MT and WY Beef Council’s Hold Joint Meeting

by Andy Schwab

Aside from the national partnership meeting between state beef councils that takes place every October, Wyoming and Montana may have just become one of the first states ever to hold a joint board meeting in Cody, WY. It was spurred by a thought between Montana Beef Council executive director Chaley Harney and Wyoming’s Ann Whitman who said the best conversation is usually the side meetings in the hallway.

Montana Beef Council Vice President Andy Kellom of Hobson agreed with that and told Northern Ag Network’s Andy Schwab, the collaboration also helps board members deliver a message to producers who pay a one dollar per head assessment when they sell their cattle.

“We get to see it when we’re involved with these projects with the Beef Council, we see it a little more up close and personal, but just to take that message back home to our fellow producers that hey we’re out using the dollar that you’re required to pay to do something better and create a better market for the product we’re putting out there.”

Kellom added the end user is always top of mind for him and other beef council members because without them, they do not have a business.

Speaking of Andy’s on the board, Andy Tuss of Billings was appointed by the Montana Food Distributers Association. As a wholesaler himself, he believes the end consumer deserves a naturally made product vs imitation meat.

“I’m glad as a wholesaler in the grocery business to help do that and get out the word as much as possible about the great value that this provides to families as far as nutritional values.”

The in-person meeting certainly had a common outcome among the Wyoming and Montana Beef Council board members as they all said it was nice to hear perspectives from the neighboring states. Wyoming Beef Council Board member Kayla Mills of Gillette, WY said the meeting showed how different but still similar the beef council’s are.

Listen to more of the conversation here.

“It’s been fantastic to see the different structures, how we are appointed and how we all are doing the same things, but also the different scales of how large Montana is as well as Wyoming where we use that money in Wyoming, but also send it to the National level.”

Don Waite, NCBA’s senior executive director of Federation State Services attended the meeting in Cody. He said the collaboration and communication is exactly what it takes to have the correct message in the publics hand.

“The national program would not work, we would not have any level of success without state partners like these great states, doing everything they do. I mean honestly, without them, we are nothing.”

The state beef council’s remind you, May is beef month and they encourage everyone to try new grilling and cooking techniques throughout the month.


Northern Ag Network – 2023

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