Corporate Farming Notes

Pork producers will get another shot at democracy. In 2001 a majority of pork producers nationwide voted to end the mandatory checkoff that mainly benefits large, vertically integrated pork producers rather than small and mid-sized family producers. Yet a back room deal at USDA kept the checkoff alive despite the vote.

A lawsuit failed to reverse the action at USDA. But as part of the court settlement, USDA will conduct a survey of producers this year. If more than 15 percent indicate they would like to vote again on the continuation of the checkoff, USDA will hold another vote within one year.

Unfortunately, the steep decline in family farm pork production that led up to the first vote has continued for the last seven years. Opponents of the checkoff will likely be fighting an even tougher battle as they seek justice for family farm pork producers.

Contact: Brian Depew,, 402.687.2103 x1015 to comment.

Get The Newsletter?