west virginia beef industry council

The People Behind the Beef

The West Virginia Beef Industry Council (WVBIC) is a non-profit organization charged with the promotion and marketing of beef and beef products in West Virginia. It is part of a coordinated state/national effort funded by beef producers through the beef checkoff program. Checkoff dollars are used to increase beef demand through programs of promotion, research and education. 

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

The checkoff is collected by state beef councils, like the WVBIC. Half of each dollar is forwarded to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB) which oversees the national checkoff program, subject to USDA review. The 103 members of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board represent all segments of the beef industry, including beef, veal and dairy producers and importers, and are nominated by industry organizations and importers and appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. The other half of the dollar is retained by the WVBIC to fund state-based programs, which complement and extend the industry-wide effort. Independent research shows that the checkoff has increased profit opportunities for producers, netting a return of $11.20 for every dollar invested. 

The organization is currently directed by a 9-member Operating Committee of cattlemen:

  • Garrett Kuykendall Jr. - Romney, WV
  • Bill Martin - Moorefield, WV
  • Creed Ward - Volga, WV
  • Jane Helmick - Buchannon, WV
  • John Hendrick - Wayside, WV
  • Jim Henderson - Henderson, WV
  • Rick Woodworth - Burlington, WV
  • Steve Keeney - Rainelle, WV
  • Charles Wilfong, Jr. - Dunmore, WV