Guest Opinion: Stand up for the Beef Checkoff | TSLN.com

Guest Opinion: Stand up for the Beef Checkoff

Kristin Larson
Sidney, MT

I sincerely believe the Beef Checkoff does a great job promoting beef day in and day out for ALL beef producers and at a reasonable cost with great returns. I wouldn't stand behind one thing I didn't believe in or witness first hand doing good things for the beef industry.

I think of the beef checkoff as having our back and defending beef every day because believe it or not there are those that don't want beef to exist or be for human consumption and they will try anything to make others agree with them and see it their way. It is impossible for us producers to combat this type of campaign and funding by ourselves. The checkoff allows for a unified message to be sent and shared with the truth about the nutrition and benefits of beef. The checkoff also develops fresh, new recipes and different ways to cook and cut beef all to make consumers want to purchase, order and cook it more often. All of which builds demand and keeps us in business. It is so important to be aware of and on top of the new trends and what consumers want in a rapidly changing retail environment. The checkoff does this for us. It collects, interprets and uses this data for their advertising campaigns and recipe concepts. Again, this is not something us as producers can do on our own and especially not every hour of every day.

One of the best parts of the beef checkoff is the producer control and input on how the dollars are spent. The beef checkoff is not controlled by one group or only big producers! All producers can have a say and the opportunity to get involved with their checkoff because the direction starts at the local, state level. Every states' beef council is set up differently but with the same intent, which is to give local beef producers the opportunity to be involved in their checkoff and discuss and give input as to how they think their beef checkoff dollars are best spent.

I think many of you are aware but RCALF filed a lawsuit against USDA naming the Montana Beef Council in the suit. The case is going to go to court and we hope to get our chance to explain how the beef council operates because there were many non truths given in the lawsuit but for now the Montana Beef Council remains on unstable ground. In the mean time the beef council is in the process of getting consent forms signed by all Montana producers so their $.50 can stay in state and work on programs here. However the most important reason to sign the consent form is to keep the control in the hands of Montana producers. It is important to have that local neighbor, friend, colleague on the board to discuss and make decisions and then talk about it in their coffee shop. If you're going to pay into something it's best to understand it and keep up to date with it. This input and discussion is crucial to the success of the checkoff.

Let's not let a few producers who are unhappy with some of the programs the checkoff funds, and yet refuse to get involved or provide solutions or input to the boards already set up for that very discussion, take away the checkoff that is helping promote beef to many consumers every day! The checkoff has already been upheld by the courts years ago so they are not getting out of paying the checkoff, they are just taking away local producer control and input.

I'm asking you to please sign the consent form and make sure your family members and neighbors do too. It is time we get serious and stand up for the beef checkoff that works so hard on our behalf!!

Recommended Stories For You

Let's work hard to save the checkoff that allows for local input from producers and gives us control to make the decisions on how our dollars will most efficiently and effectively sell more beef!!

If you have questions, concerns, comments please email me. I'm happy to discuss any questions or issues you may have. kslarson6@gmail.com

The forms are online montanabeefcouncil.org

Thank you,