Hardwood Check-off Update


By Ray Moistner


After being submitted to the USDA this spring, the hardwood industry check-off program is expected to be

 put to a vote in early 2012. Those who will decide its eventual fate are the manufacturers who would be paying into the program based on a percentage of their sales.


The money generated annually will go into an industry fund aimed at increasing demand for hardwood lumber through marketing and research program.  Among the more recognizable check-off programs are those of the dairy (“Got Milk”) and pork (The Other White Meat) industries.


As currently drafted, funding for the check-off would be subject to the following:


  •        United States producers only
  •        Green sawmills and kiln operations (867 facilities) with annual sales in excess of $2 million will  pay $1 per $1000 of sales
  •        Credit applied (no assessment) for lumber purchased
  •        Hardwood plywood mills producing over $10 million in sales (10 facilities) will pay $3 per $1,000 in sales
  •        Unfinished strip flooring, molding and machined lumber coming from eligible sawmills and yards  (49 facilities) will be assessed at 75 cents per $1000      


The referendum which will determine the fate of this program will be a weighted vote based on a simple majority of the total value of sales. A Check-off Board comprised of a cross-section of 28 participating companies will govern the program; five will be from the plywood sector. Nominations for Board seats will come initially from the organizational committee, then permanently from the Check-off Board. Nominations may also be made directly to the Secretary with 20 signatures from eligible participants.


If approved, the check-off program will be independently evaluated after the first four, then afterwards every five years.  A new referendum from the members will occur after five years, then in seven-year increments.  For more information on the check-off, please visit www.hardwoodcheckoff.com.


Ray Moistner is the Executive Director for the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association.  For more information about the IHLA, visit www.ihla.org