The beef industry in Iowa is a billion dollar business. The state is home to nearly four million head of cattle across 28,000 operations.
Despite that, research and promotion options are limited at the national level, so a referendum reinstated a checkoff geared to better fund Iowa beef.
Iowa producers started funding cattle and beef promotion in March of 2017 through the 50 cent per head Iowa Beef Checkoff.
In its annual report, the Iowa Beef Industry Council got about three million dollars from state and federal checkoffs.
Executive Director Chris Freland says those dollars go to Iowa beef promotions, national programs and research, "So we've gone through the growing stages, we're really looking at launching those initiatives that we set forth. Some of the flexibility is production research. So we're excited that we're going to fund $200,000 in live animal production research, which isn't allowable under the national Checkoff."
This week, the Iowa Beef Industry Council announced the opening for this year's research proposals funded by the checkoff.
Iowa is one of the only state beef councils that fund live beef production animal research, so they have received proposals from 13 different states and eight universities.
Because the first research ventures only started last year, the Iowa Beef Industry Council will be getting those final reports in the next few months.
Freland says the research will help producers, "We'll be looking at compiling that and disseminating it out as these are the key research initiatives. Here's what we found and then even further, we'll have education components. So, what would those researchers do? They'd not only publish it in peer reviewed journals but they'll have a practical application, perhaps at feedlot forums or cow-calf conferences."