The Inconvenient Truth about the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM)

Founded in 1998, the Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) claims to be a “research and advocacy” group supporting the American food and agriculture economy. Mike Callicrate, a recognizable name in the beef world, and founder of OCM, says the group fights for “true supply-demand based competition” in the marketplace. Nevertheless, OCM’s actions and words tell a much different story, one in which they believe industry change must be forcibly implemented by the federal government to achieve their definition of marketplace “fairness.”

OCM routinely hurls unfounded and inflammatory accusations at the majority of the beef industry they do not represent regarding packer concentration and so-called cattle price collusion. These allegations have been litigated in court, and/or with federal regulators, numerous times over the past three-plus decades, each time reaching the conclusion the marketplace works equitably based on ever-changing dynamics at work. Factors including drought, import-export trade, feed prices, energy costs, the economy, beef demand and others are taken into account when weighing these allegations.

In addition to hurling unfounded allegations, OCM has aligned itself with like-minded groups that claim to support growth and improved profitability for America’s beef industry. As a result, one might conclude that OCM has good intentions. That’s difficult to accept when OCM embraces organizations with an anti-meat bias, a vegan agenda, and a goal to reduce and/or eliminate animal agriculture over time.

Collectively, OCM and its partners have an unconventional perspective regarding how the American beef sector should exist. Included in this cabal are animal rights extremist groups, which have many others in the industry questioning if these organizations are truly “pro-agriculture,” or are simply pushing an agenda on an unknowing public and news media in an effort to persuade and mislead for their advantage.

From the outside looking in, OCM might appear to be a noble organization that strives to help the industry. However, when OCM’s mask is removed there is an overtly dark reality to their motives, goals and initiatives – one that clearly results in harm to those small farmers and ranchers they claim to support.

Partnering With the Humane Society of the United States

In 2012, OCM inaugurated a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and for the past 11 years OCM has enthusiastically backed this controversial, anti-animal agriculture, vegan, animal rights extremist group. Fred Stokes, OCM president in 2012, stated, “Every cowboy out there owes a debt of gratitude to the Humane Society of the United States.” Really? Any true “cowboy” with ethics and integrity who investigates HSUS would likely arrive at a much different conclusion than Stokes.

Sensing self-created risk, OCM was quick to address concerns from critics about its partnership with HSUS, including the animal rights group’s efforts to reduce animal protein (meat) intake, while also endorsing plant-based protein and Meatless Mondays. In addition to the promotion of its radical agenda, HSUS leadership has historically championed a vegan lifestyle for all. HSUS getting cozy with some in the beef industry has not been in the best interest of farmers, ranchers, nutrition in America, the nation’s food security or we the people.

To combat concerns, OCM ensured the public that HSUS and family farmers had a lot in common, including their personal values and views on mistreatment of animals. HSUS constantly reminds the public that family farmers need this animal rights extremist group to support them in their cause, although history tells us both HSUS and OCM have somewhat different rationales for existing.

A past Protect The Harvest article (linked below) outlines how ruthless HSUS can be in pushing its anti-animal agriculture agenda. This includes unfounded allegations regarding mistreatment of animals by farmers and ranchers. They claim researched, science-based, proven and accepted industry animal husbandry practices are forms of animal cruelty. By doing so, HSUS, and by proxy OCM, harm small family farms OCM claims HSUS supports. Facts, science and truth are absent from these allegations, exposing the real intent of OCM and HSUS – greater government control of the animal agriculture marketplace.

HSUS targets all animal species raised for food, including hogs, beef cattle, chickens, turkey, dairy cows, egg-laying hens, fish and others. No animal species raised for human food is safe from HSUS’s attacks, a case in point being the recent California Proposition 12 ballot initiative that harms pork and egg producers nationwide, California consumers and food security for many Americans.

OCM is known for attacking big entities in the industry such as the Beef Checkoff program, in addition to assaults on large meat packers/processors with the war cry of ending “industrialized” agriculture. OCM lobbying claims to be speaking for family farmers, which is the reason the organization was created. Yet, OCM’s alignment with NGOs that include animal rights extremists ultimately harms family farmers and ranchers. As one example, in 2012, Callicrate joined HSUS’ farmer advisory council in Colorado to “stop industrialized ag.”

OCM was created with the intent to change to the animal agriculture sector, particularly the beef business, even if that requires the heavy-handed yoke of increased federal government control. Since its founding, the organization has been led and influenced by some known characters of the animal agriculture world with the intent of getting their way because they do not like how the existing marketplace functions.

What You Can Do

Protect The Harvest believes the best way to address groups such as OCM is to remain informed about their activities and educate the public about these wolves in sheep’s clothing. We must also remain vigilant regarding their efforts to end animal agriculture and deny Americans freedom of choice to select the food they want to consume. We will take appropriate actions to continue monitoring and unveiling these groups’ activities when necessary. It is our duty as citizens, consumers, farmers, ranchers and animal stewards to confront groups such as the Organization for Competitive Markets and the Humane Society of the United States as they pursue their misinformation-filled agendas.

Helpful Links


Organization for Competitive Markets website HERE

Ag Daily HERE

Farm Progress HERE

Drovers on OCM, HSUS and R-Calf HERE

Farm and Dairy HERE

Related Posts


Want to stay up-to-date on the stories we’re following and see how you can make a difference in the fight to keep our traditions alive?

© 2023 Protect The Harvest. All Rights Reserved

StoryBrand Website design by Results and Co.