The Beef Checkoff Program has been around since 1985 and has led to significant developments for the U.S. beef industry over the past 39 years.

Norman Voyles, Jr. is an Indiana cattle producer who is also the Immediate Past Chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, which is the national Beef Checkoff.

During the recent American Farm Bureau Convention in Salt Lake City, Voyles discussed the importance of the Beef Checkoff’s promotional efforts with Michigan Ag Today’s Sabrina Halvorson.

“When we look at a cow herd that’s about one-third less than it was in 1985 when the checkoff was formed, and when we’re looking at a dollar which is the same amount that we were collecting then, but it is now worth 35 percent of its value at that time, the promotion of our product is extremely important,” says Voyles. “Without the promotion that’s been done by a number of our contractors, we don’t think beef demand would be where it is today. We are looking at some record demands for beef. In large part, that’s due to the beef checkoff and what they’ve done to promote beef.”

Voyles says he’s making a push for cattle producers to become more directly involved with Michigan’s Beef Checkoff (Michigan Beef Industry Commission) and the national Beef Checkoff (Cattlemen’s Beef Board).

“[You can] suggest programs that some of our contractors could do,” says Voyles. “You can also talk to other producers around the country about what the check off is doing for us and they can give specific programs that some of our contractors are doing—whether it be human nutrition research using beef, safety, or beef quality assurance—the beef check off is directly involved and can inform producers around the country.”

Click below to hear Sabrina Halvorson’s full conversation with Norman Voyles, Jr. with the Cattlemen’s Beef Board as they discuss the importance of the Beef Checkoff program.