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 …

New Bill Would Require USDA to Buy American First

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) announced today she will file legislation to stop the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from lining the pockets of global corporations at the expense of U.S. taxpayers and family farmers. Known as the Buy American Agriculture Act, the bill would require that whenever possible, purchases of agricultural commodities made by the secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) must be from domestically owned enterprises. It would also require the secretary to publish the rationale for Read More …

Brazil’s JBS, the World’s Largest, Most Corrupt Meatpacker, to Receive $22 Million in U.S. Farm Bailout Money

Update: It is now reported that USDA will award 22,331,309 to JBS under the bailout program, rather than the $5 million previously reported. See the USDA Purchase Award Description here.  It has been reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will award $5 million in U.S. taxpayer funds to Brazilian-owned meatpacking corporation, JBS, under the bailout program meant to help American farmers hurt by the trade war. In November 2018, Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods rescinded its bid for bailout money after a backlash Read More …

New JBS Violations Highlight Weak Enforcement of Packers & Stockyards Act

Today, Organization for Competitive Markets received information indicating that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will be releasing the terms of a settlement agreement with JBS Swift over its gross mishandling of beef carcasses at its Grand Island, Nebraska facility, its largest beef processing plant in the U.S. This unconscionable practice led to probable underpayments to cattle producers in violation of the Packers & Stockyards Act. In a soon to be released press statement, AMS Read More …

OCM Beef Checkoff Transparency Lawsuit Moves Forward

In a FOIA case four years in the making, USDA is forced to explain to the court why it will not release government audit documents Lincoln, NE — Yesterday marked the start of the most critical phase in a four-year legal battle between family farmers and ranchers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over USDA’s refusal to release public audit and financial documents related to Beef Checkoff Program spending. By law, farmers and ranchers are mandated to Read More …

Over 200 Farm, Food and Rural Groups Endorse Agribusiness Merger Moratorium Bills

Broad and Diverse Coalition Urges Members of Congress to Cosponsor Landmark Legislation Washington, D.C. — Today, a broad-based coalition of 213 farm, food, rural, faith and consumer advocacy organizations delivered a letter to Congress endorsing food and agribusiness merger moratorium bills and urging members of the House and Senate to cosponsor the legislation. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) introduced the Food and Agribusiness Merger Moratorium and Antitrust Review Act of 2018 companion bills this Read More …

Federal Hearing: Family Farmers Take USDA to Court for GIPSA Rule Withdrawal

Family Farmers and Ranchers Sue Secretary Perdue for Illegally Halting Protections from Big Ag Abuses Farmers from Nebraska and Alabama Push Back Against Administration’s Attempt to Dismiss Their Concerns, Call on President Trump to Keep Promise to ‘Stand by America’s Farmers’ St. Louis, Mo. — Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit heard oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s unlawful rollback of critical protections designed to safeguard family farms and ranches from predatory and Read More …

New Report Details Challenges Facing Ohio Family Farmers

Columbus, OH – Today, in a joint briefing with Family Farm Action, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) released a report outlining the dire state of Ohio family farmers and rural communities under pressure from the growth of global agriculture corporate giants. Agribusiness firms that control inputs such as seed and chemicals and meat processing have seen extreme consolidation in recent years, to the point of creating near monopolies. As a result, family farmers, once the economic engine Read More …