Beef Checkoff Turns 35

July 28, 2021

Thirty-five years ago, the beef checkoff program became a reality. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), the organization responsible for overseeing collection and program funding, will celebrate the program’s anniversary during the upcoming Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville, TN, August 10-12. 

For more than three decades, the checkoff and its contractors have been the force behind many beef industry milestones that have influenced how beef is purchased and consumed. A few examples include checkoff-funded research that led to the introduction of low-fat ground beef in 1990; the groundbreaking muscle profiling research in 2001 that reinvented and added value to the chuck and round, which previously had been underutilized and undervalued, thus enhancing overall carcass value; the checkoff-funded Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study in 2012 that provided evidence that the inclusion of lean beef as part of a heart-healthy diet is effective in lowering heart disease risk; and the new science-based beef production courses introduced to middle and high school classrooms across the U.S. in 2019. Not to mention the Beef Quality Assurance program, which has helped increase consumer confidence for more than 30 years, and the Masters of Beef Advocacy program that has aided in preparing more than 19,000 producers to share their stories.  

“Thanks to the farmers and ranchers who’ve funded this program over the years, we’ve been able to help improve beef quality and shelf life, identify and control pathogens like E. coli and launch many memorable beef marketing campaigns,” said CBB Chair Hugh Sanburg. “All of those accomplishments and many others continue to contribute to beef’s ongoing popularity in the competitive protein marketplace.” 

A more complete timeline of some of the checkoff’s most noteworthy successes over the past 35 years is available here.