The Beef Checkoff We the people love beef. Don’t believe me? Listen to the late Robert Mitchum, or whiskey-voiced cowboy star Sam Elliott: “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.” Did you see Uncle Sam’s lips moving? The “what’s for dinner” campaign was the creation of an obscure federal panel called the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which uses a $1-per-head tax on beef cattle to encourage Americans to eat lots of cow products.