Information about your $1.50 per head Iowa Beef Checkoff Program

Your Checkoff Update

The mission of the Beef Checkoff Program focuses on "improving producer profitability, expanding consumer demand for beef and strengthening beef's position in the marketplace." To accomplish this, the checkoff acts as a catalyst for change and is designed to stimulate beef sales and consumption through the combination of initiatives, including consumer advertising, research, public relations and new-product development.

Checkoff dollars are invested in 6 programs areas: 

  • Promotion
    • Includes advertising, merchandising, and new-product development, as well as training and promotional partnerships with restaurants and supermarkets that stimulate sales of beef products.
  • Research
    • Provides the foundation for virtually all checkoff-funded information and promotion projects by providing the science related to beef nutrition, beef safety and pathogen resistance. The checkoff also invests in quality enhancement and new-product opportunities, as well as analysis of consumer trends, perceptions, and concerns about beef and the beef community.
  • Consumer information
    • Helps enhance beef's image by sharing nutritional data and other positive messages with targeted news media, food editors, dietitians, physicians and other individuals and groups who influence consumer's food knowledge and choices.
  • Industry information
    • Strives for an accurate understanding of the beef industry and helps maintain a positive cattle-marketing climate. Also provides factual information to correct misleading or inaccurate publicity about beef safety and environmental and animal-welfare issues.
  • Foreign marketing
    • Identifies and develops international markets for U.S. beef and beef variety meats through programs aimed at expanding market penetration, gaining new market access, improving global consumer perceptions and building trust in U.S. beef.
  • Producer communication
    • Informs producers and importers about how their checkoff dollars are invested and communicates specific program results.

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Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Conference, March 23, 2018.

The Beef Checkoff Program hosted an exhibit at the Iowa Cardiopulmonary Rehab Conference held in Des Moines, Iowa, on March 23, 2018. Heart-healthy beef recipes and new research on lean beef in heart-healthy diets were available to attendees.


Beef Checkoff Exhibits at Iowa Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Conference 

The Iowa Beef Industry Council, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff Program, attended the Iowa Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Conference in Des Moines, Iowa on March 23, 2018.   The state-wide conference is held for healthcare professionals who work in cardiopulmonary rehab, providing continuing education and new information regarding heart health. 

The exhibit included new research, funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, on lean beef in heart healthy diets, including the Beef WISE and BOLD research studies.  Two new beef recipes and information on the eight lean beef cuts, both meeting the American Heart Association Heart-Check Certification, were available for participants.

New research shows lean beef has a place in a heart-healthy diet,“ says Rochelle Gilman, RD, Director of Nutrition and Health“We have a great story to tell and it’s important we share new research and heart-healthy beef recipes with healthcare professionals, who promote cardiovascular health to cardiac patients on a daily basis.”

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9th Annual Iowa's Best Burger Contest

Funded by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program.

Iowa's Best Burger Contest Underway!

A partnership of the Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program and the Iowa Cattlemen's Association

Iowans submitted nearly 9,200 nominations between February 12 – March 12 to kick off the quest to find the best burger in Iowa. Nominations were accepted online by the Iowa Beef Industry Council and the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association.

“Funded by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff program, this contest not only promotes Iowa’s restaurants serving great beef burgers, but also Iowa’s beef farmers producing  safe, wholesome and nutritious products for consumers,” says Steve Rehder, chairman of the Iowa Beef Industry Council. “It is a great partnership between the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council to promote Iowa’s beef industry which generates an estimated $6.03 billion in economic activity in the state.”



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Laura Blomme, Iowa beef farmer from Iowa County, talks to University of Iowa dietetic interns about beef production on their family farm.

Beef Checkoff Hosts Media Training Workshop for Dietetic Interns

The Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) provided a media training workshop to twenty-five dietetic interns and students at Iowa State University in Ames on February 21 and at the University of Iowa on February 22 in Iowa City. The training provided an opportunity for professional development in media communications and beef nutrition research to interns and students who will become registered dietitians.

Topics covered in the training included media tips and skills, food demonstration tips, beef nutrition update and individual mock interviews on the benefits of optimal protein intake.

The purpose of the beef checkoff’s outreach to health professionals is to provide credentialed health professionals, like dietitians, new science-based information about the nutrition and health benefits of beef.  Dietitians can have a positive influence with beef by making recommendations regarding beef’s role in a healthy diet to patients on a daily basis.

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Economic Importance of Iowa's Beef Industry

Iowa State University partnered with the Iowa Beef Industry Council, through the $0.50 per head Iowa State Beef Checkoff, to conduct an economic contribution study of the Iowa beef industry. The study is important to the state’s beef industry to further understand the economic importance and value added opportunities. The study included four main components: highlights the current state of the beef industry in Iowa as it relates to production, marketing trends, and economic activity generated through each sector of the industry; estimates the total economic contribution of beef cattle production in Iowa; estimates the total economic contribution of the cattle slaughter and beef processing sector in Iowa; and identifies opportunities for beef industry growth in Iowa. Additional partners included: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa Corn, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, and Iowa Area Development Group.

For example: In 2016, Iowa’s beef industry generated an estimated $6.30 billion of economic activity within the state and supported an estimated 32,317 jobs (19,528 direct and 12,789 indirect). Animal agriculture continues to be a valuable asset for jobs that ultimately grow communities.

