Conducted twice annually, the “Producer Attitude Survey” seeks input from beef and dairy producers nationwide in order to determine their awareness of, attitudes toward, and concerns about the Beef Checkoff Program. Hank Maxey, cow/calf producer from Chatham, Va., and chair of the checkoff’s Producer Communications committee, says it’s important for producers to provide feedback about their checkoff. Maxey tells us more in the following report.
“It’s a random telephone survey that’s conducted by Aspen Research and they pull 900 producers and it has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent. And the reason that we do this is to get the voice of the checkoff producers heard. A lot of times the people that pay into the checkoff don’t believe their voice can be heard so it’s really important that if you’re one of the random surveyors that gets called, that you give your opinion because we use it – meaning the CBB leaders that have been nominated by the organizations within your state – we use your responses to guide the Beef Checkoff Program in the following year.”
Producers have consistently tended to rate the checkoff positively and knowledge about the checkoff continues to be a predictor of favorability toward it. Maxey explains how the data collected from the survey is used.
“We use the information that we get from producers on how to plan to spend their checkoff dollars and how much to budget on each – whether it be a certain program like advertising, consumer information, etc. – and we feel it’s important so we know that we’re doing a good job with the producers that pay into the checkoff.” Producers recognize the program has some key strengths and plays an important role in the cattle business. Maxey says the survey asks questions about whether producers feel the checkoff is there during times of crisis, if the program plays a positive role in influencing consumer demand for beef and how they feel the program is being managed.
“There are over 700,000 beef and dairy producers in the country and the checkoff, based on the beef Act, wants to know what producers want in their checkoff program. And we want to try to provide that. We want to know what the priorities are that the producers have and that changes from year to year.”