Smith Creek Ranch, LTD

The Beef Checkoff

The checkoff acts as a catalyst for change. The checkoff does not own cattle, packing plants or retail outlets. It cannot single handedly turn around a bad market. What beef producers wanted when they created the checkoff was a way to stimulate others to sell more beef. This can be done through initiatives such as advertising, cooperative marketing, public relations efforts, education programs and new product development assistance. However, by law, checkoff funds cannot be used to influence government policy or action, including lobbying.

In 1985, a National Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill, which 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 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 (CBB), which oversees the national checkoff program. Checkoff revenues may be used for promotion, education and research programs to improve the marketing climate for beef. The CBB's 106 members are appointed by and held accountable to the Secretary of Agriculture. Board members represent all segments of the beef industry including beef, veal and dairy producers and importers.

Who Remits?

Did you know?

Every time you sell live cattle of any age, breed, purpose or number directly to another person, you are responsible for making sure that the $1-per-head beef checkoff assessment is sent to the Nevada Bureau of Livestock Identification.

The dollar is to be collected by the buyer from the seller, although both parties are responsible.

If you sell meat from your cattle, you are also required to send one dollar per head to the Nevada Bureau of Livestock Identification.

The checkoff is designed so that everyone pays their fair share.

How are the Checkoff dollars being used?

  • Beef and veal television, radio and print advertising.
  • Food safety, health and nutritional research.
  • Product technology and development.
  • Educating consumers and children about beef's role in a healthy diet.
  • Refuting issues that could negatively impact the industry.

Who pays?

By federal law, all producers selling cattle or calves, for any reason and regardless of age, breed or purpose, must pay $1 per head to support beef/veal promotion, research and information through the Beef Promotion and Research Act. The person buying the cattle is responsible for collecting $1 per head from the seller and remitting these assessments to the Beef Checkoff Program. However, failure of the buyer to collect and remit the $1-per-head beef checkoff assessment does not relieve the seller of their obligation to pay the assessment. In addition, producers harvesting their own cattle with the intent of selling beef or beef products are responsible for remitting the beef checkoff assessment. Failure to remit the $1-per-head beef checkoff assessment is a violation of the law and may be subject to a $7,500 penalty.

In accordance with Nevada state law, cattle must be brand inspected whenever ownership changes. The Nevada Bureau of Livestock Identification will collect the Beef Checkoff assessment at the time of inspection. To find a brand inspector near you, go to  

For questions regarding health requirements or brand inspection laws call 775-738-8076.

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