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 …

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 …

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 …

NCBA Files to Keep Up the Cover-Up of Abuses of Beef Checkoff Funds

On Tuesday, in a desperate move to conceal the truth about how cattlemen’s Beef Checkoff funds have been spent, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) filed a late claim to intervene in a case that has been ongoing for nearly two years and on an issue that the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) has been pursuing for over five years. In October of 2014, OCM filed the original complaint for injunctive relief, demanding the Office of Inspector General Read More …

MO Bad News: NCBA, cattlemen’s worst nightmare, wants $1 increase in Beef Tax

Mike Callicrate owner of Callicrate Cattle Co. was recently interviewed by George Sholtz with Big Country 99 The Rooster (KUNQ) Assumed by its name to be an advocate for the cattle industry, the NCBA is actually the independent cattlemen’s worst nightmare and now want to increase the Missouri Beef Checkoff to $2. With its control of the Beef Checkoff Program, the NCBA is: Undermining every effort to restore competition to U.S. livestock markets. Facilitating trade agreements that are Read More …

Ranchers take on the beef industry over mandatory checkoff payments

By MIKE McGRAW and PEGGY LOWE | Harvest Public Media NEMAHA COUNTY, Kan. – From their small farms set in the rolling hills of northeast Kansas, two ranchers are raising a few cattle — and a lot of Cain. David Pfrang and Jim Dobbins turned themselves into activists, launched a mirror corporation, got hauled into federal court and had to hire a lawyer. All over $1. That buck, though, divides the beef industry. And it may influence what Read More …

A Big Controversy is Brewing

October 8, 2014 For Immediate Release A Big Controversy is Brewing Secretary Vilsack has announced that he will take summary action to reform the Beef Checkoff. NCBA has dubbed the initiative “train wrecking the Checkoff”. Not surprising since the change may threaten their gravy train. The Checkoff represents more than 80% of their total revenue. The Checkoff program is a dismal failure which has been made into an NCBA slush fund. Until Vilsack’s proposal is more clearly defined, Read More …