Setting goals is important for any organization, especially one charged with the task of building market demand for a key product with consumers. In a world of increasing focus on plant-based alternatives, the Montana Beef Council aims to build demand for beef, and it laid out spending plans for 2020 recently. In addition, the group elected new leadership.
Kiley Martinell, Dell, Mont., will serve as president of the organization, which is one of 43 state beef councils in the United States. Brett Daily, Jordan, Mont., will serve as vice president for the group. The two will head up a 12-member board of directors appointed or elected by membership organizations including Montana Stockgrowers, Montana Cattlemen’s Association, Montana CattleWomen, Livestock Auction Markets, cattle feeders, meat packers and processors, Farm Bureau, Farmers Union, retailers, dairy producers and the Montana Angus Association.
Says Martinell: “I live on a family-owned ranch in Dell raising commercial cattle. This allows me the opportunity to work with my husband, Heath, and our three kids, as well as his parents and his sister’s family. I can’t imagine a better life to live. Working and raising our family, doing what we love and producing beef, we are proud of serving other families. Serving on the council, I have come to appreciate that even more.”
With the new fiscal year underway, the council has identified spending areas for Beef Checkoff dollars returned from the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. The council budgeted $19,575 for in-state beef education programs, $48,380 for in-state beef promotion activities, $113,260 for producer communication efforts, $38,000 for national consumer beef marketing and $35,000 for international beef marketing.
Dailey talks about what he’s learned about opportunities to market beef internationally, “because we have 95% of the world’s population living outside the United States,” he says. “I was appointed to the council in 2014 by the Montana Farmers Union, and I run cattle in eastern Montana. What I like about our council is that we come from all over the state and different segments, and that makes for some great discussion about how best to spend the rancher’s dollar on beef promotion and education.”
More marketing programs could be funded after Montana producers provide affirmative consent to MBC to retain half of their $1-per-head Beef Checkoff assessment. Other anticipated expenses funded through the budget include $337,101 for mandatory collection costs, administration, consent form processing, staff compensation, Department of Livestock expenses, in-state travel and office expenses.
Martinell, who was appointed to the council in 2013 by the Montana Stockgrowers Association, says she knew little about the Beef Checkoff, other than it was a dollar and was used for beef marketing. “I attended orientations and asked a lot of questions at meetings to gain a better understanding of what the Beef Checkoff actually does for ranchers.”
She adds that she’s confident in the programs the board voted to fund and the group’s mission to build beef demand.
You can learn more about the work of the group at montanabeefcouncil.org.