The Montana Beef Council will invest about $1.8 million into programs of beef promotion, education, research, consumer information, industry information, foreign marketing and producer communications in fiscal year 2017, which began Oct. 1. Programs approved are funded through Montana’s 50 cent in-state portion of the $1 per head beef checkoff.
In action concluding its Sept. 28-30 meeting in Billings, the MBC Board of Directors—all volunteers, including members from nearly all segments of the beef supply chain—approved checkoff funding for a total of 28 demand-building project funding requests, or proposals for checkoff funding, in the fiscal year.
“The projects that the board reviewed this year were high-caliber and made for great discussion as we determined programs that best aligned with our strategic priorities,” said Kristin Larson, Montana Beef Council president, a producer and livestock auction market partner from Sidney. “I also serve on the national Beef Promotion Operating Committee and the process for reviewing and determining projects to fund on the national level is very similar. Each representative on our Montana Beef Council board takes their responsibility very seriously and I am continually impressed with their engagement. As a producer it is exciting to be part of all the great work and programs happening on our behalf to promote our product.”
As a result of its deliberations, the board of directors approved requests from 21 different organizations that will meet the mission of protecting and increasing demand for beef and beef products. The Fiscal Year 2017 Work Plan for the Montana Beef Council includes:
• $46,050 for in-state education programs, including health professionals, Team Beef athletes, classroom education, farm fairs, environmental stewardship pasture to plate tour and tradeshows across the state;
• $118,965 for in-state promotional programs, focusing on tradeshows, consumer radio and digital advertising, targeted consumer events in the Northeast United States, targeted U.S. beef promotion with Japanese retailers, barbecue cook-off and statewide retail and foodservice partnerships;
• $18,000 for in-state beef safety and issues management comprised of disseminating accurate information about the beef community to counter misinformation as well as the Montana beef quality assurance program;
• $34,450 for in-state producer communications, which includes producer outreach using digital and radio communication as well direct communications to producers about checkoff results;
• $281,000 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, Hong Kong, Mexico and many more.
Other expenses funded through the budget include $331,415 for administration, which includes insurance, office lease, equipment, office supplies, postage, telephone, Department of Livestock administration expenses, collection administration expenses, board expenses, travel and administrative staff compensation for program implementation.
The Montana Beef Council is active throughout the year on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and can be found at www.montanabeefcouncil.org.
The Montana Beef Council is organized to protect and increase demand for beef and beef products through state, national and international consumer marketing programs including promotion, education and research, thereby enhancing profit opportunities for Montana beef producers. For more information, contact Chaley Harney at (406) 656-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.