Tell Congress: Reform the Checkoff Programs

captureFarmers and ranchers are being forced to pay for their own demise and their ultimate extinction.

Every farmer is mandated by government to pay a fee (tax) every time they sell their products. These programs are called “checkoffs” and the funds they create were originally intended to help family farmers market their goods. Almost every agriculture commodity product has a marketing checkoff program and fee.

But today, there is a HUGE problem. Many of these programs have been hijacked by large industrial agriculture interests who use these funds to build their influence to push policy that supports industrial agriculture’s takeover of the food system, and they are used to ensure the market is rigged against the independent family farmer and rancher. Since the 1980s, the U.S. has lost more than 40% of the U.S. cattle producers and over 90% of the U.S. hog farmers. During this same period of time, the U.S. has seen over 1,000,000 farmers driven off the land.

The good news is there is a solution. Senator Lee (R) Utah has filed SB 3200, and Senator Lee and Senator Booker (D) NJ have filed SB3201. When enacted, these bills would end the abuse of the checkoff programs, helping restore opportunity for U.S. family farmers and ranchers.

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