How’s your cash flow right now? Wouldn’t it be nice to have $11.6 million to draw on to meet your overhead? Read on…
For the 2011 program year, NCBA was awarded 93 percent of available checkoff program funding.
This included 14.2 percent that went to the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), a subcontractor under NCBA, as well as 1 percent that went to American National Cattlewomen (ANCW) for the Beef Cook-Off, also a subcontractor under NCBA. The only other stand-alone contractors besides NCBA are the American National Cattle Women, which received 0.37 percent of the funding for the Beef Ambassadors and spokesperson bureau ARs, the Meat Importers Council of America (MICA), which received 1.17 percent of the funding for foodservice, public relations and retail work in the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, and the CBB, which received 5.27 percent of the funding for Producer Communications work.
The significance of these figures becomes apparent when learning how NCBA is reimbursed for its expenses. While it’s true that contractors are not permitted to profit from beef checkoff projects they are awarded, they are permitted to recover “implementation” costs. Implementation can be defined as the costs associated with a contractor’s out-of-pocket expenses. In NCBA’s case, the organization turns in one AR per budget category for each year for the implementation costs on all the ARs it is awarded for a total of four implementation ARs.
NCBA computes the budget needed for its Implementation ARs by estimating the hours NCBA staff will work on programs for the checkoff, along with associated overhead expenses. NCBA has staff whose time is allocated 100 percent to the checkoff; other staff is allocated partially to the checkoff, and there are a few NCBA employees that do no work for the checkoff at all. At the end of the year, the total number of staff hours worked at NCBA and the total number of hours doing checkoff work are computed into the percentage of hours worked for the checkoff versus the total hours worked at NCBA.
Last year, 70.9 percent of total work at NCBA was for the checkoff. NCBA’s implementation costs last year for the ARs awarded to them came in at a whopping $11.6 million. These implementation costs are over and above the direct costs of projects. This means that NCBA’s overhead was covered at 70.9 percent. Even more astonishing is the fact that this includes general administrative salaries. The CEO of NCBA is also considered the CEO of the Federation of State Beef Councils, so his general administrative time is paid 70.9 percent with beef checkoff dollars.