Voice from the Ranch: Nebraska Cattle Producer Screwed by JBS Speaks the Truth

The world’s largest beef processing corporation, JBS, is underpaying family farmers and ranchers for their cattle. Even worse, our government is letting them get away with it. A recent announcement of yet another case where a JBS meatpacking plant failed to properly weigh and keep track of cattle delivered to its plant resulted in a paltry settlement between JBS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), highlighting how USDA is failing the American farmer and rancher. USDA Secretary Read More …

GIPSA is Dead; the Fight for Producer Protections Continues

In a move designed to take a thorn out of the side of the world’s largest meatpackers, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue put the final nail in the coffin of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) by formalizing the elimination of the standalone agency and transferring its delegation to the historically big agribusiness-friendly Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Among its duties, the now defunct GIPSA agency was responsible for enforcement of antitrust law in Read More …

Nov. 2018 Drovers Poll: Beef Checkoff Not Working for Cattle Producers

On November 13, 2018, Drovers issued a poll asking the question, “Do you believe the Beef Checkoff is helping to stimulate beef demand and support your cattle business?” Two days later, the polling showed that 70 percent of Drovers’ audience who responded voted no. Even more telling was the more than 50 comments on the poll, which were removed from Drovers’ website that afternoon. However, screenshots of the deleted comments were preserved. See all of the deleted comments Read More …

Latest Beef Recall Exposes Illusion of Choice

This past week, almost seven million pounds of JBS beef were recalled after 57 people in 16 states were sickened by Salmonella poisoning. No surprise here. Just last year, JBS was caught exporting rotten beef worldwide and trying to cover up the stench using cancer-causing acid products. The latest JBS tainted meat scandal not only continues to ring alarm bells about the safety of JBS beef, but it also shows how few choices consumers actually have in the Read More …

Another Decade to Wait for Meaningful GIPSA Antitrust Enforcement? Hell No!

We had our day in court. On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit heard oral arguments in our lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s unlawful rollback of critical protections designed to safeguard family farms and ranches from predatory and retaliatory practices by big agribusiness corporations. Appearing on behalf of the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and independent farmers, Democracy Forward argued that USDA acted unlawfully in withdrawing the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, or GIPSA Rules, last Read More …

Screwed Again: The 2019 Beef Checkoff Budget is Out

The 2019 beef checkoff budget is out, and global meatpacking corporations and their industry lobbying groups are the winners once again while American family farmers and ranchers continue to be taxed to fund their own demise. Under federal law, farmers of certain commodities (including pork, eggs, beef, and corn) are required to pay a portion of their sales into checkoff programs. These mandatory fees are intended to be used by the U.S. government to research and promote demand Read More …

New Legislation Would Hit Pause on Mega-Mergers

America has a monopoly problem, and no sector is worse than food and agriculture. In just the past two years, chemical and seed company acquisitions and mergers have allowed three companies to control two thirds of the crop seed and nearly 70% of the agricultural chemical markets. The four largest multinational corporations have gained control of 71% of the pork market, 85% of the beef market and 90% of the grain market. Economists agree that more than 40% Read More …

Tell USDA: Stop Allowing Imported Meat to be Mislabeled “Product of U.S.A.”

Do you want a food system in which the biggest cheaters win, and global monopolies control our food supply? It’s what we have today. Current USDA policy allows cheap imported meat to be mislabeled “Product of U.S.A.” Global food corporations find it very profitable to deceive U.S. consumers and drive U.S. family farmers and ranchers out of business while our government looks the other way. It’s time to stop this criminal practice, so we at Organization for Competitive Read More …