Dertings Feedbunk

Paying Your Beef Checkoff

By law, all producers selling (bovine) cattle or calves, for any reason and regardless of age or sex, must pay $2.00-per-head to support beef and veal promotion, research and information through the Beef Promotion and Research Act created by the 1985 Farm Bill and Washington State RCW 16.67.

Your washington Beef Checkoff

Washington's Beef Community leadership and the Washington State Legislature have made some changes to Washington State RCW 16.67 in 2024. This is your hub for information and Frequently Asked Questions related to those changes. But the WSBC would love to hear from you, feel free to reach us at (253) 625-3770 or wsbc@

$3 in 3 Years: Your Washington Beef Checkoff

Beginning July 1, 2024, your Washington Beef Checkoff will begin a three-year stair-step up to reach $3.00 by 2026. The collective effort of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, Cattle Producers of Washington, Washington Cattle Feeders Association, Washington Dairy Federation, and the Washington Farm Bureau to work with the Washington State Legislature to build the Beef Checkoff has been seven years in the making. The collaborative work of every professional organization representing Washington’s beef-producing community has resulted in an opportunity for your Beef Checkoff program in Washington State to build on its successful efforts to grow demand for beef locally, regionally and around the world.

What's Not Changing:

  • Your Beef Checkoff is still focused on Promotion, Research and Education to build demand for beef. 
  • Your Beef Checkoff is still producer-directed by the WSBC Board of Directors and administered by the Washington State Beef Commission and Cattlemen’s Beef Board and overseen by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and USDA. 
  • The Federal Beef Checkoff remains $1.00 and will be collected at the same time as your Washington State Beef Checkoff. 
  • The Beef Checkoff is still due on every sale of a bovine in Washington State. 
  • Dairy calves that participate in the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Green Tag program will not have any changes to the Beef Checkoff collection.


  • Your Beef Checkoff program will re-establish a similar marketing footprint from the original inception of a state and national program in 1986 ($1.00) and the industry-initiated enhancement in Washington in 2000 ($1.50).  
  • Your producer Board of Directors has prioritized re-establishing state-wide advertising and promotion to reach more of Washington’s 9 million consumers in growing urban markets such as Spokane and TriCities.  
  • Future priorities include exploring more international export promotional partnerships, seeking research opportunities and expanding the reach of our Raised & Grown programs to increase consumer trust in the people who raise the products they eat.  
  • The TOTAL (Federal + Washington State) Beef Checkoff will be: $2.00 Beginning July 1, 2024, collected on every sale of a bovine $2.50 Beginning January 1, 2025, collected on every sale of a bovine $3.00 Beginning January 1, 2026, collected on every sale of a bovine.

With change, questions are expected and welcome. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call the WSBC office at (253) 625-3770 or contact Jackie Madill, Executive Director, at jmadill or directly on her cell phone at (253) 740-1069.



The Federal Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The Federal Beef Checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to the comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. The Beef Checkoff assessment became mandatory and permanent when the program was approved by 79% of producers in a 1988 national referendum vote.   

The Washington Beef Checkoff was established in 1969 by an act of the Washington State Legislature. Since 1969, the Washington State Beef Commission has been working on behalf of Washington’s 9,000 family farmers and ranchers to direct Beef Checkoff promotion, education, and research programs locally. In 2024 the Beef Industry and Legislature increased the Washington Beef Checkoff to a maximum of $2.00 to elevate the program to meet current market demands.


All beef, dairy and veal producers. The seller is responsible for paying and the purchasing party is responsible for remitting the Beef Checkoff. In Washington, the Federal and Washington Beef Checkoff is due each time an animal is sold, regardless of its age or purpose. This means calves, feeder cattle and stockers, as well as fed cattle, are subject to the Beef Checkoff. Breeding stock and dairy cows sold into other herds, whether privately or at auction, are also subject to the Beef Checkoff. An animal will probably be "checked-off" more than once during its lifetime.    

Any producer marketing cattle of their own production in the form of beef or beef products to consumers, either directly or through retail or wholesale outlets, or for export purposes, is responsible for paying the Beef Checkoff at the time of processing.


No. As stated in the Beef Promotion and Research Act and Order, anyone selling cattle and calves is required by federal law to remit the Beef Checkoff. Special allowances are made for buyers who resell cattle no more than 10 days after purchasing them. In these cases, a Non-Producer Status form must be filed and approved for each transaction. Producers of 100% USDA-Certified Organic products are exempt from the Beef Checkoff, but they must meet strict requirements and reapply for documented certification on an annual basis. If a producer feels they qualify for either Non-Producer Status or Certified Organic allowances, they should consider the golden rule of "A Dollar or A Document" at the time of sale.

How do I remit Beef Checkoff Dollars, and when is payment due?

The Beef Checkoff is automatically collected during transactions that take place at Washington Designated Collecting Points or when a transaction is overseen by the WSDA Brand Department. Private Treaty sales, special sales and contract sales should either request Brand Inspection or remit directly to the WSBC using the Private Treaty Form. Payment from Designated Collecting Points and Private Treaty Sale forms are due by the 15th day of the month following the transaction.   

Producers selling cattle of their own production in the form of beef can pay the Checkoff with a Private Treaty Form, WSDA Brand Inspection or via a Designated Collecting Point processor.   

Under the Federal Act and Order, as a Qualified State Beef Council, the Washington State Beef Commission is legally responsible for collecting monthly Beef Checkoff assessments on all cattle sold in Washington State.  A two percent late charge is applied to Washington Beef Checkoff remittances and a 10% late charge is applied to Federal Beef Checkoff remittances that are not postmarked by the 15th of the month following the transaction.

