8 minute read


The Beef Checkoff: Driving Demand for 35 years Nationally, 67 years in California

by Annette Kassis, director of consumer and brand marketing, California Beef Council

Good food will always bring us together. It is one of the indisputable joys of life…sitting down with family and friends to share a meal. Food is universal; however, food choices run the gamut. Since 1986, the producer-led Beef Checkoff program has shaped our industry through Checkoff-funded promotion, research and education initiatives to reach consumers, work with retail and foodservice, improve cattle production, promote environmental sustainability, provide science-based nutrition education and more.

In just 35 years it has covered a lot of ground to help keep beef the protein of choice among consumers. But did you know that a pioneering producer-led program of assessments used for beef promotion originated right here in California? The Golden State has long been a leader in driving beef demand through promotion, research and education. Here are some highlights not only of the 35-year-old Beef Checkoff, but of your 67-year-old California Beef Council (in red) as well. • California 1954: The California

Beef Council (CBC) is created by the state legislature under the

California Beef Council Law. It is the first state beef council in the country and collects 10 cents per head. • California 1959: Santa Claus rides horseback through the streets of

San Francisco, handing out $50,000 worth of beef gift certificates courtesy of the California Beef

Council. • California 1967: It’s estimated that 1,000 schools each year are requesting beef-focused teaching materials from the California Beef

Council. • California 1978: The California

Beef Council launches the “Ah,

Beef” campaign with magazine ads in Reader’s Digest, Better Homes &

Gardens and Woman’s Day. • California 1982: The Walt Rodman

Award is established to recognize outstanding beef promotion programs executed by California

CattleWomen units. • California 1983: Paul B. Addis, PhD, of the University of Minnesota becomes the first recipient of the California Beef Council’s

George Strathearn Memorial

Research Award for Studies on the Oxidation Status of

Cholesterol and Other Lipids in Beef Products. • 1987: Launch of the awardwinning “Beef: Real Food for

Real People” ad campaign. • 1990: R&D introduces low-fat ground beef, which

McDonald’s uses in the new

McLean Deluxe hamburger. • Early ‘90s: Checkoff-funded

BQA program begins at the state level. • California 1991: As part of a summer promotion, the California Beef

Council gave Nolan Ryanautographed baseballs to meat merchandisers at select grocery chains, tying the promotion to Ryan’s seventh no-hitter. • 1992: Launch of the awardwinning “Beef. It’s What’s For

Dinner.” ad campaign. • 1994: Following a beef-linked

E. coli outbreak, research with packing plants and food safety experts helps develop new spray washes to reduce pathogens and prevent future contamination. Points for pathogens at packing plants; high-temperature vacuuming removing contaminants from carcasses becomes the new industry standard.

• Late ‘90s: Groundbreaking muscle profiling research adds overall carcass value by reinventing the previously underutilized chuck and round portions.


• 1994: The first sale of U.S.produced beef is made to

China. • 1997: A microbial-mapping study identifies Critical Entry


Watch for These 7 Standouts selling at Visalia Livestock Market Cattlemen’s Select Bull Sale on their new date, Sun., Sept. 12 PREVIEW THE BULLS AHEAD OF THE SALE AT FRESNO STATE VISALIA LIVESTOCK MARKET: 9-12

M3 28E BANK ROLL 001H 3/4 Simmental 1/4 Angus ASA Reg. No. 3810209 Tattoo 001H DOB 01-15-2020 Black Polled Sire: W/C BANKROLL 811D Dam’s Sire: LLSF PAYS TO BELIEVE ZU194

N7S B911 ME 006H 3/4 Simmental 1/4 Angus ASA Reg. No. 3832193 Tattoo 006H DOB 02-15-2020 Black Polled Sire: TJ MAIN EVENT 503B Dam’s Sire: FBFS WHEEL MAN 649W

Stout-made, tremendous correctness, style and look. Big-ribbed with lots of volume and muscle.

CE BW WW YW MILK +10.4 +3.3 +83.0 +121.5 +25.6

CW YG MARB BF REA API TI +46.2 -.38 +.18 -.065 +1.15 +127.2 +80.0

M3 C190 LOADED UP 030H 3/4 Simmental 1/4 Angus ASA Reg. No. 3810212 Tattoo 030H DOB 03-26-2020 Black Polled Sire: N7S LOADED UP 810F Dam’s Sire: W/C STORE N GO 562Z

Maternal Brother Topped This Sale in 2020!

This sound, deep and rugged bull has built-in calving ease and is out of a picture perfect dam. He should make some tremendous baldy replacements!

