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Nicole de Beaufort 

May 31st, 2013

Federal Research and Marketing Promotion Programs = Robin Hood in Reverse

Call your senators now to tell them to support SA 1083.  –  Senator Cruz amendment to the Farm Bill

Boss_Tweed,_Thomas_NastThis amendment to the Farm Bill allows farmers to voluntarily choose whether or not they pay into Federal “checkoff” programs.  Anytime a farmer sells a steer, a gallon of milk, an egg, bushel of corn or soybeans, or any other covered commodity, the producer is required to pay a fee to industry-run organizations for marketing campaigns such as the Got Milk? and Pork, The Other White Meat or The Incredible Edible Egg.

The problem is that advertising of this nature primarily benefits processors, marketers and retailers — not the farmers who are stuck paying the bills! Now a new similar tax is being proposed covering all organic farmers. Senator Cruz (R-TX) has offered this amendment:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no program to promote and provide research and information for a particular agricultural commodity without reference to 1 or more specific producers or brands (commonly known as a “check-off program”) shall be mandatory or compulsory.”

Starting on Monday June 3rd the full Senate will continue their discussion of the 2013 Farm Bill as recommended by the Senate Ag Committee.  Please Call Your Senators’ offices  — on or before Monday — and ask to speak to the Staff who deals with agriculture – Be sure to leave a message if you don’t get to talk to this person.  

This amendment will be part of SEC. __XX. PROHIBITION ON MANDATORY OR COMPULSORY CHECK OFF PROGRAMS.

By supporting this amendment you will be giving family farms the freedom to choose how their money is spent.