On June 21, 2017, a U.S. District Court Judge granted Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America a preliminary injunction enjoining USDA from continuing to allow Montana Beef Council (MBC) to use the assessments that it is qualified to collect under the Beef Checkoff Program to fund its advertising campaigns, unless a cattle producer authorizes the MBC to retain a portion of the cattle producer's assessment. 

This means the MBC must begin forwarding all federal Beef Checkoff Program funds directly to the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board unless a producer directs them otherwise.  Producers who want up to 50 cents of their federal $1-per-head assessment to remain with MBC must complete a Montana Producer Request to Retain Beef Checkoff Assessments Form, which can be downloaded via this link.  The form can be completed on an annual or monthly basis. For requests submitted annually, the form must be completed each calendar year by January 15, and returned to MBC. For the remainder of calendar year 2017, a producer may complete the form one time by circling “year” and entering month and 2017, which will indicate that the producer consents that MBC is authorized to retain up to 50 cents of their federal $1-per-head assessment for the remaining months in 2017.

If the producer decides to complete the “Montana Producer Request to Retain Beef Checkoff Assessment Form” on a monthly basis, the form must be postmarked to MBC by the 15th of the month following the month the cattle were sold. Forms should be mailed to the Montana Beef Council, P.O. Box 80865, Billings, MT 59108.

For further information call the Montana Beef Council at (406) 656-3336 or email info@montanabeefcouncil.org.