OCM: Our 2017 in Review

OCM members and supporters,

Building on OCM’s past 19 years of unwavering commitment to the fight for economic justice for America’s family farmers and ranchers, 2017 has proven to be one of the most impactful years yet. Here is your year in review.

Fighting to End Big Ag’s Abuse of Family Farmers’ Checkoff Tax Dollars

  • We worked with Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) to reintroduce federal legislation that would curb the rampant abuses of the $800,000,000 in commodity checkoff programs by industrialized agriculture interests. The bills have 12 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the support of a coalition of over 250,000 family farmers and millions of consumers.
  • We are engaged in blocking state-level initiatives to increase checkoff taxes, and defeated attempts by big agribusiness interests in Oklahoma and California.
  • We exposed the fact that the U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to submit federally-mandated dairy checkoff reports for five years, and we secured the release of those reports.
  • We continue to fight to get to the truth about the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s checkoff activities through our FOIA lawsuit.

Pushing for Enforcement of Anti-Monopoly Protections Through the Packers & Stockyards Act

  • When the Trump administration twice delayed the long-awaited Farmer Fair Practices (GIPSA) Rules that would protect family farmers and ranchers from corporate agribusiness abuses, we called on the administration to swiftly enact the rules, and urged farmers and eaters alike to do the same by submitting public comments.
  • When the U.S. Department of Agriculture illegally withdrew the rules altogether in October, we worked with more than 80 farm and ranch organizations to call on President Trump to veto this injustice by Executive Order.
  • When the President failed to act, we filed suit to challenge the administration’s unlawful action in court.

Fighting to Stop the Proposed Bayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger

OCM’s 19th Annual Food & Agriculture Conference and Membership Meeting

  • Leaders from more than 50 organizations and communities came together this summer in Kansas City, MO for our annual conference to share information and take action to stop the extinction of America’s family farmers and our traditional agricultural practices.
  • We released our 2017 policy brief, Consolidation, Globalization, and the American Family Farm, to educate the public, the media and policymakers on monopoly power in the food industry.

We Reached Far and Wide and We Are Growing

  • OCM was cited in at least 365 media stories to date in 2017, including every major news outlet and hundreds of regional papers.
  • OCM’s membership has grown by over 40% so far this year. Our email list grew by 50% and our website and social media platforms more than tripled their reach, pushing the issue of consolidation in agriculture to hundreds of thousands of action takers.

Together, we made this happen. Building on this momentum, our 20th anniversary year can prove to be even better. Will you stay in the fight? Please consider becoming a member or making a year-end donation to OCM today.

Thank you for all you do.
Joe Maxwell
Executive Director
Organization for Competitive Markets