CE BW WW YW MILK +13.7 -.6 +64.9 +101.0 +21.9

CW YG MARB BF REA API TI +28.6 -.36 +.14 -.073 +.82 +129.2 +69.1

N7S 709E ME 008H 3/4 Simmental 1/4 Angus ASA Reg. No. 3832197 Tattoo 008H DOB 02-16-2020 Black Polled Sire: TJ MAIN EVENT 503B Dam’s Sire: CCR ANCHOR 9071B

CE BW WW YW MILK +10.9 +1.4 +87.3 +128.6 +25.6

CW YG MARB BF REA API TI +39.1 -.36 +.18 -.082 +.87 +125.8 +80.7

N7S A112 810F 029H Purebred Simmental

ASA Reg. No. 3832198 Tattoo 029H DOB 03-25-2020 Black Polled Sire: N7S LOADED UP 810F Dam’s Sire: SVF STEEL FORCE S701

Stout and heavy-muscled with a big top, big butt and lot of power! His dam is a proven cow that is a material sister to Broker.

CE BW WW YW MILK +9.7 +2.2 +83.4 +125.5 +25.8

CW YG MARB BF REA API TI +37.7 -.33 +.06 -.075 +.82 +112.7 +75.4

N7S C107 810F 037H Purebred Simmental ASA Reg. No. 3832199 Tattoo 037H DOB 04-07-2020 Black Polled Sire: N7S LOADED UP 810F Dam’s Sire: RGRS SRG TWO STEP 20Z ET

Good-looking, long-made bull that will add extra look and balance to your calf crop. His dam is a consistent producer!

CE BW WW YW MILK +9.5 +2.4 +69.7 +102.0 +22.0

CW YG MARB BF REA API TI +30.7 -.37 +.11 -.079 +.83 +124.5 +70.8

N7S 703E ANCHOR 012H Purebred Simmental

ASA Reg. No. 3832194 Tattoo 012H DOB 02-24-2020 Black Polled Sire: CCR ANCHOR 9071B Dam’s Sire: MR TR HAMMER 308A ET

CE BW WW YW MILK +12.0 +.3 +76.3 +111.9 +18.8

CW YG MARB BF REA API TI +29.5 -.34 +.25 -.068 +.80 +139.3 +80.7


• California 1998: The California Beef Council brings a

Director of Public Relations on board who begins to establish a spokesperson development program. . • 2000: Launch of TV ads featuring Aaron Copland’s

“Hoe-Down” and actor Sam Elliot’s voice highlight prepared beef items and increase sales by 131 percent. • California 2000: The California Beef Council establishes the California Beef Backer Award, recognizing restaurants that promote beef and the beef industry through innovative menuing, promotions and their delicious beef entrees. • 2003: When Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is discovered in the U.S., the Checkoff partners with

USDA and industry/food safety experts to reassure

American consumers of protocols in place to prevent the disease from entering the food supply. • 2006: Amid BSE concerns in Japan, the largest export market for U.S. beef, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) launches “We Care” to demonstrate beef’s safety and quality and rebuild trust among Japanese consumers; the campaign helps return American beef sales to Japan to pre-BSE levels of $1.5 billion annually. • California 2006: The Oklahoma Beef Council begins a three-year commitment to send funding to support the California Beef Council’s industry-leading Hispanic marketing program in Southern California. • 2010: Launch of the Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program. • California 2011: Kansas and Nebraska State Beef

Councils work with California to provide additional

Checkoff funds to establish a Registered Dietitian position at the California Beef Council. • 2012: The Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study shows lean beef as part of a heart-healthy diet is as effective in lowering heart disease risk as the

DASH diet. • California 2012: Recognizing the unique position of California as a highly-populated and uniquely diverse state, the CBC adds a dedicated consumer marketing and issues management component to their staff. • 2015: Advertising drives more than 2.2 million site visits to BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com, a 29 percent increase over FY14. • California 2016: The California Beef Council begins bringing film crews to ranches to produce short-form videos that show consumers the

“who” behind ranching and beef in California. • 2017: Efforts to refresh the Beef Category on

Amazon Fresh Prime increases beef units sold by 16 percent. • California 2017: The CBC introduces the annual

Beef Leadership Summit, which has become a cornerstone immersion experience for retail and foodservice professionals. • 2018: Culinary debut of Beefshi, sushi using beef instead of fish. • 2019: New beef production science-based courses are introduced nationwide to middle and high school classrooms.

Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. reaches a landmark one billion consumers in one year. • 2020: A “lost year” for many industries due to

COVID, the Checkoff helps contractors nimbly adapt programming to help push beef demand to record highs; total meat sales volume at retail climb 10 percent and total dollar sales at retail rise 18 percent. • California 2020: The CBC launches a redesigned mobile app specifically geared to restaurateurs, chefs, center-ofthe-plate specialists and other foodservice professionals. • 2020: For the first time ever, new U.S. dietary guidelines include recommendations for foods such as beef as a healthy complementary food for babies and toddlers. • 2021: The message spreads about U.S. producers’ sustainability efforts, including how today’s cattle are yielding 66 percent more beef per animal with fewer resources.

About the California Beef Council

The California Beef Council (CBC) was established in 1954 to serve as the promotion, research and education arm of the California beef industry, and is mandated by the California Food and Agricultural Code. The CBC’s mission is to position the California beef industry for sustained beef demand growth through promotion, research and education. For more information, visit www.calbeef.org.

About the Beef Checkoff

The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States may retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.