Pass the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act

The OFF Act would restore transparency and accountability to a billion-dollar government program funded by payments extracted from farmers.

Famous promotional campaigns like “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” and “Pork. The Other White Meat” are the product of government-mandated checkoff programs, which have long been plagued by corruption and controversy.  

Started as a way for farmers to voluntarily pool their money to boost the overall sales of their products, checkoff programs are funded through a mandatory fee that many U.S. farmers, ranchers, and producers pay every time they sell any of 22 commodities, including beef, pork, milk, corn, and soybeans.

Due to decades of lax oversight by the USDA, nowadays checkoff programs are shrouded in secrecy while funneling farmers’ money to trade and lobbying organizations — representing the world’s largest meatpackers and grain traders — which promote policies that benefit large monopolies and harm family farmers and ranchers.


There is a bill in Congress right now that would make the checkoff work efficiently for farmers and ranchers: the bipartisan Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act. Developed by farmers in partnership with its sponsors, the OFF Act was introduced to the 118th Congress by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the Senate (S.557) and is co-sponsored by Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). 

It was introduced by Representatives Nancy Mace (R-SC-1) and Dina Titus (D-NV-1) in the House (H.R. 1249). 

The OFF Act would not end checkoff programs; it would increase program transparency and accountability and keep checkoff funds out of the hands of organizations that lobby on agricultural issues.


Here are just a few resources to help lawmakers understand the need for this common sense legislation.

  • OFF Act Fact Sheet — The OFF Act would prohibit checkoff programs from contracting with organizations that lobby on agricultural issues (with an exception for institutions of higher education, such as our land grant institutions), require transparency through the publication of checkoff program budgets and expenditures, and require periodic audits by the USDA Inspector General.
  • OFF Act Section by Section Summary — This briefing paper sets out the overwhelming evidence explaining how each provision of the OFF Act would bring about checkoff program reform.
  • Farm Groups in Support of the OFF Act — These groups represent more than 200,000 farmers and ranchers across the United States.
  • All Supporters of the OFF Act — Spanning a wide range of issues, this diverse group agrees that the OFF Act would provide the necessary reforms to checkoff programs.
  • Exposing the Truth About NCBA — The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is the primary beef checkoff contractor and purports to be the voice of the cattle industry — all while representing the world’s largest meatpacking corporations. Farm Action Fund’s public service announcement exposes their true priorities. 

Visit our partner Farm Action to learn more about the history and controversies of checkoff programs — and why we need to reform them.


Farm Action Fund is working with a large coalition to pass the bipartisan OFF Act, which is supported by more than 130 organizations — led by farm groups representing more than 200,000 American farmers and ranchers.

Farmers, ranchers, and advocates are calling for the OFF Act in newspapers around the country:

Take Action to Reform Checkoff Programs

Stand with America’s farmers and ranchers! In just a few clicks, you can ask your legislators to support the inclusion of the OFF Act in the upcoming farm bill.