U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace Honored with Leadership Award by Competitive Markets Groups

Farmers and Ranchers applaud Mace for her work to address corruption at USDA’s scandal-ridden checkoff programs, defeat terrible EATS Act

CHARLESTON, SC, 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. Nancy Mace, R-SC, with their Leadership Award for her work to reform the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Commodity Checkoff Programs, and defeat the EATS Act, H.R. 4417.   

Mace is the lead sponsor of the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act, H.R. 1249/S. 557, in the House where she’s worked in bipartisan fashion alongside Rep. Dina Titus, D-NV, and Sens. Mike Lee, R-UT, Rand Paul, R-KY, Cory Booker, D-NJ, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, to 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 FreedomWorks, the American Grassfed Association, Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias, American Taxpayers Union, the Heritage Foundation, as well as Reps. Thomas Massie, R-KY, Alex Mooney, R-WV, Victoria Spartz, R-IN, and Mike Lawler, R-NY.  

OFF would reform the checkoff programs by bringing transparency and requiring the programs be audited for compliance; by prohibiting disparagement of one product over another and picking winners and losers in the marketplace; and by prohibiting checkoffs from contracting with lobbying entities like the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) who lobbied against Country-of-Origin-Labeling (COOL) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) who has been outspoken against state ballot measures like California’s Prop 12 that benefit American producers who practice more regenerative and sustainable agriculture. 

Mace’s campaign to reform the checkoff programs has also brought more light to controversy surrounding President Joe Biden's USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, D-IA, who 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 to the same post by Biden. 

Rep. Mace also co-lead a House Republican sign-on letter alongside Reps. Andrew Garbarino, R-NY, David Valadao, R-CA, and Michael Waltz, R-FL, against the so-called Ending Agriculture Trade Suppression (EATS) Act, H.R. 4417, led by Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-IA, that is designed to nullify state ballot measures across the country enacted by a direct vote of the people. Industrial agribusiness interests failed to secure the enactment of similar legislation led by former Rep. Steve King, R-IA, in the 2018 Farm Bill thanks to the work of OCM leaders and former House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-TX, who is currently working with the Competitive Markets Groups on the issue in 2024.

In the 117th Congress, Mace also co-led the Pigs in Gestation Stalls (PIGS) Act, H.R. 7004, that would have provided more space for breeding sows in pork production facilities across the U.S., a policy similar to many of the corporate pledges made by top retailers in the last several years who are working to eliminate the use of gestation crates in U.S. pork production. 

“American farmers and their families demand leaders with the courage to boldly defy the status quo. We stand resolute, unwavering in our refusal to be swayed by the immense power wielded by industrial agribusiness and corporate giants,” said Rep. Nancy Mace, R-SC. “The time for unwavering conviction and decisive action is now.”

“We applaud Rep. Mace 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.”

“Nancy Mace is a courageous American hero with real guts and we applaud her for pushing back against the China-backed EATS Act and for leading the charge to achieve checkoff reform,” said Marty Irby, President & CEO at Competitive Markets Action and Board Secretary at the Organization for Competitive Markets. “American family farmers finally stand a fighting chance against the checkoff whipping boys of the four-big-packer-monopoly and multinational conglomerates like the Chinese-owned Smithfield whose purchase was financed by the Chinese Communist Party.”   

“As a proud American and lifelong producer, I proudly applaud Rep. Mace 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.


Marty Irby and Nancy Mace Award Presenation Rep. Nancy Mace with CMA and OCM Leaders on Capitol Hill

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