National Cattlemen's Beef Association

National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is a trade association and lobbying group for beef producers in the United States.[4]

National Cattlemen's Beef Association
Founded1996 (1996)[1]
Legal status501(c)(6) trade association[1]
Headquarters9110 East Nichols Avenue, Suite 300,
Centennial, Colorado 80112,
United States
Coordinates39.570709°N 104.882381°W / 39.570709; -104.882381
Jennifer Houston[2]
Colin Woodall[3]
SubsidiariesNational Cattlemen's Building Corporation,
CATL Fund,
National Cattlemen's Foundation Inc,
National Cattlemen's Association PAC[1]
Revenue (2015)
Expenses (2015)$59,995,602[1]
Employees (2014)
Volunteers (2014)

It operates the Cattle Industry Annual Convention & Trade Show, the Cattle Industry Summer Conference, and the television show Cattlemen to Cattlemen. It represents the American Hereford Association, Purina, Dow Chemical, McDonald's, and Wal-Mart among other companies.[5]

Advertising campaign

National Cattlemen's Beef Association is the group responsible for the ad campaign run in the U.S. using the slogan "Beef. It's What's For Dinner". Music from the ballet Rodeo by Aaron Copland is used in the radio and television commercials. On January 21, 2008, Matthew McConaughey became the spokesman of the organization, having taken over from Sam Elliott and the late Jim Davis and Robert Mitchum. The Dinner ad replaced Beef. Real food for real people. James Garner was spokesman until he underwent quintuple heart bypass surgery.[6]

Beef Checkoff assessment

National Cattlemen's Beef Association is funded partially by membership dues and partially through the Beef Checkoff, which imposes a mandatory assessment on each head of cattle at sale.[7] The assessment, which was authorized by Congress in the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985, brings in around $85 million a year, of which the National Cattlemen's Beef Association receives roughly $55 million.[8]

The constitutionality of the assessment tax and its subsequent use to finance beef advertising tried in the United States Supreme Court case of Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association. A group of cattle producers sued the United States Department of Agriculture for being forced to pay for advertising they disagreed with, violating their First Amendment right to free speech. The Supreme Court held that the mandatory assessment fund paid for government speech, and therefore the government could not be sued under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court agreed that compelled funding of private speech is unconstitutional, compelled funding of government speech generally is not. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the mandatory assessment in a 6–3 decision.[9][10]

National Cattlemen's Beef Association had a total net worth of $17.0 million as of September 30, 2015.[1]


National Cattlemen's Beef Association received $61.6 million of membership dues, Beef Checkoff mandatory assessment taxes, and other revenue during its fiscal year 2015.[1]

During the same period, National Cattlemen's Beef Association spent $26.0 million on advertising and promotion; $15.8 million to compensate its own employees; $5.5 million on travel, conferences, conventions, and meetings; and $1.2 million on occupancy; and $11.5 million on other expenses.[1]

During the 2007-08 election cycle, it spent $198,257 in lobbying efforts and made $225,047 in campaign contributions.[5]


National Cattlemen's Beef Association supported the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act, a bill that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to modify the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure rule, which regulates oil discharges into navigable waters and adjoining shorelines.[11] The rule requires certain farmers to develop an oil spill prevention plan that is certified by a professional engineer and may require them to make infrastructure changes.[11] According to supporters, the bill would "ease the burden placed on farmers and ranchers" by making it easier for smaller farms to self-certify and raising the level of storage capacity under which farms are exempted.[12] National Cattlemen's Beef Association's president said that they were "pleased" that the "bill will keep many of our producers from having to undertake excess costs as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency's overregulation."[12]

In 2013, National Cattlemen's Beef Association supported the Water Rights Protection Act, a bill that would have prevented federal agencies from requiring certain entities to relinquish their water rights to the United States to use public lands.[13][14]

In 1996, cattle prices decreased substantially, and National Cattlemen's Beef Association lobbied the US federal government for assistance.[15]

See also


  1. "Form 990: Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax". National Cattlemen's Beef Association. September 30, 2015.
  2. "Leadership Team". National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  3. "Senior Leadership Team". National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  4. Nestle, Marion (2013). Food Politics. Oakland: University of California Press. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-520-25403-9.
  5. Phillips, Jen, "Growing Influence," in Mother Jones, Nov./Dec. 2009, p. 59
  6. Chung, Grace (July 21, 2014). "REMEMBERING JAMES GARNER: ACTOR AND POLAROID SPOKESMAN". Ad Age. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  7. "All About The Beef Checkoff". Multinational Monitor. September 28, 2007. Retrieved December 14, 2010. Archived from the original Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine on September 28, 2007.
  8. Charter, Jeanne. "A Serious Beef with the National Cattlemen's Beef Association". Multinational Monitor. July 2000. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  9. "Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association". Oyez. IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. May 23, 2005. Retrieved December 14, 2010.
  10. "Johannes v. Livestock Marketing Association". United States Supreme Court. Legal Information Institute. Cornell University Law School. May 23, 2005.
  11. "H.R. 311 - CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  12. "Committee passes legislation to ease burden of SPCC program". High Plains Journal. December 23, 2013. Archived from the original on March 11, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  13. "H.R. 3189 - CBO". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  14. "Urge Congress to Support of the Water Rights Protection Act". National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  15. Stout, Hilary; Ingersoll, Bruce. "Clinton approves actions to beef up beef prices". Wall Street Journal. May 1, 1996. p. A2.
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