Policy Brief | State Series: Consolidation and the American Family Farm – Ohio

Consolidation and globalization in the agriculture sector have serious implications for Ohio’s family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. Concentration of corporate power in agriculture has risen to levels not seen since the Gilded Age, allowing multinational agribusiness interests to exert growing influence over policy and programs. Corporate concentration has left little competition and fewer opportunities for the state’s next generation of farmers and ranchers, while extracting wealth out of local economies. As the economic backbone of rural communities, Read More …

Policy Brief | State Series: Consolidation and the American Family Farm – North Dakota

High levels of agribusiness and corporate farming concentration have serious implications for North Dakota, given that agriculture is the largest economic contributor in the state. The combination of consolidation and wealth extraction from rural communities has left little competition and fewer opportunities for the state’s next generation of farmers and ranchers. In addition to consolidation, multinational agribusinesses use largeness to their advantage by exerting influence over industry groups, policy, and programs intended to help farmers and consumers. The Read More …

Briefing Paper | Analysis of the Ohio Beef Checkoff Program: Serious Abuses Show a Need for Reform

Ohio cattle producers are mandated by both state and federal laws to pay a fee to the government for every head of cattle they sell. Known as the Beef Checkoff Program, these mandatory fees are intended to be used for research and promotion of beef. The Ohio Beef Council, an agency of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, collects, administers, and expends these tax dollars. The U.S. Supreme Court made clear that checkoff programs are activities and speech of Read More …

Policy Brief | State Series: Consolidation and the American Family Farm – Missouri

In the late 1970s, Walter Goldschmidt hypothesized that rural communities are undermined by the presence of industrial farm operations, which lead to rural communities that are less likely to have a strong middle class, quality public services, and robust community participation. Increased concentration in agribusiness and farms supports the Goldschmidt Hypothesis, as many rural communities across Missouri struggle to support their local economies. Missouri’s rural poverty rate is 30.9% higher than its urban poverty rate. Agribusiness firms that Read More …

Policy Brief | Consolidation, Globalization, and the American Family Farm

Consolidation and globalization in the food industry have reached a point where the top four firms in almost every sector have acquired abusive levels of power. This corporate control has allowed the top firms to reap record profits, paying lower prices to the farmers who produce our food and charging higher prices to consumers on the retail side. The U.S. is losing farmers at an alarming rate, agricultural jobs and wages are drying up, and rural communities are Read More …

Policy Position: Restore the Packers and Stockyards Act

Following is OCM’s policy position on restoring the Packers and Stockyards Act to its original intent. 1. Implement federal legislation that amends Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921(P&S Act) to provide that the use of a ranking system for ranking poultry growers for settlement purposes is unfair, unjustly discriminatory, or deceptive and a strict violation of section 202(a) of the P&S Act regardless of whether it harms or is likely to harm competition. 2. Implement federal legislation that is Read More …

The Fertilizer Oligopoly: The Case for Global Antitrust Enforcement

AAI Working Paper No. 13-05: by Author: C. Robert Taylor and Diana L. Moss Fertilizers are a critical input in the agricultural sector where industrial farming is heavily dependent on external inputs of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium or potash. A history of supra-competitive pricing by the few, large global producers of fertilizer inputs – coupled with characteristics that make the market conducive to anticompetitive coordination (i.e., collusion) – raise significant competitive concerns. This working paper qualitatively and quantitatively Read More …