Des Moines Register: USDA fails to monitor foreign owners of farmland

Des Moines Register By Johnathan Hettinger, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting A law requiring foreign investors to report transactions of farmland to the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been on the books for almost 40 years. But as the amount of foreign-controlled farmland doubled in millions of acres between 2004 and 2014, the USDA has lapsed in enforcing the law, a review of USDA documents has found. The Agriculture Foreign Investment Disclosure Act was passed in 1978 to combat fears Read More …

A New $1 Cow Tax in Oklahoma: Good Money After Bad

A Word on Farm Law and Policy By Harlan Hentges Edmond, Oklahoma A $1.00 tax is imposed every time cattle are sold. This is the “Beef Checkoff” imposed by federal law. Oklahoma ranchers pay about $3 million per year. Half goes to the Oklahoma Beef Council (OBC), and half goes to the national Cattlemen’s Beef Board. OBC says the money is used to make “a positive difference for Oklahoma’s farming and ranching families” and for “strengthening consumer trust.” Read More …

Brownfield Ag News: OCM CRITICAL OF USDA’S LACK OF DAIRY CHECKOFF REPORTS

OCM CRITICAL OF USDA’S LACK OF DAIRY CHECKOFF REPORTS Brownfield Ag News September 21, 2017 By Larry Lee Filed Under: Dairy, News, USDA A marketing watchdog group claims the USDA has failed to properly oversee the dairy checkoff program. Angela Huffman with the Organization for Competitive Markets says, “We’ve seen the same thing happening in the beef checkoff, pork, eggs, and here it is now with dairy.” Huffman says federal law requires the USDA to submit a report Read More …

POLITICO: Missing USDA dairy checkoff reports renew calls for transparency

POLITICO Missing USDA dairy checkoff reports renew calls for transparency By Catherine Boudreau 09/14/2017 05:01 AM EDT The Agriculture Department hasn’t published legally required annual financial reports on a $400 million dairy research and promotional fund for the past four years, lending ammunition to farmers and other groups pushing for more transparency in checkoff programs. A USDA spokeswoman told POLITICO the reports on the dairy checkoff are in the final clearance stage and should be posted within the Read More …

Farm Groups Urge Missouri Attorney General to Investigate Bayer, Monsanto Merger

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 28, 2017 Media Contact: Angela Huffman, 614-390-7552 [email protected] Farm Groups Urge Missouri Attorney General to Investigate Bayer, Monsanto Merger Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley Should Conduct Public Joint Investigation with DOJ JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Today, farm organizations urged Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to join the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into the proposed $66 billion mega-merger of Bayer AG and Monsanto Co., and to conduct a public joint investigation. The letter, Read More …