Have you Signed Your Montana Beef Council Producer Consent Form Yet?
New Year and an easy New Year’s resolution...submit your producer consent form to the Montana Beef Council to retain Montana’s half of the $1-per-head beef checkoff in Montana. In order for Montana Beef Council to continue conducting any programs in Montana, producers will need to complete the form on an annual basis. Otherwise the mandatory checkoff dollars you contribute will all stay at the national level and not allow for any grassroots control by the Montana Beef Council Board of Directors.
Because of the June 21, 2017 court ordered preliminary injunction due to the RCALF-USA versus USDA lawsuit, all funding has been redirected to the national level. The checkoff did not go away in Montana and producers are still required by Federal law to pay the checkoff, but the only way that 50 cents of each dollar will stay in Montana is if producers complete the consent form.
The Montana Farm Bureau Federation has a long history of grassroots control and many of you may have witnessed it by developing policy at your local meetings, carrying those resolutions to the state meeting and even seeing the policy progress to the national level. These policies have helped protect and enhance our farm and ranch livelihood and there was producer engagement at every level of the process. Because of this lawsuit, the Montana Beef Council Board of Directors has been stripped of their ability to make sound investments with your checkoff dollars into valuable beef promotion, research and education.
Montana Beef Promotion Matters
Who else is going to promote beef in Montana for you? In the 2017 fiscal year, your beef checkoff was invested all over Montana with over 20 different organizations to carry out beef promotion and education activities. These projects ranged from working with the American Heart Association to share the benefits of beef in a heart healthy lifestyle, to ensuring all Bobcat and Grizzly fans had beef recipes to use in their tailgate festivities, to experiential learning through ranch tours. And those are just some of the efforts in Montana! The Montana Beef Council also reached outside the state to the vast consumer populations at a large festival in Maine, and all the way to Japan with tasty beef promotion efforts to keep more beef on more plates in our state, country and around the world.
I encourage you to ask questions and learn more about your beef checkoff. As producers, this program belongs to us and we are responsible for it. Now is the time for producers to step up and ensure Montana Beef Council can retain state control. Download the producer consent form, or simply call the office at (406) 656-3336 to request a copy.