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Farm Action Fund Hires Marty Irby to Lobby for Checkoff Program Reform

Washington, D.C. — Farm Action Fund hired Marty Irby on June 1, 2023, to lobby for the inclusion of the bipartisan Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (OFF) Act in the 2023 Farm Bill. Irby left his most recent employer, FreedomWorks, following personal attacks spearheaded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and a Berman and Co.-backed corporate front group called FreedomWoke.

Government-mandated commodity checkoff programs have faced mounting accusations of collusive relationships, misuse of funds, and other wrongdoing. The bipartisan OFF Act, which is supported by 58 farm groups representing more than 200,000 farmers and ranchers paying into the checkoff programs, would not end or defund checkoff programs. Rather, this legislation would restore transparency and accountability and keep the checkoff dollars out of the hands of trade and lobbying organizations.

“When it comes to reforming corrupt checkoff programs, America’s family farmers deserve a fighter in the ring who’s willing to stand up to NCBA,” said Farm Action Fund President Joe Maxwell, a Missouri hog farmer. “Marty is too valuable a leader in this fight for more fair and transparent checkoff programs, and we at Farm Action Fund couldn’t just let him get sidelined by these egregious personal attacks. On June first, he got back to work to end abuses by these out-of-control government programs.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with my allies at Farm Action Fund to secure the enactment of the OFF Act in the upcoming farm bill and elated we’re able to double down on our efforts to end rampant checkoff corruption,” said Marty Irby, President and CEO at Capitol South, LLC. “The American family farmers funding these programs do not feel represented by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, or any group that prioritizes the interests of multinational conglomerates.”

Named one of The Hill’s Top Lobbyists in 2019, 2020, and 2021, Marty Irby most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer at FreedomWorks in Washington, D.C. He worked for a number of animal protection and sustainable agriculture groups following his tenure as Communications Director, Press Secretary, and Agriculture Policy Advisor in the office of U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY-01).

Farm Action Fund is a leader in the movement for more transparency and accountability in checkoff programs. The three members of the organization’s executive team, who raise livestock on their land, prioritize the wellbeing of animals under their control and wish to see more checkoff accountability.

In supporting the OFF Act, Farm Action Fund has found common ground with a broad coalition that spans the political spectrum, including animal welfare advocates, environmental groups, taxpayer advocacy groups, and more. The groups differ in their stances on many issues, but are collectively advocating for greater transparency in how federal programs spend taxpayer funds.

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