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Producers' attitudes toward the Beef Checkoff program are quite favorable and have improved noticeably in the past year, according to a survey of 1,200 beef and dairy producers nationwide.
The survey was conducted in late December 2010 and early January 2011 by the independent firm Aspen Media & Market Research.
Currently about three in four approve of the program, a five-point positive shift in the past 12 months. There only has been one other time in Checkoff history where approval levels have increased by at least this amount in a one-year period, according to the Joint Producer Communications Committee (JPCC). The last time approval levels were this high was in 1994.
In the past five years, approval levels have ranged between 68 percent and the current level of 74 percent.
"Knowledge about the Checkoff continues to predict favorability toward it," said Wesley Grau, a cow/calf farmer from Grady, N.M., and chair of the JPCC. "Producers who are 'very' or 'somewhat' well informed are more likely to approve of the Checkoff, particularly among those who say they are very well informed."
According to the surevey, a large majority (81 percent) feels the Checkoff program has helped contribute to a positive trend in consumer demand for beef; a similar number (80 percent) believe the program has value in weak economic conditions or are confident (77 percent) it is on their side during a crisis.
And, when it comes to their own operations, many producers believe the program has benefited them. A large majority (68 percent) believes it helps contribute to the profitability of their operations, up sharply from a year ago.