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Reps. Mace, Titus Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Make USDA Checkoff Programs More Accountable

June 30, 2021
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01) introduced the "Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act" to ensure accountability and transparency throughout USDA's checkoff programs. The OFF Act would protect farmers from lobbyist organizations looking to abuse the checkoff board's power and manipulate taxpayer funds.
 
The USDA’s Checkoff Program was supposed to ensure American farmers of all sizes could promote their products across the nation and across the globe," Mace said."For years now, small farmers have seen their hard-earned money used to fund the lobbying efforts of massive, multi-billion dollar agriculture conglomerates. This program has devolved from producing ‘Got milk?’ ads to creating taxpayer-funded lobbying firms, and it needs to stop.”
 
This legislation will bring much-needed accountability and transparency to USDA’s checkoff programs which have operated without sufficient oversight for far too long,” Titus said. “Family farmers should not be forced to pay into organizations that sometimes lobby against their interests and threaten animal welfare.
 
Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, said:“USDA’s runaway checkoff programs must be held accountable, and family farmers have a right to know where their hard-earned dollars are being spent. The checkoffs remain under fire because of their lack of transparency, misuse of funds, and damaging anti-competitive practices that have bankrupted millions of American farmers.”
 
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