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 …

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 …

Former GIPSA Head Debunks NCBA’s Lies About Premium Payments

By Dudley Butler, former GIPSA administrator I was an active member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) for many years. I quit NCBA because its leaders began to lie to its grassroots membership and I could not stomach it any longer. Today’s NCBA leaders continue this untruthful behavior. These leaders are like Judas goats leading their members to the slaughterhouse of vertical integration. The current lies being told by NCBA leaders involve the recent interim final rule Read More …