CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Eighty percent of beef producers nationwide say the Beef Checkoff Program helps drive demand for beef. That is one major finding from a recent Producer Attitude Survey commissioned by the Checkoff - and conducted and reviewed by a third-party, independent research firm – to gauge beef producers’ awareness, overall sentiment and concerns about the program.
Completed in January, the survey reported from a sampling of beef and dairy producers nationwide. Using 2012 Agriculture Census statistics, the data was weighted by age, geography and type of operation to be proportionate to the number of beef and dairy farms in that region, resulting in the adjusted sample size of 1,200 producers.
“For more than 25 years, the checkoff has commissioned an outside research firm to conduct this type of survey,” said Brian Malaer, co-chair of the checkoff’s Investor Relations Working Group. “Overall, producers continue to have very favorable attitudes toward the Beef Checkoff and have consistently supported the program over time.”
The survey’s recent key findings include:
-- 80 percent of producers say the Beef Checkoff drives demand for beef.
-- 72 percent say they approve of the Beef Checkoff.
-- 68 percent say the Beef Checkoff leads to greater profitability in their own operations.
“The survey’s results tell us that producers are seeing the return on their checkoff investment,” Malaer said. “As 2019 continues, we will continue to communicate the checkoff’s work and help even more producers better understand how their dollars are helping to grow beef demand.”
Funding for the survey is requested annually through the Producer Communications Authorization Request budget with oversight by the Investor Relations Working Group within the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. To ensure unbiased results, the checkoff hires a research firm without any input from its contractors, including NCBA.
In January 2019, Luce Research conducted this independent survey by randomly calling 1,200 beef producers across the nation via landline and cellphone numbers. These producers were sourced from a list totaling 150,000 producers from all over the country. To participate, responding producers had to indicate they managed an operation that included cattle. For a sample of 1,200, the maximum statistical margin of error (95 percent confidence level) is ± 2.8 percent around any one reported result. For those producers who said they were aware of the checkoff, the maximum margin of error is more or less 2.9 percent.
Luce Research is a multi-dimensional consumer and market research firm whose data-gathering technologies help organizations better understand their constituencies. Their expertise includes scientifically-driven consumer and market research, institutional insights, campaigns, large and small population polling and custom-developed surveys.
Dan Hoffman, adjunct professor of market research at University of Denver, and contractor to Luce Research, explained why the annual survey is conducted via phone vs. online polling.
“Online polling suffers from very low participation and can result in a skewed picture of the audience being surveyed,” said Hoffman. “These polls often garner emotional responses, not factual conversations. When looking at where and how the checkoff is viewed by producers, it is vitally important to use the most statistically weighted process to truly gauge these opinions.”