When the Beef Checkoff started, Wiedel recalls producers coming forward to get involved in the industry. While the Beef Checkoff was created as part of the 1985 Farm Bill under the Beef Promotion & Research Act, it didn’t take effect until 1986 when the Beef Promotion & Research Order was issued, and collection of the Checkoff dollar began.
“The checkoff is so important to my peers in the beef industry today because we have become such a global commodity that we have to promote beef across the world,” says Wiedel.
Although offal and variety meats are not as commonly consumed in the United States, they have higher demand in other countries and the Beef Checkoff plays an important role in that transaction. In fact, according to the US Meat Export Federation, over 173,000 metric tons of variety meats have been exported from the United States since the beginning of 2022.
As he completes his first term on the board, Wiedel says his eyes have been opened to all of the promotional activities the checkoff has been engaged in.
“Our three main focus areas of promotion, research and education are very important for the beef industry to continue to grow,” said Wiedel. “We have to show pride in our product – all the way from the cow-calf sector to feeders and to the packer. We’re proud of what we do, and we believe in it – otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it.”
Wiedel represents district eight including Adams, Webster, Clay, Nuckolls, Fillmore, Thayer, Seward, Saline, Jefferson, Lancaster, Gage, Otoe, Johnson, Pawnee, Nemaha, and Richardson counties.
“Our directors and staff at the Nebraska Beef Council are at the forefront of the beef industry,” Wiedel says. “It’s been a pleasure for me to serve on the board.”
Wiedel encourages Nebraska beef producers to remember why the Beef Checkoff was established decades ago, and how it has helped the industry progress throughout the years.
The Nebraska Beef Council is a non-profit organization served by a nine-member board of directors. The volunteers oversee Nebraska’s beef checkoff and checkoff-funded programs. Programs for marketing and promotion are funded by the $1 beef checkoff.