Hear no evil, see no evil approach pays off

Alan Guebert, AgriNews, April 12, 2012 More and more, the federally mandated, non-refundable commodity checkoffs resemble something out of a Charles Dickens novel.  Most feature huge casts, complicated plots and, to read their press releases, are completely responsible for the best of times aenjoyed by their farm0 and ranch-payers. But when federal auditors examine almost […]

Sometimes it’s just too easy to shoot fish in a barrel

Alan Guebert, AgriNews, February 23, 2012 Sometimes you just got to shoot the fish in the barrel and take the candy from babies. As a hunter of barrel-trapped fish who always takes candy from babies–that’s right, I’m a journalist–I can spot a carp from any golf course or bar stool in any light any day […]

Beef checkoff voting is messed up

Alan Guebert, AgriNews, September 27, 2012 According to Chicago legend, a tombstone somewhere in the city reads:  “John Smith, Born 1934, Died 1981, Voted 1984, 1988, 1992.” What makes the joke funny, of course, is its resemblance to the truth.  Chicago’s well-deserved reputation for election shenanigans is just that, well deserved.   Despite that legacy, […]

Organic Checkoff – What’s the Beef?

Liana Head Shot #2 May 2015 (1)

By Liana Hoodes Liana Hoodes has worked on organic and sustainable agriculture policy for over 20 years, most recently as the founding Director of the National Organic Coalition, which she left in January 2015. Currently, Liana is consulting and organizing to advance high-integrity organic as the alternative to the current United States food and agriculture […]

Beef producers are stifled by their checkoff


Conflict of interest, corruption, big industry… These are the complaints of the beef checkoff. Why would we bring a failed program to organic operations? “Since the 1980’s, Missouri cattle producers have been paying over $2 million per year in the mandatory federal beef check off tax and are now faced with the threat of millions […]

Free Speech and Prohibited Messaging: The Limits to Promotional Activities for Federal Check-off Money


The suggestion that organic check-off funds will be used to promote organics is one of the biggest arguments the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is using in their attempt to convince the organic community that their check-off proposal is a good idea. However, as experience with other commodity check-off programs has demonstrated, there are severe restrictions […]