Checkoff Programs

Overviewcontentphoto_checkoff

Checkoff programs, also referred to as research and promotion programs, promote and provide research and information for a particular agricultural commodity without reference to specific producers or brands. The term “checkoff” is derived from programs that were not mandatory; producers marked a checkoff box if they wished to contribute to the program. Mandatory programs do not have such forms, but the name has remained. Producers and handlers usually finance these programs from assessments charged on a per unit basis of the marketed commodity. Checkoff programs attempt to improve the market position of the covered commodity by expanding markets, increasing demand, and developing new uses and markets. Read the full overview

Note: Recently added resources are posted at the top of the applicable sections.



Major Statutes

Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7401; 7411-7425
Beef Research and Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2901-2911
Canola and Rapeseed Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7441-7452
Cotton Research and Promotion Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2101-2118
Dairy Research and Promotion Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4501-4514; 4531-4538
Egg Research and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2718
Floral Research and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4301-4319
Fresh Cut Flowers and Fresh Cut Greens Promotion and Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6801-6814
Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7801-7813
Honey Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4601-4613
Lime Promotion, Research,  and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6201-6212
Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6101-6112
National Kiwifruit Research, Promotion, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7461-7473
Pecan Promotion and Research Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6001-6013
Popcorn Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7481-7491
Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4801-4819
Potato Research and Promotion Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 2611-2627
Processor-Funded Milk Promotion Program Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6401-6417
Sheep Promotion, Research, and Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 7101-7111
Soybean Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 6301-6311
Watermelon Research and Promotion Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 4901-4916
Wheat and Wheat Foods Research and Nutrition Education Act, 7 U.S.C. §§ 3401-3417

Regulations

Beef Promotion and Research Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1260 (1986)
Blueberry Promotion, Research, and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1218 (2000)
Christmas Tree Promotion, Research, and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1214 (2011)
Cotton Research and Promotion Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1205 (1997)
Dairy Promotion Program, 7 C.F.R. Part 1150 (1984)
Egg Research and Promotion Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1250 (1974)
Fluid Milk Promotion Program, 7 CFR § 1160 (1993)
Hass Avocado Promotion, Research, and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1219 (2002)
Honey Packers and Importers Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1212 (2008)
Lamb Promotion, Research, and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1280 (1995)
Mango Promotion, Research, and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1206 (2004)
Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1209 (1993)
Paper and Paper-Based Packaging Promotion, Research and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1222 (2014)
Peanut Promotion, Research and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1216 (2000)
Popcorn Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1215 (1997)
Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1230 (1986)
Potato Research and Promotion Plan, 7 C.F.R. Part 1207 (1972)
Softwood Lumber Research, Promotion, Consumer Education and Industry Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 217 (2011)
Sorghum Promotion, Research, and Information Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1221 (2008)
Soybean Promotion and Research Order, 7 C.F.R. Part 1220
Watermelon Research and Promotion Plan, 7 C.F.R. Part 1210 (1989)

Case Law

Case Law Index for Checkoff Programs

Center Research Publications

Beef, Beans, & the First Amendment: Disappearing Sovereignty for State Beef Councils and Soybean Boards? (Pittman, 2017)
Soybean Checkoff Dollars & USDA “Redirection”: Compatible with Federal Law? (Pittman, 2017)
Beef Checkoff Dollars & USDA “Redirection”: Compatible with Federal Law? (Pittman, 2017)

Center Webinars

Legal Checkup on Checkoffs: Current Events (2019)
Legal Checkup on Checkoffs: Recent & Emerging Legal Issues in Federal & State Checkoff Programs (2017)


Administrative Law Decisions

USDA Office of the Administrative Law Judges
USDA Office and the Administrative Law Judges: Acts and Programs Administered
Center published USDA Judicial Officer’s Decisions


Congressional Research Service Reports

Reports– published and made available by CRS beginning in 2017

Subjects– published by CRS and made available by NALC until 2018:

Commodities


Agricultural Law Bibliography

Introduction   |   Keyword Search   |   Browse Categories

Legal Publications on Checkoff Programs:

Livestock and Packers & Stockyards

Marketing Boards, Marketing Orders, Marketing Promotion, Marketing Quotas


Reference Resources

Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)

Research and Promotion Programs
Guidelines for Oversight of Commodity Research and Promotion Programs
Cotton and Tobacco Program
Dairy Programs
Livestock and Poultry and Program

Economic Research Service (ERS)

Federal Marketing Orders and Federal Research and Promotion Programs: Background for 1995 Farm Legislation (Neff & Plato, ERS, 1995)
Provisions of the FAIR Act of 1996: Title V Promotion (Wright, ERS)
Agricultural Research in High-Income Countries Faces New Challenges as Public Funding Stalls (Heisey and Fuglie, ERS, 2018)
Government Matching Funds can Incentivize Producers to Support Agricultural Research

USDA Office of Inspector General

Agricultural Marketing Service Oversight of the Beef Research and Promotion Board’s Activities (2014)
Agricultural Marketing Service’s Oversight of Federally Authorized Research and Promotion Board Activities (2012)
Controls over Pork Checkoff Funds (1999)
National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program (1998)


Congressional Resources

Government Accountability Office
Agriculture Promotion Programs: USDA Could Build on Existing Efforts to Further Strengthen Its Oversight
Agricultural Promotion Programs: Status of Freedom of Information Act Requests (2017)
Check-off Programs: Observations from the Oil and Propane Heating Programs (2015)
Pork Promotion Program:  Petition Validation Process Needs to be Strengthened (2000)
Agricultural Marketing: U.S. Cotton Market Before and After Import Assessments (1996)
Agricultural Marketing: Comparative Analysis of U.S. and Foreign Promotion and Research Programs (1995)
Agricultural Marketing:  Federally Authorized Commodity Research and Promotion Programs (1994)
Fluid Milk Check-off Program (1994)
Agriculture: Generic Promotion Program for Fruits and Vegetables (1991)
USDA Oversight and Evaluation of Cotton, Inc. Research Promotion Program (1973)


Publications

Promoting Agriculture: Farmers, the State, and Checkoff Marketing, 1935-2005 (Milov, 2016)
Theme: Articles on Commodity Checkoff Programs (Choices Magazine, American Agricultural Economics Association, 2006)
Measuring the Effectiveness of Checkoff Programs (Choice Magazine, Williams & Capps, 2006)
Commodity Checkoff Programs and Generic Advertising (Choice Magazine, Ward, 2006)
Supreme Court Rules That Beef Check-Off Is Government Speech; But Check-Off Litigation May Not Be Over (McEowen, 2005)
Update of Checkoff Litigation (FLAG, 2004)
Message Under Revision: USDA Speaks About Beef, Pork, Cheese, and Obesity (Wilde, 2004)

Additional Resources

In: Checkoff Programs  (Ag & Food Law Blog)
Cattlemen’s Beef Board
U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Christmas Tree Promotion Board
The Cotton Board
National Dairy Council
American Egg Board
Fluid Milk Processors Board
Hass Avocado Board
National Honey Board
American Lamb Board
National Mango Board
The Mushroom Council
Paper and Packaging Board
National Peanut Board
The Popcorn Board
National Pork Board
National Potato Promotion Board
USA Rice Council
Softwood Lumber Board
United Sorghum Checkoff Program
United Soybean Board
The Watermelon Board
U.S. Wheat Associates