Farmers and ranchers are being forced to pay for their own demise and their ultimate extinction.
Through a government program, farmers are mandated to pay a fee, or 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 that 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.
The good news is there are solutions. Legislation has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate that would end the abuse of the checkoff programs and help restore opportunity for U.S. family farmers and ranchers (see our fact sheet here). We need your help to ensure these bills become law. At the state level, we are calling for audits of checkoff programs. And, we are urging folks who pay into checkoff programs to request refunds in eligible states.