Pig farmers receive 25:1 return on Pork Checkoff investments

US pork producers receive a positive return on their Checkoff investment, according to a 2017 study conducted and released by Harry Kaiser, the Gellert Family Professor in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University.
calendar icon 10 January 2018
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Additionally, 91% of pig farmers who took part in the annual producer survey in November acknowledge their overwhelming support of the Pork Checkoff, with a record-low opposition of just 3%.

Return on investment study highlights

An economic analysis of Pork Checkoff programs is commissioned every five years by the National Pork Board. The study quantifies the returns generated by Pork Checkoff investments in research, pork promotion and producer education programs. The latest results, published in 2017, cover 2011 to 2016 programs.

Terry O’Neel, National Pork Board president and a pig farmer from Friend, Nebraska, announced:

The results indicate a positive impact of all aspects of the Pork Checkoff, from conducting production-focused research to growing consumer and export demand for pork.

Specifically, the study documented a growing return on investment through defined benefit-cost ratios across several key program areas from 2011 to 2016:

  • Production research: Each dollar invested in production research to benefit on-farm practices yielded $83.30 in producer value.
  • Foreign market development: Each dollar invested in developing foreign markets yielded $24.70 in producer benefits.
  • Advertising and non-advertising promotion: Other pork promotion resulted in benefits of $14.20 for advertising and $12.40 for non-advertising promotion.
  • Research to grow demand: Research on market drivers returned $8.30 for each $1 invested.
  • Net result: Collectively, the overall return of Checkoff program activities is $25.50 for each dollar invested.

The US Department of Agriculture requires a return on investment analysis every five years. The 2001 to 2006 study showed an overall return of $13.80 to $1 invested, and the most previous study, released in 2012 for the time period of 2006 to 2011, found a return of $17.40 to $1 invested.

O’Neel added:

This analysis provides a comprehensive review of program development, and more importantly, efficiency of our Checkoff program administration.

The net return of 25 to 1 on Checkoff investments demonstrates that we are meeting producer needs in the areas that drive sustainable production and grow consumer demand.

Annual Producer Survey Results

The Pork Checkoff also reports findings from a study that gauges producer support of the Pork Checkoff. The most recent survey of 550 pork producers, conducted November 6-16, 2017, showed that for the eighth consecutive year, pig farmer support for the Checkoff has improved.

Support for the Checkoff remained at 91 percent, while opposition declined to a record low of 3%, down from 4% in 2016.

O’Neel commended the continued work of the Pork Checkoff:

These are the most positive results we have seen since we began the producer survey 15 years ago.

The findings underscore the value that the Pork Checkoff team delivers day-in, day-out to the pig farmers who fund the Checkoff. The results demonstrate that the board’s strategic goals are aligned with producers’ interest.

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Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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