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 to Congress every year outlining program activities and how checkoff dollars are spent. She tells Brownfield that hasn’t been done. “It seems to be the same old thing we keep seeing over and over in the checkoff programs, where there’s just a lack of accountability and transparency over these family farmer’s tax dollars.
Huffman says they are urging new Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue to complete the reports left undone by his predecessor Tom Vilsack.
The Organization for Competitive Markets has often challenged the USDA and the activities of checkoff programs including the Egg Board, and the pork checkoff. They are currently suing the USDA over the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association 2014 checkoff audit and spending issues.
OCM also supports two Congressional bills Huffman says would promote transparency and accountability in checkoff programs. They are the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act (S741/HR1753) and the Voluntary Checkoff Act (S740/HR1752).