Mike Callicrate, OCM President
July 18, 2013
Expect a somber tribute to lost markets, followed by invigorating plans for a rebirth, at the Organization for Competitive Markets’ annual convention coming up August 9th and 10th in Kansas City.
"The free market we all like to talk about is a mirage. We pretend it’s there, but in reality our competitive markets have been in critical condition for a long time, and we’re ready to declare them officially dead," says OCM president Mike Callicrate, a rancher and business entrepreneur from Colorado Springs. "We’ll take a moment at the beginning of our meeting to pay our final respects to this noble concept that forms the foundation of our independence. Then we plan to roll up our sleeves and begin the exciting work of determining how we can revive and rebuild a vigorous, effective, open market that benefits producers of all farm commodities."
As in years past, the OCM annual meeting will bring together the nation’s leading market reform advocates for a comprehensive discussion of the economic, legal, legislative and academic solutions to this challenge. The slate of speakers will include Wenonah Hauter, founder of Food & Water Watch and author of the excellent book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America; Diana Moss, director and vice president of the American Antitrust Institute; Dudley Butler, attorney and former administrator of Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration; and Dave Murphy, political strategist and founder of Food Democracy Now.
Attendees will hear updates on important litigation, including an effort to end inappropriate use of beef checkoff funds for political purposes and the fight to preserve country of origin labeling (COOL). The overview will also cover a lawsuit filed against a major Oklahoma City livestock auction alleging illegal price manipulation. In addition, the group will learn the latest on a legal attempt to remedy the rise of an international fertilizer cartel.
Also planned is a panel addressing historic developments and future impacts as legislators in Washington work to craft a controversial new farm bill.
All convention activities are being held at the Residence Inn at the Kansas City International Airport, 10300 N. Ambassador Drive. A full agenda and meeting registration is available online at www.CompetitiveMarkets.com. The event will also be broadcast live on the website (www.CompetitiveMarkets.com/live)
The Organization for Competitive Markets is a nonprofit organization that promotes transparent, fair, and truly competitive agricultural and food markets.
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OCM is a nonprofit working to restore open, fair and competitive markets for farmers and ranchers