The Montana Beef Council was created by cattlemen and for cattlemen on August 8, 1954. These visionary cattlemen were seeking a way to ensure their product had a market and find ways to build demand for beef. The Montana Beef Council is organized to protect and increase demand for beef and beef products through state, national and international consumer marketing programs of beef promotion, education and research, thereby enhancing profit opportunities for Montana beef producers. As a qualified State Beef Council under the Beef Promotion and Research order, the Montana Beef Council is responsible for collecting the nationally legislated $1 per head checkoff on all cattle marketed in Montana.
"The Montana Beef Council is organized to enhance profit opportunities for Montana cattle and beef producers by increasing demand for beef and beef products."
The National Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. The checkoff is collected by qualified state beef councils, which retain up to 50 cents on the dollar. The state councils forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which oversees the national checkoff program, subject to USDA review. The checkoff program was designed to stimulate others to sell more beef and stimulate consumers to buy more beef. This can be accomplished through initiatives such as consumer advertising, marketing partnerships, public relations, education, research and new-product development.
Every time you sell live cattle of any age, breed, purpose or number directly to another person, you are responsible for making sure that the $1-per-head beef checkoff assessment is sent to the Montana Beef Council.
The dollar is to be collected by the buyer from the seller, although both parties are responsible.
If you sell meat from your cattle, you are also required to send one dollar per head to the Montana Beef Council. If you are selling beef direct-to-consumer, contact the office for recipe brochures, fact sheets, cut charts and more to share with your consumers.
The checkoff is designed so that everyone pays their fair share.
By federal law, all producers selling cattle or calves, for any reason and regardless of age, breed or purpose, must pay $1 per head to support beef/veal promotion, research and information through the Beef Promotion and Research Act. The person buying the cattle is responsible for collecting $1 per head from the seller and remitting these assessments to the Beef Checkoff Program. However, failure of the buyer to collect and remit the $1-per-head beef checkoff assessment does not relieve the seller of their obligation to pay the assessment. In addition, producers harvesting their own cattle with the intent of selling beef or beef products are responsible for remitting the beef checkoff assessment. Failure to remit the $1-per-head beef checkoff assessment is a violation of the law and may be subject to a $7,500 penalty.
For Auction Markets, and other states please send to:
Montana Beef Council
P.O. Box 80865
Billings, MT 59108
For private treaty/country sales send to:
Montana Beef Council
301 N. Roberts
P.O. Box 202020
Helena, MT 59620
Producers may use this form to request that the State Beef Council send the full $1-per-head beef checkoff assessment from their individual cattle sales to the Cattlemen's Beef Board and that the State Beef Council not retain any portion of the individual’s assessment for its direct programming efforts.
Montana Beef Council, PO Box 80865, Billings, MT 59108
Checkoff payments must be postmarked by the 15th of the month following the month the cattle were sold and mailed to the Montana Beef Council.
The Beef Checkoff Program was designed to stimulate others to sell more beef and stimulate consumers to buy more beef. This is accomplished through a combination of initiatives including consumer advertising, research, public relations, education and new product development.
The beef checkoff doesn't own cattle, packing plants or retail outlets. It can't control prices or single-handedly turn around a bad market. By law, checkoff funds cannot be used to influence government policy or action, including lobbying.
Whoever makes payment to the seller is a collection point or collection person (this could be the actual buyer or the buyer's agent). That entity or person must withhold $1 per head and remit those funds to the Montana Beef Council. Examples of collection points are: Auction Markets, Feedyards, Packers, Dealers, Order Buyers, Other producers, Auctioneers, Sale Managers, Clerking services, Banks, and other entities that buy or sell cattle.
The Montana Beef Council is charged by law to monitor all cattle transactions and assure uniform payment of the checkoff assessment. MBC is also required to turn over to the Beef Board the names of any producers or collecting points that refuse to pay the checkoff for action that can include a restraining order and a civil penalty of up to $7,500 per transaction.
Contact the Montana Beef Council at 406-656-3336 or stop by. You can also find information about national programs implemented by the Beef Checkoff at www.drivingdemandforbeef.com.