The biggest focus over the last week has been creating budget parameters, particularly as it relates to the startup of the checkoff, the board of directors and the RACs. The bulk of the budget will rightfully go to the marketing, education and research programs identified by the RACS and Board, which likely will fall across the six priority areas the industry has identified.What has me exceptionally excited about this process is the opportunity for different regions and states to share work that is currently underway. There is no doubt that an opportunity exists to replicate and expand programs that have been proven effective at a more local scale, one of the many benefits that will come with the kinds of consistent resources you will see with a mandatory checkoff. This learning phase is something I anticipate will be an early focus for the incoming board of directors, particularly when you consider at least half of the program funds will go to work at the regional level.
It's likely the Board will first look at the breadth and scope of regional program applications before laying the groundwork for national marketing, education and/or research programs. On the flip side, I believe regional programs could be modified or developed after the implementation of national programs to integrate, leverage and maximize impact. We’ll see a natural evolution and coordination of national and regional programs over time to reinforce the strength of this one-two punch approach. And over time, this kind of approach will likely become one of the greatest advantages of the checkoff.
We’ve talked about ROI a lot out of the gate and that commitment to a measurable impact and return continues. The Order requires ongoing assessment of program ROI, but we want to make sure that is something that is woven into the DNA of the checkoff. Program applications submitted for consideration will require an assessment of the anticipated ROI, as well as a methodology for measuring that return. You can expect a learning session in the near future on measuring progress and return.
As always, please reach out with any questions, ideas or thoughts on the checkoff as we continue to move forward.