Iowa Beef Checkoff 

Cattle producers in Iowa may now request absentee ballots to vote on the Iowa beef checkoff from the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship by calling 515.281.5321, or by e-mail at or download a request form here.
Absentee ballots must be requested by November 23 and postmarked by November 30. Producers can also vote at their local county extension office on November 30. 


BACKGROUND - Over the past year, plans have been underway to move forward with reinstating the Iowa Beef Checkoff. Iowa Cattlemen’s Association members have brought up the need for a state checkoff program to help further invest in Iowa's beef industry. In the fall of 2015, a survey that was sent out to cattle producers found that over 80% favored a state checkoff. To view the executive survey in its entirety, CLICK HERE. 
CHECKOFF REFERENDUM - A petition of 500 producer signatures was submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture requesting the producer referendum/vote.

VOTER ELIGIBILITY - Individuals that owned or acquired cattle during the past year as defined in Iowa Code section 181.1 are eligible to vote. Verification is required on all ballot requests and voting ballots. 

VOTING LOCATIONS - Polling locations will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2016, at every ISU County Extension office.  At the polling location producers will be provided an “Official Ballot” after signing a “Beef Producer Certification”. 

ABSENTEE BALLOT PROCESS - Absentee ballot request forms are available from the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship by calling 515.281.5321, or by e-mail at  The signed absentee ballot request form must be mailed to the Department by Nov. 23. 

Who will pay the Iowa beef checkoff? How much will it cost?
The state checkoff will be assessed at $0.50 on every head of cattle sold in Iowa. Anyone who sells cattle will pay the $0.50, which will be collected by livestock auction markets, packers, and others. 

How will the dollars be used?
According to the ICA member survey, priorities for the Iowa Beef Checkoff are as follows:
Marketing & promoting Iowa’s beef and beef products
Enhancing Iowa’s beef industry image
Production research
Expanding international trade relationships
Providing producer, consumer, and youth educational opportunities

Who administers the fund?

An Executive Council made up of five elected cattle producers, the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, a representative from the Livestock Market Association, and two ICA producer members will govern how funds are spent. The funds will be administered by the Iowa Beef Industry Council. 

Is the state checkoff mandatory?
The state checkoff is mandatory but a refund is available if filed within 90 days. 

Where can I get more information?
Visit or call 515.296.2266.


Read More

The Iowa Beef Checkoff is more than just a way to generate funds. It is an investment in the future of Iowa's Beef Industry. ICA President Phil Reemtsma explains how the Iowa Beef Checkoff will benefit cattle producers and help strengthen the Iowa Beef Industry. 

An Investment in the Future of Your Business


Have questions about the Iowa Beef Checkoff? Take a look at this Q & A segment we highlighted in the March edition of the Iowa Cattleman magazine.

Frequently asked State Beef Checkoff Questions 

Press releases:

Iowa Producers Support State Beef Checkoff

Governor Branstad Signs updates to Checkoff Code

BeefMeets include State Beef Checkoff Discussion