessment. Survey results revealed that the national beef checkoff, due to federal code constraints, is not fully meeting the needs of the Iowa cattle industry. Those that participated in the survey ranked the importance of the following priorities for potential state dollars/additional investments:
- Marketing and promoting Iowa beef and beef products.
- Enhancing Iowa’s beef industry Image by marketing our Iowa producer image and communicating transparency.
- Production research focused on the state’s weather, feedstuffs, and management practices.
- Expanding international trade relationships.
- Providing educational opportunities to Iowa cattlemen and Iowa youth.
ICA anticipates a referendum vote later in 2016. ICA will educate cattle producers on when, where and how the vote will take place