The Hardwood Checkoff:
building a stronger future

What is the checkoff?

HARDWOOD CHECKOFF FACTS

  1. Costs are spread among all major segments of hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood production.

  2. Manufacturers pay on the amount of value added with reductions for assessments already paid.

  3. A new 28-member, geographically-diverse Checkoff Board drawn from industry owners and employees will determine promotion and research programs to be funded by the checkoff.

  4. Financial oversight, implementation, and enforcement is conducted by Board personnel and private auditors. USDA enforcement is available as requested by the Board.

  5. An independent economic evaluation on the effectiveness of the Checkoff is required within four years. One year later a referendum is conducted to determine whether the Checkoff remains in place.
Take Action Now

Regardless of whether you support or oppose the Hardwood Checkoff, we encourage you to click on the button below and urge the USDA to get the proposed Hardwood Checkoff to a vote. One company – one vote, let the industry decide! The comment period closes September 7.

CHANGES TO THE CHECKOFF PROPOSAL

  1. Voting Basis: One company – one vote has been added to the referendum. This is a fragmented segment of the industry where almost all manufacturers are “small producers.” That said, while the proposal to shift to a vote by both volume and producer will make passage even more difficult, we believe that such is the correct basis upon which to move forward.

  2. Adjustments to Covered Products: USDA heard from hundreds of hardwood industry companies and refined the proposal to reflect many of the changes suggested. These included: narrowing the eligible products to grade lumber, plywood, and solid wood flooring; confirming that export sales are included. Given uses of hardwood lumber and hardwood plywood and consumer understanding and use of the products especially in home and office interiors, it is appropriate that both products should be included in the order. The products are used in complementary ways and applications that only natural wood can provide.

  3. Reducing paperwork on small mills. It appears that the proposed approach to addressing the needs of small/exempt producers is appropriate and will in no way constitute an unnecessary burden on time and resources.

Take Action Now
Regardless of whether you support or oppose the Hardwood Checkoff, we encourage you to click on the button below and urge the USDA to get the proposed Hardwood Checkoff to a vote. One company – one vote, let the industry decide! The comment period closes September 7.

GET IT TO A VOTE


One of the USDA’s roles is to support the development of commodity checkoff programs to raise money for the development and promotion of targeted agriculture products.

Take Action Now
Regardless of whether you support or oppose the Hardwood Checkoff, we encourage you to click on the button below and urge the USDA to get the proposed Hardwood Checkoff to a vote. One company – one vote, let the industry decide! The comment period closes September 7.

About

The Hardwood Checkoff is an initiative led by a group of US hardwood industry leaders who have come together to develop a Commodity Checkoff program for the hardwood industry.
We’ve got to promote hardwoods – Dave Whitten, Bingaman and Son Lumber

Checkoff programs are industry-funded research and promotions programs tailored to a specific commodity. More common in traditional agricultural sectors numerous commodities have adopted the checkoffs, typified by "Got Milk" and "Cotton, the Fabric of our Lives" ad campaigns. The Hardwood Checkoff would be the fourth forest industry checkoff, joining the up-and-running Paper, Softwood and Christmas Tree checkoff programs.

The Hardwood Checkoff Blue Ribbon Committee was formed after an unprecedented Hardwood Leaders Forum including 128 participants who identified a checkoff as one of the most-needed avenues for growing the industry.

The proposal was developed in 2010 and has been reviewed extensively by the industry with the current version reflecting the input of companies large and small. Goals set out in 2010 by the Blue Ribbon Committee have helped guide the process:

  • SEGMENT
    Identify the segments of the hardwood industry which would be eligible for a Checkoff assessment.

  • DEVELOP
    Develop a fair and equitable formula for levying an assessment.

  • PARTNER
    Work with the US Department of Agriculture in promulgating rules for governing the Hardwood Checkoff.

  • COMMUNICATE
    Communicate benefits of a Hardwood Checkoff program to all eligible companies and to the industry as a whole.

  • The Hardwood Checkoff will be developed and managed by a diverse Board of 28 industry members representing all geographic locations and all segments of the business large and small. Each member will get one vote regarding all decisions regardless of the size of the company they represent.


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