Pork Checkoff: Responsibility of Fairs and Youth Shows for Collection


According to federal law, as mandated by the U.S. Congress, all producers (adult or youth) selling pigs for any reason, regardless of purpose, age, or sex of the animal, must pay Checkoff dues assessments unless an exemption has been granted by the National Pork Board based on the requirements of the Organic Exemption Request Form. The goals of the Pork Checkoff program are to strengthen the position of and expand the markets for pork and pork products through research, promotion, and education. This fact sheet has been developed to help county fair boards and youth livestock sale committee personnel ensure compliance with the mandated federal Pork Checkoff.


Most Pork Checkoff funds are collected and used for promotion, research, and education at the national level. However, funds from the Pork Checkoff are also remitted back to respective states where the animals are raised for promotion, research, and education at the state level. Youth livestock producers benefit directly and indirectly from the Pork Checkoff program. The Pork Checkoff has developed programs geared toward youth producers and consumers, such as quality assurance programs, ambassadorships, and recipes for young consumers. Economic analysis of the Checkoff programs has demonstrated that the Pork Checkoff program has been beneficial to producers and consumers by increasing quality and demand of pork in domestic and export markets, which has resulted in increased prices received for the sale of pigs by adult and youth producers.


It is important to know that 4-H/FFA youth who are selling market pigs at county fairs and youth shows are required by federal law to pay Pork Checkoff fees. If youth sell a pig at the 4-H/FFA/youth livestock auction, Checkoff fees must be assessed, collected, and remitted as established by the Pork Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1985. Youth are considered producers because they are selling pigs, and therefore; must abide by the same rules as adult producers. For fair boards and livestock sale committee staff and volunteers who work with the sale of 4-H/FFA livestock only once a year, these assessment programs can be confusing due to the differences in how Checkoffs for each species (cattle, swine, and lambs) are assessed, collected, and remitted.



The Pork Checkoff requires producers, including 4-H and FFA members, to pay $0.40 per $100 value at the first point of sale of pigs in three separate categories: feeder pigs, market pigs, and breeding animals. Youth usually purchase a 4-H/FFA swine project as a feeder pig and sell it as a market pig; therefore, they must pay $0.40 per $100 value when they sell a pig at a 4-H/FFA auction. The feeder/show pig producer selling the youth the feeder pig should pay the Pork Checkoff assessment as the first point sale of the pig in the feeder pig category. The value of the pig is determined by the gross sale price received when the pig goes through the 4-H/FFA auction. Therefore, if at the 4-H/FFA sale the pig sells for $3/pound, the Pork Checkoff should be based on the $3/pound value, not the true market value or “turned price” as it is sometimes called. Any pigs turned (resold to the packer) would be considered the second point of sale as a market hog and Checkoff funds would not need to be collected. The buyer of the turned animals should be informed that the Checkoff has been deducted and exempt youth from another Checkoff assessment being deducted on the turned or resale price when pigs are sold to the packer.  The 4-H/FFA livestock sale committee is the marketing agency and collection point and therefore must collect and remit the Pork Checkoff to the National Pork Board. The National Pork Board will distribute the state’s portion of the Pork Checkoff back to the respective state organization based upon ownership where the pig was raised. The document “Instructions for Remittance of 100% Legislative Checkoff” is included in the Appendix of this publication. For more information on the Pork Checkoff or how to remit funds, contact the National Pork Board at 1-800-456-7675 or go to http://pork.org/AboutUs/default.aspx.


4-H/FFA Swine Animal Project Example

4-H or FFA youth typically exhibit a market swine at a fair or youth show and sell it through a 4-H/FFA livestock auction. For example, a youth sells a 260-pound pig for $3.50/pound, for a gross sale of $910 (260 pounds x $3.50/pound = $910). The Checkoff assessment would be $3.64 ($910/$100 value x $0.40 assessment = $3.64) and needs to be remitted to the National Pork Board. The sale committee would withhold $3.64, along with other fees (transportation, commission, etc.) from the payment to the 4-H/FFA exhibitor selling the pig. As the collection point for the Checkoff, the sale committee would submit the $3.64 to the National Pork Board. This collection needs to be done for each pig sold through the auction.


