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Lawsuit seeks to cripple the Beef Checkoff Program

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President J.D. Alexander expressed disgust following an announcement that the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) has formed a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to destroy more than 25 years of market development and consumer demand building by the Beef Checkoff Program.

Specifically, OCM announced that it will file a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service, Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. OCM President and Director Fred Stokes stated during the press briefing that HSUS is helping fund its efforts to file the lawsuit. OCM claims to advocate for a fair, competitive agricultural marketplace; however, in doing so it partnered with an organization known for its anti-agriculture agenda. According to Alexander, independent research shows the beef checkoff is supported by nearly 75% of cattlemen and women.

“HSUS is an organization going state by state vowing to end production agriculture by outlawing scientifically validated production practices in animal agriculture. Their efforts put people out of business and often jeopardize the well-being of livestock,” Alexander said.

OCM made no secrets about its connection to HSUS during the press conference.

Stokes said, “OCM and every cowboy out there owes a deep gratitude to the Humane Society of the United States.”

Alexander, who is also an independent cattle feeder from Pilger, Neb., said it is paramount for cattlemen and cattlewomen to know that OCM is working with an extremist animal rights group to disable a program dedicated to building demand for beef.

“Their actions will impact consumers by increasing protein costs at the grocery store. They are no friend to family farmers and ranchers or consumers and will be challenged at every corner by NCBA,” Alexander said. “Animal agriculture is vital to sustaining food production and we will not sit by and allow these organizations to stifle our ability to mitigate hunger and feed people here and abroad.”

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