Earlier this year the U.S. District Court granted R-CALF USA a preliminary injunction enjoining USDA from continuing to allow Montana Beef Council to use the assessments that it is qualified to collect under the Beef Checkoff Program to fund its advertising campaigns, unless a Montana cattle producer provides prior affirmative consent authorizing MBC to retain a portion of the cattle producer’s assessment.
What this means is that as a result of the preliminary injunction, the MBC was directed to begin forwarding all beef checkoff collections to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. As a Montana cattle producer selling cattle or calves, for any reason and regardless of age or sex, you must still pay the $1-per-head assessment. The collection process will still be conducted by the MBC, however, in order for the MBC to do any promotional activities for beef, Montana producers will need to give consent by signing the Montana Producer Request to Retain Beef Checkoff Assessments Form. These annual forms must be completed by January 15th.
The MBC is organized to protect and increase demand for beef and beef products through state, national and international consumer marketing programs thereby enhancing profit opportunities for Montana beef producers. This mission has been accomplished in the past through working with a variety of partners who utilize the funding to carry out beef promotion and education activities. As some of you may recall, MBC worked for a number of years supporting the MFBF animal care campaign with the successful billboards and signs showcasing Montana ranchers.
If Montana producers do not provide prior affirmative consent to the Montana Beef Council, their full assessment will remain with the CBB and Montana will lose the state control. For further information or to obtain the form, contact the Montana Beef Council at (406) 656-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a member of the Montana Beef Council Board of Directors, I have worked closely with the other board members and we spend a lot of time discussing the best ways to invest Montana’s beef checkoff dollars. We take that responsibility very serious. If you ever have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
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