FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2017
Bill Bullard, 406-252-2516, billbullard
Angela Huffman, 614-390-7552, ahuffman
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Today Oklahoma farmers and ranchers won a great victory against the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) and their corporate out of state interests. In an announcement today, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food and Forestry (DAFF) announced in a vote of 1998 to 2506 the Oklahoma Beef Checkoff Referendum had been defeated.
The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and R-CALF USA on behalf of their Oklahoma members had joined together to lead the opposition to the referendum calling out the OCA for attempting to double the tax paid on every head of cattle sold.
Bill Bullard, CEO for R-CALF USA stated, “We were proud to stand with our Oklahoma members to ensure justice was carried out during this election.” He concluded, “It is good to know that in America, if you stand up for what is right you can still win.”
In spite of the inherent conflict of interest, DAFF had granted the lead organization pushing for the passage of the Oklahoma Beef Checkoff increase, OCA, the exclusive right to administer the election process and vote.
Oklahoma farmer and OCM board member Paul Muegge added, “With my years of experience fighting corporate agriculture, I knew we had to stand up to OCA. They are nothing more than the modern day cattle barons trying to ride rough shod over family farmers and ranchers and using our government to do so.”
Members of R-CALF USA and OCM had filed an application with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Based on the court’s procedural rules, the Plaintiffs will have to dismiss their case now that they have won the election.
In that the referendum failed making the issues moot, Brian Ted Jones, attorney for the plaintiffs will be dismissing the case. He stated, “Unfortunately having to dismiss the case leaves serious constitutional questions about the statute and the process left unanswered.”
R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle and sheep industries.
Organization for Competitive Markets is a national, non-profit public policy research and advocacy organization. Founded in 1998, OCM is the only national think tank focusing strictly on antitrust and trade policy in agriculture, working toward the common purpose of returning our food and agricultural sector to true supply-demand based competition.