Lee and other senators promote bill aimed to help small farmers

Mar 29, 2019, 2:27 AM

(Photo: Deseret News, 2016)...

(Photo: Deseret News, 2016)

(Photo: Deseret News, 2016)

WASHINGTON D.C. – What could possibly get Senator Mike Lee on the same side as senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker?  They’ve teamed up to introduce legislation that could help local farmers better understand what the government is doing with their money.

You’ve seen the commercials with famous slogans like, “Beef.  It’s what’s for dinner,” “The Incredible Edible Egg,” and “Got Milk?”  Those slogans were made by organizations called federal commodity checkoff programs, which are designed to promote farmers’ products on a national scale.

“Farmers are forced to pay into the fund.  They have no choice in the matter,” according to Marty Irby with the group Animal Wellness Action.

However, critics like Irby say the people running some of these programs are using those funds for lobbying efforts, which they’re not supposed to do.

“The Cattleman’s [Beef] Association, the Dairy Producers, and the National Pork Producers Council have all been lobbying.  We’ve been on Capitol Hill and we’ve seen them lobbying,” Irby claims.

Currently, farmers don’t have access to the information about what these organizations actually spend their money on.  The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act is designed to bring more transparency to these checkoff programs.

Irby adds, “It requires they show the books to the American people and to show their books to the farmers.”

The bill would also prevent anti-competitive behavior in the farming industry.

Despite the major differences in politics between the senators who back the bill, Irby says all of them have local farmers in their states

“This bill was introduced in the previous Congress by senators Lee and Booker but we didn’t have [Elizabeth] Warren and [Rand] Paul.  That adds to the narrative of what’s going on,” he says.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Politics + Government

Fields in Utah County, near Spanish Fork, on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024....

Adam Small

Utah Legislature passes criticized, generational out-of-state water bill

The bill creates a new council with authority to negotiate with nearby states to get more water into Utah.

9 hours ago

president biden shown, he and former president trump are visiting the border in texas...


Biden and Trump touch down in Texas, highlighting immigration as a major election issue

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump arrived Thursday in Texas, for dueling trips to the U.S.-Mexico border in a sign of how central immigration has become to the 2024 election

9 hours ago

the state capitol is pictured, the utah supreme court is seeking more information about a redistric...

Adam Small

Utah lawmakers pass two school security bills

The Utah Legislature passed two school security bills. One of them deals with concealed carry incentives for teachers.

15 hours ago

A State of Utah emblem is displayed in the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024....

Adam Small

Lawmakers pass two bills that could give people big tax breaks

Tax cuts could be on the way for Utahns. Lawmakers passed two bills this week that are now on their way to the governor's desk.

16 hours ago

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) heads to the floor of the Senate for a vote on Capito...

Clare Foran, Morgan Rimmer and Ted Barrett, CNN

Mitch McConnell to step down from GOP leadership position in the Senate

Mitch McConnell will step down as GOP leader in November, the Kentucky Republican announced on the Senate floor Wednesday.

19 hours ago

A photo taken on the Saratoga Springs shore of Utah Lake on August 21, 2021. State lawmakers are co...

Tammy Kikuchi

A bill could improve Utah Lake and get more water into Great Salt Lake

State lawmakers say the goal of SB270 is to improve Utah Lake and direct more water into Great Salt Lake.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Lee and other senators promote bill aimed to help small farmers