Putting Competition Policy at the Top of the Agenda for Rural America

By Lillian Salerno, former Deputy Undersecretary for Policy for Rural Development, USDA As one of the few rural entrepreneurs who served in the Obama Administration, I was so fortunate to get to spend much of my time with rural small businesses and local farmers implementing the programs Congress authorizes to assist in rural economic development. In this role for 5 years, I worked alongside USDA’s amazing State Directors and field staff implementing and supporting economic development in rural Read More …

Exploring the “My” in My Beef Checkoff

By Vaughn Meyer with Angela Huffman In 1984, U.S. cattle producers voted to establish the Beef Checkoff Program as a means to promote their own product, U.S. beef. From the very beginning the beef checkoff was touted as a producer self-help program financed by all producers through a dollar per head assessment on every animal sold. From the very beginning cattle producers began questioning the underlying motive of their checkoff.  It soon became apparent that importers, retailers and Read More …

NCBA Attempts to Distract from Checkoff Abuse

By Fred Stokes Founding member, Organization for Competitive Markets In its recent propaganda piece being circulated in agriculture news outlets, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) tries to draw attention away from the growing outcry for checkoff program reform by making The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) a boogeyman. The truth is, farmers and ranchers want the corrupt, broken program reformed; more than 250,000 of them made their case to Congress earlier this week. Bipartisan legislation is Read More …

Former GIPSA Head Debunks NCBA’s Lies About Premium Payments

By Dudley Butler, former GIPSA administrator I was an active member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) for many years. I quit NCBA because its leaders began to lie to its grassroots membership and I could not stomach it any longer. Today’s NCBA leaders continue this untruthful behavior. These leaders are like Judas goats leading their members to the slaughterhouse of vertical integration. The current lies being told by NCBA leaders involve the recent interim final rule Read More …

A Dairy Farmer’s Perspective: Checkoff Reform Needed to Save American Family Farms

By Brenda Cochran My name is Brenda Cochran. My husband, Joe, who was born on a dairy farm in Baltimore County, Maryland, and I have been dairy farmers since 1975, raising our 14 children dairy farming in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Our family is still dairy farming today, in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, with increasing difficulty, under virtually unbearable pressures due to coercive and restrictive government policies that, among other burdens, limit the price we get paid for our cows’ Read More …

Sen. Roberts Tells Trump to Forget COOL While Brazil’s Rotten Meat Scandal Widens Worldwide

Two of the world’s largest meat companies, Brazilian meatpackers JBS and BRF, have been exposed for exporting rotten beef and trying to cover it up with cancer-causing acid products. Bloomberg reports that “Brazilian prosecutors allege some sausages and cold cuts contained animal parts such as pig heads, that some meat products were adulterated with cardboard, and that in some cases acid was used mask the smell of tainted meat.” At least 10 countries, including China, Canada, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Read More …

Refugees, Meatpacking, and Rural Communities

One week after taking office, President Trump signed the executive order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” which suspended our nation’s refugee program for four months and would cut the number of refugees to be admitted this year by more than half. Among the many who voiced concerns over this edict were Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, and Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs for JBS, USA, Read More …

And the real question is: When were the words “United States beef” amended out of public law?

By Vaughn Meyer U.S. cattle producers are rightly questioning why we are forced to promote foreign beef with our personal checkoff dollars. The Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB) will tell you the number one reason the checkoff doesn’t specifically promote “United States beef” is because the Beef Act & Order – the enabling legislation under which our checkoff operates – also requires collection of a dollar per head on imported cattle. As a six-year member of the CBB Board Read More …