All About Popcorn

About Us

The Popcorn Board is a non-profit organization and a Research & Promotion (R&P) Program funded by U.S. popcorn processors to raise awareness of popcorn as a versatile, whole-grain snack.

The Popcorn Board is a national commodity promotion and research program. It was formed in April 1998 as an Act of Congress at the request of the popcorn processing industry.

​Facts About R&P Programs

Research & Promotion (R&P) Programs

Since 1966, Congress has authorized industry-funded research and promotion (R&P) boards to provide a framework for agricultural industries to pool their resources and combine efforts to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets and conduct important research and promotion activities. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) provides oversight, paid for by industry assessments, which helps ensure fiscal accountability and program integrity.  


AMS oversees 21 research and promotion boards that empower farmers, ranchers, and agricultural businesses.  The board members (appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture) and boards’ staff direct and carry out programs and day-to-day board management responsibilities. Every R&P program’s mission is to maintain and expand the markets for its commodity. AMS provides oversight and ensures fiscal responsibility, program efficiency, and fair treatment of participating stakeholders.  In order to apply and enforce the legislative and regulatory provisions of checkoff acts and orders and promote consistency in oversight of all commodity promotion and research programs, AMS and the boards follow written and approved guidelines.

Who pays for the R&P program?

Each R&P program is supported entirely by its funders. NO TAXPAYER OR GOVERNMENT FUNDS ARE INVOLVED. Contribution rates vary throughout the different R&P programs, but they are always based on a percentage of net sales or assessed at a set rate per production unit. Each R&P program participant contributes at the same rate, no matter where his or her operation is located.

How do R&Ps benefit farmers, producers, processors, handlers or importers?

The fundamental goal of every R&P program is to increase commodity demand, thereby increasing the potential long-term economic growth of all sectors of the industry.

Do R&Ps benefit consumers?

Yes, R&P programs benefit consumers by providing:

  • Product information to help make informed choices. 
  • Research to create new and improved products that meet consumer quality, safety and nutritional expectations.

Who directs R&P programs?

R&P programs are directed by industry-governed boards, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. These boards are responsible for allocating funds and approving business plans and programs. R&P program participants have the right to retain or discontinue their respective programs.

Do R&P programs receive government assistance?

No. R&P programs are funded entirely by their respective industries, NOT by taxpayers or government agencies.

How is the federal government involved in R&P programs?

R&P programs were established by acts of Congress. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has primary oversight responsibilities. USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides additional oversight responsibilities for R&P program activities in global markets.

Are all R&P programs the same?

No. Although all R&P programs do have a similar goal and purpose—to increase commodity demand and long-term economic growth for their respective industries—they all accomplish this in different ways that are best suited for the market structure of each commodity