On Thursday evening, SA 3074 to the U.S. Senate Farm Bill, sponsored by Senators Lee, Booker, Paul, Hassan and Warren, was allowed a vote on the Senate floor and failed by a margin of 57 to 38. The amendment would have restored accountability and integrity to the commodity checkoff programs.
With U.S. Senators from both sides of the aisle and from across the country supporting SA 3074, Organization for Competitive Markets is ever more committed to continuing our efforts to bring justice to the checkoff programs. We want to thank the U.S. Senators who supported the checkoff reform amendment, especially acknowledging the co-sponsors, Senators Lee, Booker, Paul, Hassan and Warren, and acknowledging Senators Cruz, Grassley, Tester, Brown, and McCaskill who stood with America’s family farmers and against large multinational corporations and their trade lobbying groups.
We also are grateful for over 100 farm and food organizations which joined together in this effort. Together we were able to ensure SA 3074 was one of the only three standalone amendments that was allowed a vote on the Senate floor.
This Farm Bill debate only added more evidence of the need to reform the checkoff programs. The organizations that pushed against us, including the National Cattleman’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council and others, are the very organizations which receive checkoff program funds. These funds build their positive brand I.D. that they then use politically against the very individual family farmers who pay the mandatory assessment. OCM will continue to pursue justice for America’s family farmers by working to end the practice of federally mandated checkoff funds ending up as government slush funds for large corporate agriculture special interests and their trade and lobbying organizations.