Where doeS beef checkoff money go and who controls it?

Beef Checkoff funds are shared between State and National Beef Checkoff organizations who are overseen by their local Departments of Agriculture and the USDA. As a Qualified State Beef Council in good standing with the Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB), the Washington State Beef Commission (WSBC) is responsible for collecting all Beef Checkoff funds in Washington State. The WSBC is required to send fifty cents of the Federal $1.00 to the CBB for National Beef Checkoff programs. The remaining fifty cents of the Federal dollar and Washington Beef Checkoff funds are entirely Washington State-controlled.  

The WSBC’s Board of Directors, who are industry nominated and appointed by the Washington State Director of Agriculture for 3-year terms, provide financial oversight and direct all state based programs. Each of Washington's beef industry sectors are represented on the WSBC Board of Directors by: 2 Cow/Calf Producers, 2 Cattle Feeders, 2 Dairy Beef Producers, 1 Auction Market, 1 Beef Processor; and is overseen by the Washington Director of Agriculture by a voting member representing Washington State Department of Agriculture. The Washington CBB Representative serves on the WSBC in a non-voting Ex-Officio capacity.  

Additionally, Washington has two representatives to direct National Beef Checkoff programs via our Federation of State Beef Councils Director and our Representative to the CBB. The Federation Representative is elected by the WSBC Board annually and must be actively serving as a WSBC Board member. The CBB Representative is nominated by qualified state organizations to the CBB and appointed by USDA's Secretary of Agriculture. 

The WSBC's Marketing Plan and Budget are submitted for review and approval to both the WSDA Director of Agriculture and CBB annually, and an Annual Report of all WSBC activities and programs is delivered to WSDA, CBB and the Washington State Legislature annually.


Beef Checkoff dollars may be used toward six program areas: promotion, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing, and producer communications. By law, Beef Checkoff funds cannot be used for production research or to influence government policy or action, including lobbying.


Nationally and locally the Beef Checkoff Program invests in programs designed to enhance beef demand through:  

  • Promotion - Encompasses advertising, new product development and promotions partnerships with restaurants and supermarkets to stimulate sales of beef in the marketplace. 
  • Research - Information and promotion projects are developed based on consumer, nutrition, beef safety and product enhancement research. 
  • Consumer Information - Works to enhance beef's image through nutritional data and other positive messages targeted to news media, food editors, teachers, dietitians, physicians and other groups. 
  • Industry Information - Promotes an understanding of the beef industry and maintains a positive marketing climate by helping to provide factual information concerning the beef industry. 
  • Foreign Marketing - Seeks to identify and develop international markets for U.S. beef and beef variety meats. 
  • Producer Communications - Aims to inform beef producers about how checkoff dollars are being invested and communicates program results.   

 View our WSBC Annual Report to learn more about specific programs in Washington State.

WHAT is changing in Washington and when?

Washington’s Beef Industry leadership united in 2024 to work with the Washington Legislature to increase the Beef Checkoff investment made by our Washington Beef Producers. The Industry and Legislature agreed to a stair-step increase in the Beef Checkoff that will begin in the Summer of 2024.    

  • Beginning July 1, 2024, the total Beef Checkoff (combined Federal and Washington) collected on every sale of a bovine will be $2.00 in Washington State. 
  • Beginning January 1, 2025, the total Beef Checkoff (combined Federal and Washington) collected on every sale of a bovine will be $2.50 in Washington State. 
  • Beginning January 1, 2026, the total Beef Checkoff (combined Federal and Washington) collected on every sale of a bovine will be $3.00 in Washington State.   

Dairy calves that participate in the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Green Tag program, will NOT have any changes to the Beef Checkoff collection.

WHo is eligible for a refund?

A producer or owner of cattle from whom an assessment is collected, except for assessments collected at the first point of sale of green tag calves not subject to the assessment increases provided in RCW 16.67.120 (2), has the right to request a refund of the Washington Beef Checkoff. No portion of the Federal $1.00 Beef Checkoff can be refunded. 

How do I request a refund?

Please contact the Washington State Beef Commission at (253) 625-3770 to request a refund application. Refund applications must be mailed to the Washington State Beef Commission within ninety (90) calendar days of the assessment and include the following: 

  1. Name and address of the producer or owner; 
  2. Name and address of the entity collecting the assessment (ex: brand inspector or livestock market); 
  3. Number of head on which a refund is requested; 
  4. Total amount of refund requested; 
  5. Date of assessment; 
  6. Producer’s signature; and 
  7. Proof of payment of the assessment (ex: livestock market sales stub).   

The Washington State Beef Commission will process the requested refunds on a calendar quarterly basis. Any refund application that is received by the Washington State Beef Commission less than fifteen days (15) from the end of the calendar quarter shall be paid at the end of the next quarter.. 

Links to downloadable Beef Checkoff Forms:

Private Treaty Sale Remittance Form (PDF) *Effective on sales beginning July 1, 2024.

Washington Beef Checkoff Remittance Form 2024 (PDF) *Effective on sales beginning July 1, 2024.

For additional forms or assistance with Beef Checkoff remittance, contact the Washington State Beef Commission office at (253) 625-3770.

Checkoff E-update

Sign up for the monthly Washington Beef Checkoff E-Update to stay in the know about Beef Checkoff programs happening across the state each month.