Bipartisan Demand for Checkoff Reform Renewed with Filing of U.S. Senate Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Common ground was found among unlikely allies again as the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S. 935, was reintroduced by U.S. Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rand Paul (R-KY) and Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA). The Off Act would put an end to the most egregious abuses committed by the boards and contractors of the federally mandated commodity checkoff programs. Checkoff programs have been instrumental in the history of agricultural advertising. Famous campaigns, Read More …

Bloomberg | Warren Takes Aim at Farm Programs That Brought You ‘Got Milk?’

Bloomberg By Lydia Mulvany As part of her presidential platform, Elizabeth Warren is not just taking on big agriculture corporations like Bayer AG and Tyson Foods Inc. She’s also going after checkoff programs, which do marketing campaigns for commodities. Slogans like “Got Milk?”, “Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner,” and “Pork: The Other White Meat” are what’s at stake. By law, growers pay a portion of their sales into checkoffs, which then promote the commodities. But that process is rigged against Read More …

Radio 570 WNAX | Senators Introduce Amendment to Restrict Checkoff Programs

WNAX By Tom Ritter Organization for Competitive Market members are backing an amendment they hope to get Senators to vote for in the 2018 farm bill. OCM Executive Director Joe Maxwell says it calls for reform to the checkoff program. He says it would make it more transparent for farmers and ranchers. He says the average producer is being hurt by not having a solid and transparent checkoff program in place. Maxwell says they tried to get their Read More …

Meatingplace | Farm groups focus on Senate for checkoff reform

Meatingplace By Rita Jane Gabbett The battle over whether commodity checkoff programs need reform within the context of the farm bill is not over. This week, 102 farm and food organizations sent a letter calling for the U.S. Senate to support inclusion of the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S. 741, in the Senate version of the farm bill. The legislation’s sponsors, Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), plan to introduce their legislation as an amendment to Read More …

Fowl Play Results in Stolen Identity

By Vaughn Meyer, OCM Director In 2015, U.S. cattlemen were victim to the $20 billion dollar identity theft initiated in large part by that so-called superficial producer/devious packer organization known as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Many ranchers were just beginning to recover from the game rule changes which eliminated $400 plus cow/calf profits and created whopping $200 per carcass packer margins in less than six months after the death of U.S. County of Origin Labeling (COOL). Read More …

OCM Opposes California’s Assembly Bill 243: California Beef Commission Law

OCM strongly opposes California’s Assembly Bill 243 (AB 243), authored by Assemblymember Jim Cooper. AB 243 vastly amends the current process in place to manage the state’s mandatory beef checkoff program in ways that weaken California cattle producers’ standing and subjects them to uncapped taxation — for many, potentially without representation. We have joined with a diverse group of stakeholders, to include the farming, environmental, animal welfare, and good food movement communities to oppose this measure. View our joint Read More …

Exploring the “My” in My Beef Checkoff

By Vaughn Meyer with Angela Huffman In 1984, U.S. cattle producers voted to establish the Beef Checkoff Program as a means to promote their own product, U.S. beef. From the very beginning the beef checkoff was touted as a producer self-help program financed by all producers through a dollar per head assessment on every animal sold. From the very beginning cattle producers began questioning the underlying motive of their checkoff.  It soon became apparent that importers, retailers and Read More …