Tri-State Livestock News: Deja-vu for Checkoff Legislation: If at first you don’t succeed…

Tri-State Livestock News By Traci Eatherton In late March, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced new legislation, hoping to add what they call “much needed transparency and accountability” to checkoff programs. Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act of 2017 (OFF Act), along with a companion bill, the Voluntary Checkoff Act, is being praised by R-CALF. According to Bill Bullard, R-CALF CEO, the two bills were introduced too late last session for a full consideration in Read More …

USDA Claims Confidentiality for 12,000 Pages of Federal Checkoff Spending Records

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE OCM Moves Forward in Freedom of Information Case despite USDA’s Attempt to Conceal NCBA’s Abuses of Beef Checkoff Funds LINCOLN, NE – March 31, 2017 was the USDA’s court-ordered deadline to choose transparency or secrecy in a lawsuit over records from an audit initiated in 2011 of the federal Beef Checkoff Program. It chose secrecy. Out of a total of 12,341 pages of financial records from the audit and sought by the Organization for Competitive 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 …

Federal Lawmakers Reintroduce Commodity Checkoff Reform Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal lawmakers reintroduced legislation today to bring much needed transparency and accountability to the federal government’s commodity checkoff programs. The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S. 741, was introduced by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), while Reps. Dave Brat (R-VA) and Dina Titus (D-NV) introduced companion legislation in the House, H.R. 1753. The Voluntary Checkoff Act, S. 740, was reintroduced by Senator Lee, and companion legislation, H.R. 1752, was introduced Read More …

Agriculture.com: SF Special: A Constant Battle for Beef Checkoff Transparency

Agriculture.com By Anna McConnell 3/21/2017  It all started when former Kansas City Star investigative reporter Mike McGraw overheard a conversation at the 2012 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Five years later, he’s unsure exactly what he heard and can’t locate his notes from the convention, but it was enough that the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) started balling its fists and marching toward the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB), also known as the Read More …

Basis for OCM’s FOIA Claim Regarding Beef Checkoff Program

In 2010, the Clifton Gunderson Accounting Firm performance review, commissioned by the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, examined one percent of expenditures and personnel time cards charged by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) to the Beef Checkoff Program over a 29-month period ending in 2010. This was in effect the equivalent of nine days of activity. Numerous irregularities were uncovered which resulted in the NCBA being required to return to the National Beef Board more than $200,000. These irregularities included improper 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 …

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 …