BILLINGS, Mont. – The Montana Beef Council (MBC) Board of Directors came together Sept. 12-13 for their annual meeting. This meeting is an important time for the MBC as the 12-member board discusses the allocation of consented Beef Checkoff dollars.
The MBC Board of Directors takes their job very seriously. Made up entirely of volunteers that represent all aspects of the beef industry, from production all the way to retail, the MBC has the mission of protecting and increasing demand for beef and beef products through state, national and international consumer marketing programs.
The MBC is open to any and all proposals that have to do with promoting and increasing the demand for beef. The meeting this year was jam packed as the board listened to 37 different proposals. It is exciting to have that many different proposals, but whittling the selection down can be challenging.
“It’s a balance between what meets our mission, our guidelines, and of course, funding,” explained Chaley Harney, MBC Executive Director.
The new fiscal year began on Oct. 1, and all educational and promotional programs will be solely funded by Beef Checkoff dollars returned from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board by consented Montana ranchers. Despite suffering a 65 percent budget decrease after R-CALF filed a lawsuit in 2016, the MBC was still able to fund some impactful and educational beef promotion programs.
Once again, the MBC will be partnering with the Montana Cattlewomen (MCW) to work on educating elementary-aged students about the importance of beef. Further, the MCW works to actually get beef into high school family and consumer science classes so students can gain hands-on beef cooking skills.
Another promotion program Montana beef lovers can look forward to is the annual Montana Barbeque Cook-off, held in Absarokee, Mont. Barbeque enthusiasts from far and wide convene in one delicious smelling location to compete for prizes and the chance to call their brisket “the very best.” Harney explained this event is a true celebration of beef.
“There is a lot of beef that is sold and changes hands over the course of this event,” she said.
Aside from discussing the budget, the annual fall meeting for the MBC is also a time when new officers are elected. Slated to lead the board as president is Kiley Martinell of Dell, Mont. Martinell has served two terms on the MBC Board of Directors and was appointed by the Montana Stockgrowers Association.
“I am fully confident in the programs that our board just funded and our mission to help build beef demand,” Martinell stated in a press release from the MBC.
Brett Dailey of Jordan, Mont., will step up as the new vice president. Dailey was appointed by the Montana Farmers Union and he too has served two terms on the MCB Board of Directors. Both officers will assume their new posts for the next two years.
The $1 per head Beef Check-off came about from the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985 and the Beef Promotion and Research Order that was voted and passed by all cattle producers across the country. Half of every dollar collected is allocated to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, while the remaining half dollar stays in the state from which the beef was sold. However, since the R-CALF lawsuit, Montana producers must fill out and return an annual consent form, demanding that their rightful 50 cents stay in state control.
“I encourage all producers to learn about the events that we do and the projects that we fund because all the money we have goes to beef promotion. We won’t be able to do that without consented Beef Checkoff dollars,” stated Harney.
The consent form can be found at www.montanabeefcouncil.org.