Farm and Food: USDA inspector general says checkoff oversight virtually nil

Alan Guebert, Lincoln Journal Star, April 07, 2012no checkoff

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 news releases, are completely responsible for the best of times enjoyed by their farm and ranch payers.

But when federal auditors examine almost any aspect of the 18 checkoffs created by Congress, they usually find the worst of times: funds misspent on illegal travel, subcontracts used to funnel money for unauthorized bonuses, no procedures to track money and audit rules so porous that a checkoff-bought Sherman tank could clank through most checkoffs without a question or an eyebrow getting raised.  [click here to read the rest of this article]