The Beef Checkoff Program returned about $5.55 in value to beef producers for every dollar they invested into it between 2003 and 2008, according to a release from the Cattlemen's Beef Board. That's the overall conclusion of a new economic study completed by Ron Ward, professor emeritus for the Food and Resource Economics Department of the University of Florida.

Ward presented the study results to the checkoff's Joint Industry Evaluation Advisory Committee July 16 at the 2009 Cattle Industry Summer Conference in Denver.

"Is the beef checkoff a demand driver? This was the most fundamental question of the entire study, and the answer is an overwhelming 'yes,' the generic promotion of beef has shifted beef demand," Ward noted in his research conclusions. "The marginal rate-of-return is large enough to provide overwhelming evidence that the programs are achieving positive impacts (on) the U.S. demand for beef," he said.

"The Beef Checkoff Programs and Their Impact on U.S. Beef Demand" evaluates the effectiveness of checkoff-funded programs in reaching their overarching goal of growing beef demand. To complete this, Ward employed statistical models that measure the effects of major beef demand drivers overall, then specifically, of the Beef Checkoff Program itself as a demand driver. It is a comprehensive study that is peer-reviewed by respected economists versed in commodity promotions and the beef industry, and is a follow-up to similar beef checkoff evaluations conducted regularly since 1989.

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