Where’s the Beef (Council Dollars)?!
The Montana Beef Council (MBC) has spent a lot of time in the headlines over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been to promote any of the high quality beef promotion projects they’re so well known for.
MBC is the collateral damage caught in the middle of R-CALF USA v. USDA. This lawsuit asserts beef checkoff dollars spent on beef promotion is ‘speech without representation’. A little over a year ago, a federal district court judge granted an injunction which effectively tied the hands of Montana Beef Council when it comes to collecting producer dollars for beef promotion in Montana. Which is basically the sole purpose of MBC, so to say they’re in limbo is a bit of an understatement.
While not specifically named in the lawsuit, because of the injunction, MBC is no longer able to collect their half of the checkoff dollars that Montana beef producers pay each year. Currently, all money collected from Montana producers is sent directly to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board instead of half of the money staying in Montana and promoting beef locally.
In recent years, MBC has used those dollars to fund a variety of promotion projects and events including:
Our own Animal Care Campaign. You may recall that MFBF had several image campaigns featuring billboards, bus signs and Facebook advertising that shared positive Animal Care images all over Montana.
Team Beef Montana had 80 athletes participating in endurance events throughout Montana and other states.
MBC provided Montana dietitians with education resources and sponsored a nationally renowned speaker during their annual conference.
Shared tips and recipes to ‘beef’ up the tailgating experience and every MSU and UM football game through the entire season.
MBC works with the MSU Agricultural Communications class and provides a professional media training session.
Beef Council staff also spent time with the Bozeman High School culinary classes to share information on beef nutrition, beef cuts and cooking.
In 2017, over 2,500 elementary students received beef materials and presentations and beef was provided to Family and Consumer Science classrooms that educated over 4,500 middle school and high school students.
These all seem like worthy uses of Montana rancher’s Checkoff dollars; however, R-CALF seems to disagree. Because of the lawsuit, MBC’s ability to support these projects has been greatly reduced. This is why all beef producers in Montana must now sign and submit a consent form stating you want one half of your checkoff dollars to be remitted to Montana Beef Council.
This form must be submitted before MBC may receive or spend any Checkoff dollars collected this year.
Producer Consent Form
The form is available on the Montana Beef Council website:
Click on ‘Download Form’
A fillable pdf (meaning you can click on a blue box and type the information straight in) will open in another window. You can print or download and save the form from here.
When completing the form, please note, the name of the owner or cattle representative must be the same as it appears on your brand registration. For more clarification on that, watch this Facebook Live video with MFBF’s Nicole Rolf and Beef Council President Jim Taber:
Once you’ve filled out your form and signed it, you can submit it online:
Click ‘Submit Form’
Enter your name and email address and click ‘Choose File’. Select your completed form and follow the other on-screen prompts.
Print your completed form, sign it and submit via mail to the address on the form.
Other Important Info:
- Keep in mind, in order for your checkoff dollars to be available this year, your form must be correctly submitted, BEFORE, you ship your calves!
- You have to sign and submit a new form each year. If you haven’t submitted one for 2018 yet, you’ve still got time.
- Once the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2019, it’s time to sign and submit another form for next year.
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