Illinois beef producers have the opportunity to invest in the future of their industry by voting for the Illinois Beef Checkoff as ballot boxes open Monday.
With anticipated robust beef demand and continued high retail beef prices on the horizon, the need for strong promotion and marketing strategies will become increasingly important to make certain demand for beef products remains strong among consumers. A state-level beef checkoff program in Illinois can address this dynamic trend. All money collected in Illinois through the voluntary Illinois Beef Checkoff will stay in Illinois. This means state checkoff will not go to any national organization. The state checkoff is different from the national program in that it does not have the constraints placed on the national $1 checkoff. Namely, our state checkoff could be used to promote beef raised specifically in Illinois, which is not allowed under the federal program.
All beef producers in Illinois are entitled to one vote in the referendum. A producer is any person, regardless of age, who has owned or sold cattle in the previous year or presently owns cattle.
The referendum will be held during a 12-day window in February 2015 offering three ways a producer can cast a vote. Illinois producers are strongly encouraged to vote in-person at any Illinois FSA county office from Feb. 16-20 or at the Illinois Beef Expo in Springfield Feb. 19-22. If a producer is unable to access in-person voting locations, a mail-in ballot may be requested from the IBA office by contacting 217-787-4280 and postmarked between Feb. 16-27.
Producers with questions about the procedures and eligibility for voting in this referendum or for more information on how funds generated by the assessment can be used, can contact the Illinois Beef Association at 217-787-4280 or visit www.illinoisbeef.com.