Rep. Victoria Spartz Honored with Leadership Award by Competitive Markets Groups

Farmers and Ranchers applaud Spartz for her work to address corruption at USDA’s scandal-ridden checkoff programs

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, Feb. 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) and Competitive Markets Action (CMA), recently announced the recipients of their 2023 Congressional Awards and honored U.S. Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-IN, with their Leadership Award for her work to reform the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Commodity Checkoff Programs.  

Spartz was joined by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-KY, in leading a House Appropriations Amendment in September of 2023 that would have temporarily halted the corruption within USDA’s commodity checkoff programs by cutting off funding until a USDA OIG Audit on the programs could be completed. President Joe Biden's USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack has been at the center of checkoff controversy as he has directly benefited from millions of checkoff dollars funneled into his own personal coffers, and a salary of nearly $1 million per year from Dairy Management, Inc., following his eight years as President Barack Obama's USDA Secretary, before being reappointed by Biden . 

Spartz also cosponsored the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, H.R. 1249/S. 557, led by Rep. Nancy Mace, R-SC, and Sens. Mike Lee, R-UT, and Rand Paul, R-KY, that would reform the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s scandal-ridden checkoff programs that have been plagued by unethical and illegal activities for decades. This measure is backed by more than 200,000 farmers and ranchers across the country and groups like the Indiana Farmers Union, FreedomWorks, the American Grassfed Association, Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias, American Taxpayers Union, the Heritage Foundation, as well as Reps. Massie, Alex Mooney, R-WV, and Mike Lawler, R-NY.  

“It’s an honor to receive the Competitive Markets Leadership Award from Competitive Markets Action for promoting transparency around commodity checkoff programs,” said Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-IN. “As a farmer myself, I understand the challenges small farmers and ranchers face, and I am committed to advancing competition in agriculture.”

“We applaud Rep. Spartz for her tireless work, tremendous leadership, and intestinal fortitude in standing up to Chinese interests and multinational conglomerates who continue to further consolidate American agriculture,” said Taylor Haynes, President of the Organization for Competitive Markets and Founder of the Wyoming Independent Cattlemen’s Association. “If Agriculture Committee leaders want to get a Farm Bill done in 2024 they’d be wise to jettison any language that nullifies state and local agriculture laws and include a provision to reform USDA’s swampy checkoff slush funds.”

“We applaud Rep. Victoria Spartz for going against the grain by pushing back against Swamp Secretary Tom Vilsack, the USDA’s scandal-ridden commodity checkoff programs, and China’s continuous attempts to takeover American agriculture,” said Marty Irby, President at Competitive Markets Action and Board Secretary of the Organization for Competitive Markets. “The National Cattlemen's Beef Association and National Pork Producers Council continue to lobby against the best interests of American family farmers who pay into the till and we must prevent them from putting more producers out of business in 2024. If these checkoff beneficiaries have nothing to hide then why are they so afraid of an OIG audit?" 

“As a proud American and lifelong producer, I proudly applaud Rep. Spartz for being committed to defeating Big Ag’s Chinese and Brazilian backers that threaten our food supply,” said Jonathan Buttram, Treasurer at the Organization for Competitive Markets, and President of the Alabama Contract Poultry Growers Association. “The industrial agriculture mafia is petrified of our work because they see the writing on the wall and we hope they soon meet the same fate as New York’s infamous ‘Five Families.’”

OCM and CMA also conducted its third fly-in since July of 2023 to Washington, D.C. this month and engaged in nearly 90 meetings in support of the OFF Act, checkoff reform, and against the EATS Act, H.R. 4417/S. 2019, during those events.

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.


Rep. Victoria Spartz, R-IN, and Marty Irby Rep. Victoria, R-IN, at the Award presentation

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