March-April 2018 Newsletter


Please click the links below to read the full articles. Click here for a printable version of the newsletter.

From OCM’s President: Time for Farmers to Unite
By Mike Weaver
For too many years, or should I say decades, small family farmers have been battling the mega corporations that have taken over agriculture in this country and, indeed, throughout the world. Yes, we have won a battle here and there, but many times the companies have gone to Congress and paid for a change in a law or regulation to get their way, again leaving farm families standing out in the cold. (Read more)

Organizing Farm Communities to Stop Rep. King’s Attack
By Laura Kington
As a seasonal farm employee and food system advocate, my post-grad years have consistently revolved around three seasons: planting, harvesting, and conference-ing. The last two years, I’ve worked at a flower farm on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio, the city where I grew up and where I remained after graduating from the Ohio State University’s College of Food and Ag., and the year prior to that I had my first season farming on a mixed vegetable CSA farm in eastern Iowa. (Read more)

Membership Report
By Pat Craycraft
Thank you to all who have renewed your 2018 memberships this year. If you have not renewed or joined OCM in 2018 – it’s not too late. We hope that you will support OCM and make 2018 a record making year for membership. Please tell others about OCM and invite them to be a part of our organization. (Read more)

Capitol Roundup
By Joe Maxwell
Checkoff Reform: By the time you read this, the new Farm Bill may very well be moving through the legislative process. Therefore, to make sure you are up to date, please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or watch for OCM emails. We will need your help if we are to get across the finish line on our checkoff legislation. (Read more)

New OCM State Policy Report Series
By Angela Huffman
Following up on OCM’s 2017 national policy brief, “Consolidation, Globalization, and the American Family Farm,” we have launched a new policy reporting series highlighting these issues at the state level. We outline the plight of family farmers and the rural communities they call home, showing how specific policy decisions made at both the state and federal level have driven the wealth off the farm, out of rural communities and into the pockets of a few global corporations. (Read more)

Save the Date: August 9-11, 2018: OCM’s 20th Annual Food and Agriculture Conference and Membership Meeting
By OCM Staff
This year is Organization for Competitive Markets’ 20th anniversary, and we plan to make our annual Food & Agriculture Conference a very special celebration. We hope you’ll come, learn and be prepared to take action together at our 2018 conference as we build a path forward using our 20 years of experience as a solid foundation. (Read more)

Our New Filing Against USDA: Farmers Detail Harm Suffered at Hands of Big Ag Corporations
By OCM Staff
With legal representation by Democracy Forward, we filed a new brief in our suit against USDA over the withdrawal of the GIPSA rules. In it we detail the experiences of farmers and ranchers harmed by discrimination, blackballing, and other terrible tactics at the hands of large agricultural corporations. The GIPSA Rules would have allowed farmers and ranchers to fight back against these abuses. (Read more)

In the News: Serious Abuses of Ohio Beef Checkoff Tax Dollars Show Need for Reform
By OCM Staff
In February, the Organization for Competitive Markets and Ohio Farmers Union released a briefing paper outlining how federal and state funds are being used to prop up and fund a trade and lobbying entity. The Ohio Beef Council, an agency of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, is funneling taxpayer dollars through payroll expenses and rental costs to fund the trade and lobbying group, Ohio Cattlemen’s Association. Further, the state agency raises funds for the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association Political Action Committee (PAC) to influence elections and legislation. It also makes annual cash payments of at least $14,000 per year to the national trade and lobbying group, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. As set out in the new briefing paper, the state-supported funding is in violation of both state and federal law. (Read more)

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