Legislation has been reintroduced in both the U.S. House and Senate that would reform the federal checkoff programs. The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S. 741 & H.R. 1753, would prohibit lobbying, rein in conflicts of interest, and stop anti-competitive activities that harm other commodities and consumers. It would also force checkoff programs to publish their budgets and undergo periodic audits so that farmers and ranchers know where their hard-earned money is going. The Voluntary Checkoff Act, S. 740 & H.R. 1752, would ensure no farmer or rancher is forced to pay fees into programs that do not promote their market segment.
Take Action Now
Submit a letter to the editor of your local paper in support of checkoff program reform legislation, and urge your friends to do the same. Letters can usually be delivered by email, or you can send it through the mail. Keep your letter short and to the point; if it is too long, the editor may cut some of your content. Below are sample letters to get you started.