YOUR CHECKOFF $$
What is a check-off program exactly?
Officially called research and promotion programs, checkoffs are organized and funded by agricultural producers and designed to advance research efforts and increase domestic and/or international demand for a commodity.
When it comes to maximizing resources while managing risk, expanding market share, improving revenue, and educating consumers, checkoff programs repeatedly demonstrate how valuable strength in numbers can be.
At the height of the largest volumes of grain storage in U.S. history, Colorado producers voted to have first handlers collect a one-penny-per-bushel assessment on sales of grain corn in the state. Since 1987, the statewide board and staff of the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC) has managed the investments and projects on behalf of corn producers in the state. Colorado’s corn checkoff successfully creates better marketing opportunities and enables farmers to use the most innovative technology and production practices so they can grow profitable and sustainable corn crops.
“Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged. No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization striving to improve conditions within his sphere.”
All About CCAC’s Checkoff
Working with state, national and international partners, CCAC is building domestic and export markets for corn in all forms: grain corn, animal protein like meat and eggs, ethanol, and distiller’s dried grain with solubles (DDGS). It’s all about increasing corn grind by focusing on current and new markets.
We invest hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in projects in which we collaborate with Colorado State University and other partners to help farmers grow more food, fuel and fiber with less resources. Our research projects include efforts aimed at herbicide-resistance management, gene-expression variability, crop-disease mitigation, crop-residue management, improved tillage methods, nutrient management and many aspects of sustainability in agriculture.
We bring public awareness to remarkable initiatives such as ethanol development, livestock feeding and the exporting of grain and beef to help feed and fuel the world. The idea is to build demand for corn, whether that’s overseas with the provision of beef to U.S. troops or promoting ethanol usage in NASCAR racing. Ways to improve the sales of corn for our 4000 producers in the state are all carefully explored.
We tell Ag’s positive story via various platforms such as social media, PR, e-newsletters, and in person events.
We are present around the region at such events as the Greeley Children’s Water Festival, the Pedal the Plains bike tour and the From Our Land to Your Hands expo. If it relates at all to corn production in any way, we try to be there!
We play a prominent role with the state’s various FFA and 4H chapters, are active at the National Western Stock Show in Denver each Winter and contribute to Colorado State University’s AgFest. We also provide significant grants to FFA and 4H youth throughout the year.
Active attendance at events help the corn conversation happen and keep us top of mind with various constituencies. Participation at out of state events bring Colorado perspectives and input to even larger groups, such as the Commodity Classic in the Spring and Ag days at the national Congress.
With less than 2% of the American workforce involved in farming, many urban and suburban children are multiple generations removed from their agricultural ancestors. Our information outreach efforts are key to encouraging a basic knowledge of agriculture, with an emphasis on the versatility of corn and its beneficial attributes. You could call education a CORN-erstone of our efforts!
Examples of our focus on education include partnering with the Colorado Foundation for Agriculture to send 65,000 copies of the Colorado Reader publication to classrooms across the state, where in one issue corn is the main topic every year. We also send out the “Kernels” e-newsletter weekly to about 3500 interested people who have subscribed on our website and those we target in the press, legislature and relevant agricultural organizations. And the radio waves are full of information about corn since we broadcast our message to 25 different stations statewide. They’ll be getting an earful each month!
All varieties of corn grown for grain in Colorado is subject to an assessment under the Colorado Corn Marketing Order established in 1987 by the states’ producers under the Colorado Agricultural Marketing Act of 1939 Title 5, Article 28 of the Colorado Revised Statutes.
The corn assessment rate is one cent ($0.01) per bushel (56 pounds), which is collected by the “first handler” (typically an elevator or livestock feeder/producer) directly from the grower and remitted to the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC).
First Handlers can obtain assessment instructions and reporting forms from CCAC’s Bookkeeper.
Colorado Corn Assessment Instructions and Reporting Form
Colorado’s corn assessment funds are managed by the Colorado Corn Administrative Committee (CCAC), which consists of a board of volunteer farmers elected by their peers and supported by staff. These funds are carefully invested to:
Create and protect marketing opportunities
Enhance grain corn’s competitive advantages in the global market
Produce profitable and sustainable corn crops
Bring the most innovative technology and production methods into practice
Refund Requests: A grower may request an Application for Refund of Corn Assessment form (ARCA form) by contacting CCAC one of three ways:
Email a written request
Mail a written request to 127 22nd Street; Greeley, CO 80631
Fax a written request to 970-351-8203
Requests must include your contact information (first/last name, company name, mailing address, phone number, and email) and the number of forms needed.
ARCA forms must be completed by the grower and received by CCAC within 30 days of the date of assessment. Forms can be submitted in-person, by mail, by fax or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The settlement sheet (original or copy) provided by the first handler must be attached to the form. Note: ARCA forms cannot be duplicated or transferred to any other producer. Your signature on this form certifies that the information is true and accurate, and the request covers only your interest in the corn sold and the assessment deducted. The IRS may require that this refund be reported. Failure to fully complete the ARCA form and attach required documents may result in a refund denial.