Over 250,000 Farmers, Organizations, and Businesses Urge Congress to Pass Meaningful Checkoff Program Reform

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 27, 2017 Media Contacts: Bill Bullard, 406-252-2516, billbullard@r-calfusa.com Angela Huffman, 614-390-7552, ahuffman@competitivemarkets.com Over 250,000 Farmers, Organizations, and Businesses Urge Congress to Pass Meaningful Checkoff Program Reform WASHINGTON, D.C. – In letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, more than 80 organizations, representing over 250,000 ranchers, farmers and businesses called on Congress to fix the federal government’s failed commodity checkoff tax programs by supporting recently introduced legislation that, when passed, will bring much Read More …

Tri-State Livestock News | Deja-vu for Checkoff Legislation: If at first you don’t succeed…

Tri-State Livestock News By Traci Eatherton In late March, Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced new legislation, hoping to add what they call “much needed transparency and accountability” to checkoff programs. Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act of 2017 (OFF Act), along with a companion bill, the Voluntary Checkoff Act, is being praised by R-CALF. According to Bill Bullard, R-CALF CEO, the two bills were introduced too late last session for a full consideration in Read More …

USDA Claims Confidentiality for 12,000 Pages of Federal Checkoff Spending Records

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 Markets (OCM) through Read More …

A Dairy Farmer’s Perspective: Checkoff Reform Needed to Save American Family Farms

By Brenda Cochran My name is Brenda Cochran. My husband, Joe, who was born on a dairy farm in Baltimore County, Maryland, and I have been dairy farmers since 1975, raising our 14 children dairy farming in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Our family is still dairy farming today, in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, with increasing difficulty, under virtually unbearable pressures due to coercive and restrictive government policies that, among other burdens, limit the price we get paid for our cows’ 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 …

Organization for Competitive Markets v. Office of Inspector General (Checkoff Transparency Lawsuit)

Issue In a five-year legal battle between family farmers and ranchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), USDA refuses to release public audit and financial documents related to Beef Checkoff Program spending. By law, farmers and ranchers are mandated to pay into the government checkoff fund for research, promotion and development of markets for beef, but concerns arose after an audit found gross misuse of the program funds by the government’s primary contractor, a beef-industry lobbying group. Read More …

When were the words “United States beef” amended out of public law?

By Vaughn Meyer, OCM Board of Directors 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 former member Read More …