OCM Still Focused on Competitive Markets

On August 11th, OCM will return to the Airport Embassy Suites in Kansas City for our annual convention. There, in October of 1998, OCM was founded and declared its mission to be reestablishing fair and competitive markets for agriculture. Fair and competitive markets are what OCM still strives for; not as an end in themselves but as a critical contributor to the survival of independent family agriculture, a tenable rural America and our national food security. In my Read More …

The Facts About Higher and Lower Food Prices in Industrial Animal Agriculture

Dear Friends, Please find attached our new research related to egg prices and industrial agriculture as it relates to claims made in the robust debate surrounding State Question 777. As ever, our goal is discern fact from fiction in a nonpartisan manner. We believe the two attached sheets with infographics reveal a compelling (there’s that word!) snapshot of what’s really happening with regard to food prices. A hat tip to our director of education, Brian Ted Jones, for Read More …

Letter of Support for Legislative Action to Provide Meaningful Reforms of Checkoff Programs

July 14, 2016 Dear Members of Congress: We, the undersigned organizations, businesses and individuals call on Congress to support Senators Booker’s and Lee’s S. 3201 and Senator Lee’s S. 3200. These bills address the demonstrated, egregious marketplace abuses committed by the commodity checkoff programs (“checkoff programs”). Checkoff programs were established to serve as mechanisms by which agricultural producers pool money for common promotional and research purposes. Fees are mandatory, from the smallest local farmer to the biggest factory Read More …

Evaluating My Beef Checkoff Return on Investment

In 1985 most cattlemen proudly acknowledged the passage of the Beef Promotion Act and Order that authorized a $1 per head checkoff assessment (Beef Checkoff) for the promotion of our own product, beef. These were exciting times with great expectations for improving both beef demand and severely depressed cattle markets. The passage of the Act and Order culminated many years of congressional debate and wrangling which began in 1972. Many changes were made to the Act and Order Read More …

Senator Warren’s Speech on Monopoly

Yesterday, straight off her high-profile campaign appearance Monday with Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren gave a keynote address about industry consolidation in the American economy at a conference at the Capitol put on by New America’s Open Markets program. Though the speech has so far gotten only a modicum of attention—the press being more interested in litigating Donald Trump’s Pocahontas taunts—it has the potential to change the course of the presidential contest. Her speech begins at minute 56:45 Read More …

The Family Farm

I am Fred Stokes from Porterville, Mississippi. I am happy and honored to be a participant in this conference. Ralph Nader is one of my heroes and the epitome of unselfish commitment to worthy causes. I was born on a small diversified family farm in Kemper County Mississippi, the home of the late Senator John C. Stennis. After spending some 20 years in the Army, I retired and returned to my home country to get rich in the Read More …

Populism With a Brain : Ten old/new ideas to give power back to the people.

by Barry C. Lynn and Phillip Longman published in the Washington Monthly The National Review recently described Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as “two populist peas in a pod.” This was not a compliment. Across the political spectrum, people stick the “populist” label on politicians they see as exploiting the worst resentments and envies of some tribe or another. The segregationist George Wallace, by this reckoning, was a populist. So, too, Jean-Marie Le Pen. Yet there is a Read More …

Ban On Meat Packer Ownership: Too Little, Too Late

By Mike Callicrate Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a longtime advocate for fair markets, is once again reintroducing a bill that would make it unlawful for meat packers to own livestock more than seven days prior to slaughter. Similar legislation has been introduced before, but the powerful packer lobby has always succeeded in killing it. Aside from whether the bill actually has a chance this time, there’s another question to consider. If Congress bans meat packers from owing livestock, Read More …