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Farm groups push for checkoff reform

Some farmer organizations are teaming up to push for checkoff program reforms. 

It’s the Enough is Enough Tour, and members from Farmers Union and Farm Action would like to see some changes in commodity checkoff programs. 

During a stop in Osseo, Wisconsin, State Farmers Union President Darin Von Ruden told Brownfield the checkoffs have changed since the early days of promoting surplus products. “Certainly looking at the intent of those dollars, they originally went into those advertisements and research, but there are some programs that are coming under a little bit of scrutiny because of the organizations that get the majority of the dollars that are also registered lobbyists.”

Von Ruden says the sponsoring organizations support the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act, or OFF Act. “To try to put some teeth in the system to make sure there’s accountability that the farmers’ dollars are actually being spent on promotion and research the way they’re supposed to be.”

Von Ruden is hoping the OFF Act can get attached to the farm bill.

The Enough is Enough Tour started with stops in Clearwater, Minnesota May 14th and Osseo, Wisconsin May 22nd. Here are the remaining event dates and locations: 

  • May 24 | Nicodemus, KS | Hosted by Kansas Black Farmers Association
  • May 29 | Columbiana, OH | Hosted by Buckeye Quality Beef Association, Ohio Farmers Union, and Pennsylvania Farmers Union
  • May 31 | Guntersville, AL | Hosted by Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association, Competitive Markets Action, and the Organization for Competitive Markets
  • June 4 | Bismarck, ND | Hosted by Dakota Resource Council

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