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 …

Leading Ag Journal Poll Sets Record Straight: Cattle Producers Acknowledge Beef Checkoff Program Not Working for Them

On Tuesday, November 13th, Drovers issued a poll asking the question, “Do you believe the Beef Checkoff is helping stimulate beef demand and support your cattle business?” By Thursday afternoon, the polling showed that 70 percent of Drovers’ audience who responded flatly rejected the notion that the checkoff was helpful to their farms and ranches. Even more telling was the more than 50 comments on the poll, which were removed from Drovers’ website on Thursday afternoon. However, screenshots 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 …

Screwed Again: The 2019 Beef Checkoff Budget is Out

The 2019 beef checkoff budget is out, and global meatpacking corporations and their industry lobbying groups are the winners once again while American family farmers and ranchers continue to be taxed to fund their own demise. Under federal law, farmers of certain commodities (including pork, eggs, beef, and corn) are required to pay a portion of their sales into checkoff programs. These mandatory fees are intended to be used by the U.S. government to research and promote demand Read More …

Top 10 Most Egregious Checkoff Program Abuses

Checkoff programs have been instrumental in the history of agricultural advertising. Famous campaigns such as “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” have been paid for using family farmers’ checkoff tax dollars. However, checkoff programs have fallen under the control of big agribusiness interests, and oftentimes the billions of dollars paid into checkoff programs by hard working family farmers and ranchers end up being used to lobby for policies that hurt them. This could change in the 2018 Farm Bill Read More …

NCBA Attempts to Distract from Checkoff Abuse

By Fred Stokes Founding member, Organization for Competitive Markets In its recent propaganda piece being circulated in agriculture news outlets, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) tries to draw attention away from the growing outcry for checkoff program reform by making The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) a boogeyman. The truth is, farmers and ranchers want the corrupt, broken program reformed; more than 250,000 of them made their case to Congress earlier this week. Bipartisan legislation is Read More …

USDA Claims Confidentiality for 12,000 Pages of Federal Checkoff Spending Records

OCM Moves Forward in Freedom of Information Case despite USDA’s Attempt to Conceal NCBA’s Abuses of Beef Checkoff Funds LINCOLN, NE – March 31, 2017 was the USDA’s court-ordered deadline to choose transparency or secrecy in a lawsuit over records from an audit initiated in 2011 of the federal Beef Checkoff Program. It chose secrecy. Out of a total of 12,341 pages of financial records from the audit and sought by the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) through Read More …

Agriculture.com | SF Special: A Constant Battle for Beef Checkoff Transparency

Agriculture.com By Anna McConnell 3/21/2017  It all started when former Kansas City Star investigative reporter Mike McGraw overheard a conversation at the 2012 National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Five years later, he’s unsure exactly what he heard and can’t locate his notes from the convention, but it was enough that the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) started balling its fists and marching toward the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board (CBB), also known as the Read More …