Featured Farmer - Bob and Nancy Montross, De Smet
Passion for Beef Leads Couple to National Game Show
An idea that started in a South Dakota living room in 1997 is now reaching millions of Americans in homes across the country.
Bob and Nancy Montross, cattle producers from De Smet, were looking for ways to promote beef. Along with two other volunteers, they came up with the idea for the Beef Bucks program, where people can purchase pre-paid checks to purchase beef in grocery stores or beef meals at restaurants.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Bob, Nancy and other volunteers, the Beef Bucks program has grown from its humble beginnings to more than $1 million in sales of Beef Bucks checks and reloadable debit cards. Beef Bucks have been redeemed in more than 40 states, and the program started reaching a nationwide audience a year ago when it was featured on nationally-syndicated Wheel of Fortune game show.
“We’ve been really excited about the reaction and publicity from the Wheel of Fortune appearances, and the show’s producers were amazed at the support and publicity as well,” said Bob.
Watch to see if Wheel of Fortune’s contestants win the $1000 Beef Bucks certificate during the show’s “Home for the Holidays’ episodes on Dec. 18 and 20. The Beef Bucks certificates were also featured in January 2011 and November 2012.
Beyond sales of Beef Bucks checks and debit cards, Bob, Nancy and the Beef Bucks board are tireless ambassadors for beef. Annual golf tournaments, serving all-beef hot dogs and hamburgers to the South Dakota State University football team and coaching staff, serving all beef hot dogs and brats at the Minnesota Vikings company picnic, and providing Beef Bucks to Feeding South Dakota, South Dakota Highway Patrol and other organizations, are just a few of the ways they reach out to South Dakotans and beyond. They also partner with the South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary to host Beef Night at the Races at Huset Speedway, and to promote beef at the South Dakota Amateur Baseball Tournament and at the Sioux Falls Arena with Skyforce.
“This is truly a grassroots operation. We have a great board of directors and couldn’t do what we’ve done without them. It became too big for the two of us and we appreciate the board’s support and loyalty,” said Bob.
Bob and Nancy have a cow/calf operation and raise (background) their calves until they weigh about 650 to 750 pounds. They also sometimes purchase additional cattle to raise.
Bob has been farming more than 50 years and is the third generation on his family’s land. They have three grown children.
“I got started 50 years ago with my dad and grandfather and Nancy and I have been married for 45 years, so you could say I’ve always been here,” he said.
Beef Bucks is just one example of the Montrosses’ activities to support their communities and South Dakota agriculture. They’ve served on their local school board, cemetery board, township board, American Legion and Legion Auxiliary posts, have been active in county cattlemen association, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary and the South Dakota Beef Industry Council.
The Montrosses have been featured in a number of news articles about Beef Bucks and their passion for promoting South Dakota beef. Click links to read articles in Cattle Business Weekly, Tri-State Neighbor and Beef Magazine. The couple was also interviewed in an article in the July/August issue of South Dakota Magazine.
Visit www.beefbucks.org to find a location near you to purchase Beef Bucks, order online or call 1-888-640-MEAT.