·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

Alabama Farmers Gather to Demand Change in the Farm Bill During Event Held in Guntersville

— June 17, 2024

The event highlighted solutions to help level the playing field for America’s producers as part of the national “Enough Is Enough Tour”.

Guntersville, Ala. — Farmers from across North Alabama gathered at Top O’ the River, for the national Enough Is Enough Tour to call on Congress to deliver a farm bill that shifts power back to America’s producers. The event was sponsored by the Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association (ALCPGA), Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM), and Competitive Markets Action (CMA) in collaboration with Farm Action, the American Grassfed Association, and other farm groups across America. Representatives from the offices of U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-AL, and U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-AL-04, joined as well.

“We are grateful to Sen. Tommy Tuberville and Rep. Robert Aderholt for sending representatives to join our event and appreciate them taking the time to listen to our producers in the Yellowhammer State,” said Jonathan Buttram, president of the Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association and treasurer at the Organization for Competitive Markets who is also a beef cattle producer. “We call on Congress to bring reform and transparency to USDA’s scandal-ridden Commodity Checkoff Programs by passing the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act that would give American family farmers a fighting chance against industrial agriculture interests like the Chinese-owned Smithfield, and Brazil-based JBS.”

“Congress must do everything in its power to help strike the terrible EATS Act language included in House Farm Bill that would decimate producers across the U.S. and nullify countless state and local laws designed to protect small and midsized farmers,” said Marty Irby, president at Competitive Markets Action, and secretary at the Organization for Competitive Markets, who is a native Alabamian from Mobile. “Policies that protect food safety and security and supporting states’ rights should be a top priority for Agriculture Committee leaders instead of propping up industrial agriculture interests run by our foreign enemies.”

Event speakers discussed how government policies drive the consolidation of the food system by empowering the largest food corporations to the detriment of farmers and ranchers, and offered solutions to help level the playing field for producers.

The event highlighted corruption in government checkoff programs, which collect one billion dollars from producers annually. These checkoff dollars are often funneled to lobbying organizations that represent the world’s largest meatpackers and grain traders, which then work against the interests of the very producers mandated to pay into the programs.

Speakers rallied attendees to urge Congress to shift more power into the hands of farmers and ranchers in the upcoming farm bill by supporting critical legislation like the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, S.557, H.R.1249, led by Reps. Nancy Mace, R-SC, and Dina Titus, D-NV, in the House and Sens. Mike Lee, R-UT, Rand Paul, R-KY, and Cory Booker, D-NJ, in the U.S. Senate, and by opposing the so-called Ending Agriculture Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, S. 2019/H.R. 4417, led by Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-IA, and Sen. Roger Marshall, R-KS. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn Thompson, R-PA, included a version of the EATS Act that doesn’t include eggs in the recent Farm Bill that passed the Committee last month. OCM, CMA, ALCPGA, and others are working with Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and the House Freedom Caucus preparing for an amendment on the House floor that would strip the bad EATS language out.

Farmers from North Alabama gather at Top O’ the River on Friday, May 31, 2024 | Photo: Competitive Markets Action
Farmers from North Alabama gather at Top O’ the River on Friday, May 31, 2024 | Photo: Competitive Markets Action.

The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Lincoln, Nebraska. The foundation of the Organization for Competitive Markets is to fight for competitive markets in agriculture for farmers, ranchers and rural communities. True competition reduces the need for economic regulation. Our mission, and our duty, is to define and advocate the proper role of government in the agricultural economy as a regulator and enforcer of rules necessary for markets that are fair, honest, accessible and competitive for all citizens.

Competitive Markets Action (CMA) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit based in Washington, D.C., that was formed with the mission of shaping policy to promote more regenerative and sustainable agriculture, and competitive markets in the U.S., and to defend against attacks on states’ rights by the federal government. CMA works to raise awareness of the harm caused by multinational conglomerates to the American family farmer, the consumer and our U.S. economy as a whole in an effort to bring about legislative and regulatory reforms.

Join the conversation!