2017 Japan Smith & Heim             

Japan Remains Vital for U.S. Beef

The Iowa Beef Industry Council (IBIC) recently embarked on a trade mission trip to Japan in November.  Japan remains a vital market as it ranks number one for exports of U.S. beef.  During the mission, led by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, there were meetings with top import companies interested in U.S. beef.  Tamara Heim, beef farmer and IBIC elected director from Logan, and Dainna Smith, beef farmer and IBIC Director from Decorah, represented the interests of Iowa’s beef farmers.

Checkoff Invests in Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation

Established in May 2014, the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation has become the coordinated, statewide approach by business, education, and the agriculture industry designed to augment and aggregate existing agriculture education efforts while encouraging new efforts that promote agriculture literacy in Iowa schools. IALF's overall goal is to serve as a centralized resource to help increase the knowledge and awareness of today's agriculture and its importance among students. The concept of amplifying agriculture literacy efforts was born from a strategic planning process in 2012 when farmers, county leaders, young farmers and the Iowa Farm Bureau Board of Directors identified a need to increase understanding of agriculture. The Iowa Beef Industry Council was an early partner and has been a leader with the development and direction of the organization ever since.

2017 LHF Race runners

Beef Provides Fuel for the Finish

Your Beef Checkoff Program participated in the Living History Farms Race by serving beef stew to all participating runners at the completion of the long race. The beef stew was served by beef farmers and families who volunteered from across the state. The project was funded by the Beef Checkoff Program through the Iowa Beef Industry Council. 

Beef can help in maintaining a healthy weight, building muscle and fueling physical activity – all of which are important to a healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. Beef is a powerful nutrient that helps strengthen and sustain your body, contains all the essential amino acids for optimal health, and refuels your body after exercise.

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Beef Promoted at Iowa Family Physician Conference

The Iowa Academy of Family Physicians annual education conference took place in Des Moines, Iowa on November 3. The Iowa Beef Industry Council sponsored an exhibit and provided family physicians in attendance with infant and toddler nutrition and feeding tips. Additionally, recipes highlighting beef as a first food were shared with physicians. One hundred fifty physicians from the state of Iowa attended the conference. 

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Beef Checkoff Relaunches "Beef. It's What's For Dinner" Campaign

Twenty-five years after establishing one of the nation’s most iconic food brands, America’s beef farmers and ranchers are leveraging the strong equity of Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. to reintroduce the brand to a new generation of consumers.  The campaign launched October 1 with the strongest assets from the long-loved brand – such as the famous Aaron Copland “Rodeo” music and the famous tagline with digital advertising and a new digital platform at, a single, comprehensive location provides an interactive experience on all things beef, from cuts and cookery, to an inside look at the lives of the people who raise beef.


Statewide Billboard Advertising

The Iowa Beef Industry Council Board of Directors are enticing consumers to choose beef for their grills this summer with larger than life mouthwatering photos of beef on billboards throughout Iowa. The billboards are co-sponsored by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff and the National Beef Checkoff Programs.

101 billboards were strategically distributed throughout 72 counties across Iowa for various durations of 4, 8, and 12 weeks, respectively, with a consumer message to increase demand for beef. The statewide billboard advertising campaign will reach over 2.2 million consumers each week with a total campaign reach of more than 15.6 million impressions.

Digital Consumer Ad          

Digital Advertising and Marketing

Digital advertising campaigns shared beef recipes, cooking tips, and beef farmer stories with consumers within the Beef Checkoff targeted audience.

Digital campaigns utilize electronic devices such as personal computers, smart phones, and tablets and includes social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to advertise beef to consumers and communicate with beef producers. This initiative has results in more than 5.5 million impressions to Iowa consumers. The program is co-sponsored by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff and the National Beef Checkoff Programs.

Member in Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers (CSIF)

The Iowa Beef Industry Council has been named the ninth member organization of CSIF, a collaborative initiative dedicated to helping farm families raise livestock and poultry responsibly and successfully. This partnership includes selecting good locations for new farms, implementing environmental safeguards to protect air and water quality, following all rules and regulations and enhancing relations with neighbors to grow our farms for the betterment of our rural communities, economy, and quality of life. This partnership is funded by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program.

Economic Impact IMPLAN Study

A research and economic study will be conducted by Iowa State University about Iowa’s beef industry and additional opportunities that exist in the future. The study will be released in early 2018. This project is funded by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program.


Iowa Farmers Care About the Water We Share

The Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program invested in the Water Quality Initiative in partnership with the Iowa Soybean Association, Iowa Corn Growers Association, and Iowa Pork Producers Association at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. The water bottle filling stations allow fans to fill waters bottles for free during home football games with the message “Iowa Farmers Care about the Water We Share”. This project is funded by the Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program.

ISF Billboard

Promotion of Beef During the Iowa State Fair

Beef was promoted in and around the Iowa State Fairgrounds during the 2017 Iowa State Fair. The Iowa State Beef Checkoff Program invested in six Dart shuttle bus ads promoting “Enjoy the Sizzle”. The buses were visible to fairgoers transporting to and from the Iowa State Fair. The ads ran on the buses from mid-August through Labor Day. 

2016 State of the Beef Industry Report

With the domestic beef cattle herd expansion and steady increases in supply, the state of the beef industry is evolving and there is reason for optimism moving forward. The following report details many of the opportunities beef is pursuing through checkoff-funded programs and how science and research continue to lay the foundation for critical data-driven decisions, including the latest consumer trends, national statistics, and industry information. 

To receive a copy of the report, please contact Chris Freland