Why we oppose OTA’s organic check-off proposal


USDA wants to hear your unique story– who you are and why you oppose the checkoff.  Even one sentence is enough to be registered.  Make your voice heard by March 20, 2017!

We Oppose the Organic Checkoff 

  1. USDA Mandatory Checkoffs are inherently BAD FOR FARMERS.  Existing checkoffs reduce the # of farmers.
    1. Let’s Look at the Pork Checkoff:  In the first 15 years of the federal mandatory pork checkoff, 70% of family farmers went out of business, since the start of the pork checkoff 3 decades ago, Missouri has lost 90% of its hog farmers and farmers’ share of the retail dollar has decreased by 53%.
    2. Let’s Look at the Beef Checkoff:  Looking at the federal beef checkoff in the wake of Missouri farmers voting NOT to add a state checkoff, since the federal USDA mandatory beef checkoff was started in 1985, beef consumption has dropped 32% nationally and Missouri has lost 40% of its cattle producers.
  2. It’s another FARMER TAX either directly or indirectly when processors pass the cost down.
  3. USDA controls how we market organic.  You cannot promote the benefits of organic in a checkoff. USDA won’t even allow something as simple and accurate as “Organic is healthiest for the earth.”
  4. Checkoffs hurts farmers – USDA federally mandated checkoff programs have restrictive guidelines, heavy bureaucracy, lack of accountability and cost of administration.  They can require financial audits of farmers to make sure your checkoff taxes are in compliance.
  5. Checkoffs have a history of corruption—using checkoff funds inappropriately, and disregarding farmer priorities in granting of research dollars.  The pork and egg USDA checkoffs have recently had citations for corruption in the headlines and now they are working to make checkoffs exempt from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) so that no one can will be able to examine industry corruption paid for by farmer dollars.
  6. Promoting organic sales now will increase imports, not increase organic acreage in the US.  Currently the federal beef checkoff dollars promote imported beef.   Why would we use our US organic farmer money to promote competing organic imports?


Embezzlement Investigation in Oklahoma Adds to Oversight Questions of Federal Beef Promotion Program

Embezzlement Investigation in Oklahoma Adds to Oversight Questions of Federal Beef Promotion Program By JOE WERTZ & HARVEST PUBLIC MEDIA • February 10, 2017 http://kosu.org/post/embezzlement-investigation-oklahoma-adds-oversight-questions-federal-beef-promotion-program A worker corrals cattle into a chute at Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City. JOE WERTZ / STATEIMPACT OKLAHOMA Federal authorities are investigating the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million dollars from […]

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More money, less accountability

More money, less accountability By: Alan Guebert First printed in Farm and Food File for the week beginning Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.  Reprinted with permission of the author. On Jan. 5, Harvest Public Media reported that “a federal investigation has been launched into the alleged embezzlement of $2.6 million by an employee” of the Oklahoma […]

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Where do the Organic Checkoff Dollars go?

OTA keeps insisting that the organic checkoff could generate 30 million dollars annually.   When USDA did their calculations, they only counted $25 million.   But let’s give OTA the benefit of the doubt….   How would that 30 million be spent? 15% off the top goes to Administering the checkoff program ($4.5 million) The […]

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PRESS RELEASE: No Organic Checkoff Coalition opposes proposed Federal US Organic Checkoff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 17, 2017 UPDATED: January 18, 2017 No Organic Checkoff Coalition opposes proposed Federal US Organic Checkoff Contact: Ed Maltby (413-772-0444; info@noorganiccheckoff.com). WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 17, 2017) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday rolled out a proposal for a research and promotion check-off program, which could unfairly promote large organic processors’ needs over […]

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The Mastodon in the Room: A Critique of the Proposed Organic Checkoff

By, Diana Kaye, Terressentials Terressentials is a personal care company of artisan hand-crafters making a wide range of authentic certified organic products: organic skin care, hair care, organic baby products, and other goods made with certified organic oils, herbs and butters. As a long-time, 25-year participant in the organic products marketplace, a USDA National Organic Program organic certified […]

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Opposition to Organic Checkoff Grows…

The No Organic Checkoff opposition, reaches 1,387 signatures! See the most recent petition here. The comments from farmers tell you more than any organization could…  farmers do NOT want an organic checkoff.

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More farmers OPPOSE the checkoff than support it!

Organic Farmers Do NOT Want a Checkoff:  Organic Farmer Opposition Surpasses The Organic Trade Association’s Farmer Support for Organic Checkoff July 11, 2016 – More organic farmers oppose the proposed Organic Trade Association’s (OTA) organic checkoff than support it; the No Organic Checkoff Coalition asks USDA to close the proposed checkoff.  The No Organic Checkoff Coalition, […]

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No Organic Checkoff Petition reaches 905 signatures.

The documented organic farmer opposition to the OTA’s proposal for an organic checkoff increases every day. On July 1, 2016 we have 905 signatures opposed to the organic checkoff. NoOrganicCheckoffPetition-7-1-2016

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Coalition Submits Letter to USDA AMS in Response to OTA’s Revised Checkoff Proposal

No Organic Checkoff Coalition www.noorganiccheckoff.com • info@noorganiccheckoff.com Organic Promotion, Research, and Information Order Room 3071-S, STOP 0201 Agricultural Marketing Service USDA 1400 Independence Avenue SW Washington, DC 20250-0201 June 7, 2016 Submitted electronically to melissa.bailey@ams.usda.gov; heather.pichelman@ams.usda.gov; amsadministratoroffice@ams.usda.gov On behalf of the No Organic Checkoff Coalition, representing 755 signatories opposed to an organic checkoff, including 25 organic […]

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Instructions on how to apply for Organic Exemption from Conventional Check-offs for all certified operations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced at the end of 2015 that they will extend the organic farmer exemption from conventional commodity checkoffs to ALL organic farmers, effective February 29, 2016.  Those farms that are already exempt from paying into their conventional check-offs do not have to re-apply as their exemption will continue. Those that […]

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