Meatingplace: Complaint alleges misuse of Oklahoma beef funds

Meatingplace By Lisa M. Keefe A group representing family farmers and ranchers filed a complaint with USDA’s Office of Inspector General alleging the Oklahoma Beef Council illegally joined the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association in campaigning for a state referendum that would require payment of a state fee of $1 for every head of cattle sold. This would be in violation of federal restrictions on use of Beef Council funds to promote or influence government or policy, according to a Read More …

Drovers: State Beef Checkoff Vote Starts in Oklahoma, Complaint Filed to Stop It

Drovers By Wyatt Bechtel Early voting for a secondary beef checkoff in Oklahoma started on Oct. 2, but the Organization for Competitive Markets wants the vote to be halted. The official vote for proposed state beef checkoff is slated for Nov. 1, but Oklahoma cattle producers can vote with mail-in ballots from Oct. 2 to Oct. 20. Ballots can be requested from the Oklahoma Beef Checkoff Ballot Committee by calling 405-235-4391 or emailing [email protected] Mail-in ballots must be post marked Read More …

Capital Press: Groups press USDA on dairy checkoff oversight

Capital Press By Carol Ryan Dumas Nearly $427 million was collected for the dairy checkoff program in 2016. Dairy farmers are assessed 15 cents per hundredweight of milk they produce and importers are assessed 7.5 cents per hundredweight of milk (or the equivalent) they import. DON JENKINS/CAPITAL PRESS Mandatory annual reports accounting for money received and spent in connection with the federal dairy checkoff have not been filed with Congress. The Organization for Competitive Markets and the National Read More …

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 …

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 …

Drovers: Family Farm Action Unveiled at OCM Conference

Drovers By Greg Henderson, Editorial Director Vowing to fight what it calls the “economic power that a few multi-national corporations have over family farmers and rural America,” the non-profit Family Farm Action was launched today during the Organization for Competitive Markets conference in Kansas City, Mo. Family Farm Action is described as “a new political organization” that will “fight for America’s family farmers and rural communities,” the group announced in a press release. Specifically, the new non-profit seeks to “protect Read More …

Brownfield: OCM Wants President to Renegotiate Beef Trade Deal with China

Brownfield Ag News By Meghan Grebner 7/14/17 The Organization for Competitive Markets wants the Trump Administration to renegotiate the trade deal that resumes US beef exports to China. Executive director Joe Maxwell says the current deal puts US farmers and ranchers at a disadvantage. “Currently it is clear from our side of the deal we’re going to allow Mexico and Canada to bring beef into the United States to be further processed and then shipped under our label,” Read More …