U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack recently appointed Montana beef producer Leo McDonnell of Columbus to a three-year term on the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board, which oversees administration of the national Beef Checkoff Program. McDonnell participated in new-member orientation in Denver in January and was seated for his first meeting of the full Beef Board at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention in Denver in February, becoming one of 106 producers and importers nationwide representing all cattlemen by making recommendations about how to invest national beef checkoff dollars.
McDonnell was nominated to the Beef Board by the Montana Farmers Union and Montana Cattlemen's Association. He and his wife own the Midland Bull Test. McDonnell has been involved in beef industry organizations, including service as chair of the Montana Cattle Feeders and service to the Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Cattlemen's Association, Montana Farmer's Union, the Beartooth Stockgrowers Association, a co-founder of R-CALF USA in 1998 and a current director for the U.S. Cattlemen's Association.