OCM Comments on Packers and Stockyards Fair Competition Rule

Today, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) submitted public comments on a rule that the Secretary of Agriculture would use to determine whether or not a corporate practice would hinder fair competition in agriculture and livestock markets. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed rule regarding enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) seeks to clarify how the PSA is interpreted and enforced. OCM disagrees with the proposed rule’s inadequate criteria, and Read More …

Public Comments on the Proposed Rule: Undue and Unreasonable Preferences and Advantages Under the Packers and Stockyards Act

Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) submitted public comments on a rule that the Secretary of Agriculture would use to determine whether or not a corporate practice would hinder fair competition in agriculture and livestock markets. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed rule regarding enforcement of the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA) seeks to clarify how the PSA is interpreted and enforced. Download: OCM Public Comments on the Proposed Rule: Undue and Unreasonable Read More …

Voice from the Ranch: Nebraska Cattle Producer Screwed by JBS Speaks the Truth

The world’s largest beef processing corporation, JBS, is underpaying family farmers and ranchers for their cattle. Even worse, our government is letting them get away with it. A recent announcement of yet another case where a JBS meatpacking plant failed to properly weigh and keep track of cattle delivered to its plant resulted in a paltry settlement between JBS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), highlighting how USDA is failing the American farmer and rancher. USDA Secretary 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 …

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 …

Another Decade to Wait for Meaningful GIPSA Antitrust Enforcement?

We had our day in court. On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit heard oral arguments in our lawsuit challenging the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s unlawful rollback of critical protections designed to safeguard family farms and ranches from predatory and retaliatory practices by big agribusiness corporations. Appearing on behalf of the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and independent farmers, Democracy Forward argued that USDA acted unlawfully in withdrawing the Farmer Fair Practices Rules, or GIPSA Rules, last Read More …

Farmers Detail Harm Suffered at Hands of Big Ag Corporations in Our New Filing Against USDA

In December 2017, we sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for illegally withdrawing critical protections intended to shield family farmers and ranchers from predatory and retaliatory practices by big agribusiness corporations. These protections were known as the Farmer Fair Practices, or GIPSA Rules. Today, with legal representation by Democracy Forward, we filed a new brief in our suit. In it we detail the experiences of farmers and ranchers harmed by discrimination, blackballing, and other terrible tactics at Read More …

Don’t Throw the Baby out with the Bathwater: Not All Regulations Are Bad

Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is celebrating its 20th birthday this year. Since its inception, OCM’s mission statement has included the following statement, “True competition reduces the need for economic regulation. Our mission, and our duty, is to define and advocate the proper role of government in the agricultural economy as a regulator and enforcer of rules necessary for markets that are fair, honest, accessible and competitive for all citizens.” OCM has always understood that to secure our Read More …