The easiest way for fair boards or livestock sale committees to determine the total Pork Checkoff amount due for all pigs selling through the 4-H/FFA livestock sale is to take the gross value of pigs sold at the fair and multiply it by $0.0040 ($0.40 divided by $100 value = $.004 per $1 of animal sold). For example, if the gross value of the sale of 100 fair pigs averaging 255 pounds and selling for an average of $3.00/pound was $76,500 (100 pigs x 255 pounds/pig x $3.00/pound = $76,500), the total Pork Checkoff assessment for all pigs sold would be $306 and should be submitted to the National Pork Board within 15 days after the sale; this is the sum of the Checkoff amount collected for the sale of each pig.


Sale committees must determine this amount based on the value the animals sold for during the auction, NOT the turned value. The turned value is the second point of sale. If the animal was sold for the turned value prior to or instead of being sold through the 4-H/FFA livestock sale, this would be the first point of sale and the Checkoff fee should be submitted by the turned buyer or packer. This is uncommon for most county fairs or youth shows, however it is more common in larger terminal shows that require all animals to go to slaughter and receive a floor value from the packer, while only auctioning specific rewarded animals, such as breed/class champions and/or overall champions.



4-H/FFA swine projects have many great benefits associated with them. These project animals allow youth to develop life skills, while learning about and promoting animal agriculture. Paying the federally-mandated Pork Checkoff will help youth learn responsibility, while contributing to a program that educates producers and helps strengthen consumer demand for pork and pork products. The differences between how the Checkoff funds are collected and remitted for livestock species can be very confusing, especially for an entity like a fair board or 4-H/FFA livestock sale committee, which is often operated by volunteers only once a year. The Appendix in this publication contains a quick reference for Pork Checkoff collection with comparison to other species Checkoff remittance procedures, and the necessary forms and additional information on Pork Checkoff assessment and remittance.



  • Table 1: Quick Reference to Fair or Youth Show’s Requirement to Assess, Collect, and Remit Checkoff Assessments
  • Form 1: Instructions for Remittance of 100% Legislative Checkoff



American Lamb Board. 2017. Lamb Checkoff Information, Downloads, Payment. “http://lambresourcecenter.com/lamb-checkoff/checkoff-process/”>http://lambresourcecenter.com/lamb-checkoff/checkoff-process/.

American Lamb Board. 2013. Lamb Checkoff Remittance Form (LS-81). How It Works:Remittance Process. http://www.lambcheckoff.com/how-it-works/.

Cattlemen’s Beef Board. 2012. Understanding Your Beef Checkoff Program. Producers Brochures from the Checkoff. http://www.beefboard.org/producer/files/Brochures%20posted/Brochure%20- %20Understand%202012.pdf.

National Pork Board. 2006. Instructions for Remittance of 100% Legislative Checkoff. About Pork Checkoff and the National Pork Board. http://www.pork.org/about-us/.



Table 1. Quick Reference to Fair or Youth Show’s Requirement to Assess, Collect, and Remit Checkoff. Assessments

Checkoff Amount When Remitter Example Fair or 4-H/FFA livestock sale committee requirement for compliance Amount deducted from 4-H/FFA exhibitor’s proceeds for Checkoff
Pork $0.40 per $100 value At first point of sale as feeder pig, market pig, or breeding animal 4-H/FFA livestock sale committee holding the sale FFA pig weighing 250 pounds sells for $3/pound. Gross sale is $750. Sale committee remits $3 ($750/$100 x $0.40) to National Pork Board. Must do this for each pig sold through auction. $3.00
Beef $1.00/head Every time an animal is sold Qualified State Beef Council.  In brand states, state agency of brand departments collects Checkoff fee at time of brand inspection. 4-H steer weighing 1300 pounds sells for $2/pound. Gross sale is $2600. Sale committee remits $1 to Qualified State Beef Council or collecting agency, such as the brand department of states that require brand compliance. $1.00


**It should be noted that some states asses an additional state checkoff fee that is held at the state for promotion.

Lamb $0.007/pound (live) At slaughter, deducted from sale of animal and carried forward with weight The first handler-buyer taking the lamb for slaughter purposes 4-H lamb weighing 140 pounds sells for $4/pound. Gross sale is $560. Sale committee deducts $0.98 from 4-H/FFA check and $0.98 from the lamb buyer because they carry the assessment through to the first handler. $0.98


Form 1: Instructions for Remittance of 100% Legislative Checkoff