Each $1 invested in the national beef checkoff returns $11.91 to producer profits. That’s the conclusion of new research conducted by a Cornell University economics professor funded by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB).
With a return of nearly $12 in incremental net revenue, the program is “clearly a very profitable venture, way more than the cost of the program,” says Harry M. Kaiser, a Gellert Family Professor of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University.
Kaiser conducted the economic study in fiscal year 2019 to measure the return on beef producers’ and importers’ investments into the national portion of the Beef Checkoff program over the past five years (2014-2018).
The study, “An Economic Analysis of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board Demand-Enhancing Programs,” found had there not been any domestic CBB demand-enhancing activities over the latest 5-year period, total domestic beef demand would have been 14.3% lower than actual.
Similarly, had there not been any CBB contribution to Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and U.S. Meat Export Federation’s (USMEF) foreign market development programs over the past 5 years, U.S. beef export demand would have been 5.5% lower than actual in the eight foreign markets studied.
Kaiser said his research suggests the beef checkoff, at roughly 12 to 1, is performing well compared to other commodity checkoffs. He examined 44 past studies which show the median benefit-cost ratio of other checkoffs is about 6-1 to 6.5-1.
Kaiser’s study only pertains to the funds collected for the national Beef Checkoff program. It did not account for the portion of funds retained by the qualified state beef councils for the state-level efforts.