Submitted by:Mike Callicrate
OCM has worked for the last fourteen years to restore competition in the agricultural marketplace. We believe family farmers and ranchers make the best stewards of our land and livestock, and are the most reliable and trustworthy sources of high quality, healthy and safe food. OCM’s fundamental unifying belief is that fair, open and competitive markets are critical to our nation’s food supply. A growing number of people believe that family farmers and ranchers will soon be a thing of the past unless something is done quickly about the abusive power of big food companies.
Since inception, OCM has believed litigation to be the most direct and effective way to correct the injustices of an unfair marketplace. Unfortunately, so far, the higher courts have taken the side of the big packers when juries have found market unfairness. Legislative solutions have failed, either at the point of law-making or later in rule-making when the big packers and their lobbyists help write the rules, reversing the intent of lawmakers.
Last year during our annual conference we announced the filing of a lawsuit against USDA in response to their failure to act following a 2010 performance review, which found the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) had knowingly misappropriated (stolen) funds from the beef checkoff. Cattlemen’s fears were confirmed – NCBA was in fact using cattlemen’s money intended for promotion and research, against them, in advocating for big meat packer and retailer control of the cattle industry. (MORE)