Top 10 Most Egregious Checkoff Program Abuses

A bipartisan amendment to the House version of the Farm Bill has been filed to reform the commodity checkoff programs. The Brat-Blumenauer Amendment No. 71 establishes restrictions and requirements for checkoff programs to ensure transparency and accountability. Checkoff programs may not engage in any act that may involve a conflict of interest, anti-competitive activity, unfair or deceptive act or practice, or act that may be disparaging to, or in any way negatively portray, another agricultural commodity or product. Read More …

The Flawed European Remedy to Bayer-Monsanto Deal

By Allen Grunes and Maurice Stucke Farmers in the United States have been battered for years by the rising costs of seeds and chemicals. It looks like things are only going to get worse. There were news reports last week that the U.S. Justice Department has reached an “agreement in principle” to give the green light to Bayer AG’s acquisition of rival Monsanto Co. Bayer is the second largest supplier of pesticides worldwide, and is an important global seed company. Monsanto is Read More …

Organizing Farm Communities to Stop Rep. King’s Attack

By Laura Kington As a seasonal farm employee and food system advocate, my post-grad years have consistently revolved around three seasons: planting, harvesting, and conference-ing. The last two years, I’ve worked at a flower farm on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, the city where I grew up and where I remained after graduating from the Ohio State University’s College of Food and Ag., and the year prior to that I had my first season farming on a mixed Read More …

OCM Support for Petition for Rulemaking on Definitions of “Beef” and “Meat”

The Organization for Competitive Markets submitted the following comments in support of Petition 18-01 filed by United States Cattlemen’s Association to exclude products not derived directly from animals raised and slaughtered from the definition of “beef” and “meat.” OCM recognizes the value U.S. consumers place on accurate, transparent labeling in making their food choices. Many of America’s family farmers and ranchers have been able to sustain the profitability of their independent family farms and ranches by recognizing consumer Read More …

Farmers Detail Harm Suffered at Hands of Big Ag Corporations in Our New Filing Against USDA

In December 2017, we sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for illegally withdrawing critical protections intended to shield family farmers and ranchers from predatory and retaliatory practices by big agribusiness corporations. These protections were known as the Farmer Fair Practices, or GIPSA Rules. Today, with legal representation by Democracy Forward, we filed a new brief in our suit. In it we detail the experiences of farmers and ranchers harmed by discrimination, blackballing, and other terrible tactics at Read More …

OCM Opposes California Legislative Attempt to Increase Beef Checkoff

The California Legislature is at it again. They’re attempting to tax cattle producers $1 per head of cattle sold, without providing the basic taxpayer safeguards of a state audit, appropriations, or open and transparent records. This newly proposed legislation, SB-965, also fails to prevent the taxpayer funds from being used for lobbying. SB-965 would leave the program open to abuse and scandal, no different than we’ve already seen in states like Oklahoma and Ohio. Today, we wrote to the Read More …

Don’t Throw the Baby out with the Bathwater: Not All Regulations Are Bad

Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. Since its inception, OCM’s mission statement has included the following statement, “True competition reduces the need for economic regulation. Our mission, and our duty, is to define and advocate the proper role of government in the agricultural economy as a regulator and enforcer of rules necessary for markets that are fair, honest, accessible and competitive for all citizens.” OCM has always understood that to secure our Read More …

Have You Been Affected by Large Agribusiness Mergers? Take This Quick Survey

The last year and half has brought many changes to the farming community. One of the biggest has been the wave of mergers sweeping through the major corporations many farmers rely upon for seeds and chemicals. Two major mergers have been completed (Dow & DuPont and Syngenta & ChemChina). One more is still pending: Monsanto & Bayer. The U.S. Department of Justice and many state Attorneys General are reviewing that merger and looking for farmer input. Now is your Read More …