Agricultural Marketing:

Federally Authorized Commodity Research and Promotion Programs

RCED-94-63: Published: Dec 29, 1993. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 1994.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) agricultural commodity research and promotion programs, focusing on the extent of: (1) check-off fund use; (2) AMS oversight; and (3) oversight coordination between AMS and other Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies.

GAO found that: (1) as of 1992, 11 of the 18 authorized check-off boards have been active and have completed at least 1 full year of operations; (2) during 1992, the 11 active check-off boards collected about $250 million in assessments from agricultural producers and handlers and spent most of the funds on promoting commodities in the domestic market; (3) the check-off boards sponsor research, administer consumer and producer information programs, and fund general and administrative expenses; (4) although AMS is responsible for ensuring that check-off programs comply with authorizing legislation and evaluating dairy program effectiveness, individual check-off boards are responsible for evaluating general program effectiveness; (5) AMS reviews check-off boards' budgets, projects, and contracts to prevent the boards from engaging in prohibited activities; (6) check-off boards reimburse AMS for its oversight services and USDA charges the boards for any legal services it provides; (7) AMS coordinates its check-off program oversight activities with many USDA agencies; and (8) oversight coordination varies depending on the agency involved and the activity performed.

May 15, 2017

May 11, 2017

Apr 28, 2017

Mar 16, 2017

Feb 13, 2017

Dec 7, 2016

Nov 28, 2016

Nov 17, 2016

Jun 9, 2016

May 26, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here