Michigan Beef Industry Announces Public Meetings on Checkoff Proposal

George Quackenbush | June 21, 2023

Commission set to decide on proposal at its July 20th meeting.

The Michigan Beef Industry Commission today announced dates for three public meetings to discuss and take questions on its proposal to create a state checkoff for producers.

The MBIC currently retains half of $1 per-head on cattle when they are sold, through a federal checkoff program instituted in 1985. MBIC Executive Director George Quackenbush and the producer leaders serving on the Michigan Beef Industry Commission say that needs to change, and they are weighing a proposal to create a state checkoff program that would add up to $1 per animal sold in Michigan.

“We are the face and voice of our industry,” Quackenbush said. “Doing that job in today’s environment, using 1985 funding, simply isn’t sustainable or as effective as we need to be for our farmers. The Commission realizes it’s time to modernize our funding and maximize our efforts on behalf of Michigan cattle producers.”

The listening sessions scheduled for June and July are an opportunity for producers to have their questions answered and learn more about the MBIC’s plans. They will be held in an online format to help ensure producers around the state have ample access to the conversation.

“We know cattle producers are busy people,” Quackenbush said. “This format saves everyone time and fuel, while still allowing anyone with questions or concerns to be part of the discussion.”

Meeting dates are June 29, starting at 10 a.m., and July 13 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Login and call-in details are available on the MBIC web page at www.mibeef.org/micheckoff

The MBIC halted its state checkoff in 1986, when the national checkoff program was enacted. This means the Commission can re-implement the state program without a full referendum process.

“Since announcing this proposal earlier this month, we’ve been excited to get consistently supportive responses from beef producers,” said MBIC Chairman Monte Bordner. “Our work to inform Michigan consumers about the benefits of nutrient-dense beef in a healthy diet, as well as important information about how it is raised and processed in Michigan, has never been more critical to the future of our industry. We can’t reach people with our message on an outdated budget model. It’s time for this change.”

Checkoff programs are a tool commonly used by agricultural commodities to help support their producers. Eighteen states have developed beef checkoff programs in addition to the federal beef checkoff. Michigan beef leaders say the state program will also help ensure that money collected on Michigan cattle goes to directly support and create opportunities for Michigan’s cattle producers.