The Marketing Programs Division implements, coordinates, and monitors federally-legislated promotion and research programs for beef, pork, poultry, eggs, soybeans, mohair, sorghum, and lamb. These programs are requested, administered, and funded by the industries themselves. Commonly referred to as "check-off" programs, they operate under promotion and research orders or agreements issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and are financed by industry-established assessments.
The beef, pork, poultry, eggs, soybean, lamb, sorghum and mohair check-off programs generate over $200 million annually in assessments collected from producers or growers. These funds finance a variety of programs including advertising; consumer education; nutrition, production, and marketing research; and new product and foreign market development. Commodity "check-off" programs are designed to strengthen the position of each respective commodity in the marketplace by increasing domestic demand and consumption and by expanding foreign markets for these commodities.