The Montana Beef Council would like to invest $860,000 into programs of beef promotion, education, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in fiscal year 2018, which began Oct. 1. Programs approved could be funded through Montana’s 50 cent in-state portion of the $1 per head beef checkoff, after Montana producers provide affirmative consent to Montana Beef Council to retain that portion of their assessment.
In action concluding its Sept. 20-22 meeting in Billings, the MBC Board of Directors—all Montana volunteers, including members from nearly all segments of the beef supply chain—approved checkoff funding for a total of 26 demand-building and producer communication project funding requests for checkoff funding, in the fiscal year.
“As always, the projects that the board reviewed this year have the potential to be very impactful and made for great discussion as we determined programs that best aligned with our strategic priorities and our potential funding ability,” said Jim Taber, Montana Beef Council president, a cow-calf producer and backgrounder from Shawmut, Mont. Taber was elected at this meeting as president and Kiley Martinell, a cow-calf producer from Dell, Mont. was elected as vice president. The officer terms are two years in length.
As a result of its deliberations, the board of directors preliminarily approved requests from 18 different organizations that will strive towards the mission of protecting and increasing demand for beef and beef products. The Fiscal Year 2018 Work Plan for the Montana Beef Council includes:
•$30,023 for in-state education programs, including American Heart Association partnerships, children’s museum presence, health professional beef education, Team Beef athletes, classroom education, farm fairs, health professional pasture to plate tour and tradeshows across the state;
•$45,500 for promotional programs, focusing on in-state tradeshows, consumer radio and digital advertising, barbecue cook-offs, a meat processor competition, a foodservice partnership and a targeted consumer event in the Northeast United States;
•$16,250 for in-state beef safety and issues management comprised of the Montana Beef Quality Assurance program, as well as disseminating accurate information about the beef community to counter misinformation;
•$30,510 for in-state producer communications, which includes producer outreach using digital and radio communication as well direct communications to producers about checkoff results;
•$260,000 for domestic consumer marketing to continue consumer outreach, digital advertising, beef safety research, nutrition research, quality research, issues management, retail support, influencer engagement and foodservice support; and
•$113,600 for foreign marketing and education in over 80 countries including Japan, China, Latin America and many more.
Other anticipated expenses funded through the budget include $353,367 for administration, Department of Livestock administration expenses, collection administration expenses, board expenses, travel for programs and producer communication and administrative staff compensation for program implementation.
Checkoff collection remains mandatory, however the above programs will only be carried out by Montana Beef Council after Montana producers complete and return the Producer Request to Retain Beef Checkoff Assessments Form. The form can be obtained at www.MontanaBeefCouncil.org or by calling the Montana Beef Council at (406) 656-3336.