OIG Reconfirms Commitment to Produce Beef Checkoff Audit Documents

Written on:October 16, 2015
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October 15, 2015

For Immediate Release:

OIG Reconfirms Commitment to Produce Audit Documents

Today, before a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, and the attorneys for OCM, OIG reconfirmed their commitment to produce thousands of documents related to the 2013-2014 audit report. This assurance was issued today during a status hearing a little more than a year after the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) filed a complaint for injunctive relief in U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia demanding the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Agriculture make a final determination and release all required records related to a 2013 FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request regarding Beef Checkoff audit reports.

The legal action stems from a long struggle by OCM to obtain the truth about an OIG Beef Checkoff audit begun in February 2011. The audit was presumably prompted by the disturbing findings of a Clifton Gunderson Accounting Firm performance review commissioned by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. After examining the equivalent of a mere nine days of activity, irregularities were uncovered which resulted in NCBA having to return more than $200,000. These numerous irregularities included improper payment for such things as spousal travel and private loans.

More than two years after beginning its investigation–and after generating more than 3,000 pages of report drafts–OIG released a scant, seventeen-page report that appeared wholly irreconcilable with the Clifton Gunderson findings. Remarkably and to the contrary, it stated; “The Office of Inspector General (OIG) determined that the relationships between the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (beef board) and other industry-related organizations…complied with legislation,” This shocking statement was later removed from the report without explanation.

Unaddressed in the report was the glaring and fundamental conflict of interest created by NCBA having iron-fisted control of the Checkoff contract awarding process and using this control to consistently award more than 90% of the contracts to itself.

“As I have said before, there is no doubt that NCBA has been empowered by the some $50 million it has received annually for two decades now, and has used its resulting influence to promote the interests of global meat packers and big retailers against the interests of Checkoff-paying cattlemen,” explained Fred Stokes, OCM member. “Today, we are pleased that the court continues to monitor the progress of our quest for the truth,” he concluded.

Attorneys for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) filed the complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. HSUS attorneys are providing representation in furtherance of their work to reform the Beef Checkoff on behalf of organizations like OCM and to prevent misuses of the program for activities detrimental to animal welfare.

For a copy of the official complaint and or media inquiries, contact:

Fred Stokes

Failed Promises

Written on:August 20, 2015
J. Dudley Butler worked under Secretary Vilsack as Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyard (GIPSA) Administrator. Left without the necessary support from the administration to do his job of protecting market competition, he resigned. Butler isn’t afraid to expose corruption and continues to fight for the rights of family farmers and ranchers and for a fair and competitive marketplace.

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17th Annual Food and Ag Conference

Written on:August 19, 2015
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Saturday, August 22, 2015 Conference and Membership Meeting 9:00AM-5:00PM AGENDA (Tentative) OCM 2015 REGISTRATION FORM 07:00 Registration 08:10 Welcome Mike Callicrate 08:30 Conference Purpose Fred Stokes 08:45 Case for Alliances & Coalitions Bill Bullard, Diana Moss 09:45 Coalition Report, HSUS on our side, OIG FOIA Issue Joe Maxwell, Angela Huffman, Matt Penzer


The Independent American Farmer – 1929

Written on:August 17, 2015
The Independent American Farmer – 1929

SOURCE: The Kansas Union Farmer


Eleven years ago a few good cattlemen stood up for justice in an Alabama courtroom.

Written on:July 29, 2015

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OCM Repeats Call For U.S. Withdrawal From The WTO

Written on:July 3, 2015

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