OCM Calls for Breakup of Big Four Meatpackers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 30, 2020 Media Contact: Ben Gotschall bgotschall@competitivemarkets.com 402-540-1342   OCM Calls for Breakup of Big Four Meatpackers Weak Links in Food Supply Chain Must Be Removed LINCOLN, NE: Today, Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is calling for the breakup of the “Big Four” meatpacking companies: Cargill, JBS, National Beef, and Tyson.  Together, these four companies control over 85% of the United States beef supply.  Recent packing plant closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have Read More …

9 Actions We Can Take Now to Strengthen Our Agriculture and Food System

The Covid-19 Pandemic has had many effects on the economy of the United States, and particularly hard-hit has been the agriculture and food sector.  Not since the Depression have we seen such a disparity between retail and farmgate prices, empty grocery shelves while people clamor for food, and farmers going out of business. Like something straight out of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, farmers are euthanizing livestock, dumping milk, and allowing produce to rot in the fields, Read More …

30% of Nothing is Still Nothing

Currently there is a movement in the cattle industry calling for a mandatory beef cattle cash market volume of 30%. Corbitt Wall is touting it as the biggest thing to hit the cattle industry since Y-Tex eartags, while patting himself on the back like he just invented a new card game. Meanwhile, NCBA has been spending our checkoff dollars developing an online cookbook.  Beef producers need Market Reform, not Martha Stewart. Perhaps NCBA could spend less of its Read More …

Briefing Paper | Shell Game Diverts Millions of Farm Tax Dollars to Kansas Lobbying Group, Threatening Beef Checkoff Program

Read Our Briefing Paper: Shell Game Diverts Millions of Farm Tax Dollars to Kansas Lobbying Group, Threatening Beef Checkoff Program Under federal law, every head of cattle sold incurs a $1.00 tax, which is to be collected by state entities to be used to benefit the American cattle industry. A review by the Organization for Competitive Markets of one of the largest of these state programs, the Kansas Beef Checkoff Program, reveals a system rife with illegal financial payments Read More …

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 …

GIPSA is Dead; the Fight for Producer Protections Continues

In a move designed to take a thorn out of the side of the world’s largest meatpackers, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue put the final nail in the coffin of the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) by formalizing the elimination of the standalone agency and transferring its delegation to the historically big agribusiness-friendly Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Among its duties, the now defunct GIPSA agency was responsible for enforcement of antitrust law in Read More …

Nov. 2018 Drovers Poll: Beef Checkoff Not Working for Cattle Producers

On November 13, 2018, Drovers issued a poll asking the question, “Do you believe the Beef Checkoff is helping to stimulate beef demand and support your cattle business?” Two days later, the polling showed that 70 percent of Drovers’ audience who responded voted no. Even more telling was the more than 50 comments on the poll, which were removed from Drovers’ website that afternoon. However, screenshots of the deleted comments were preserved. See all of the deleted comments 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 …