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GOP Lobbyist Claims USDA-Big Ag Corruption

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GOP Lobbyist Marty Irby claims USDA checkoff program favors corporate agriculture vs. family farmers. Video.

Can you be a big-time Trump supporter and still lobby to protect animals and family farmers at a right wing organization? In the case of our guest today, the answer is no, and it’s cost him the leadership of FreedomWorks, the conservative group that came to symbolize the tea party movement. But he’s not fading quietly into the sunset.

Marty Irby, former COO of the right-wing lobbying group, FreedomWorks, has left that post following attacks by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other influential conservative critics. They claimed he was embracing Democrats’ “woke” agenda by advocating for animal rights and supporting such organizations as Animal Wellness Action..

Irby has launched a new lobbying organization called “Capitol South,” and was quickly retained by Farm Action Fund to lobby for the inclusion of the bipartisan Opportunities for Fairness in Farming (Off) Act in the 2023 Farm Bill. That legislation is backed by some 200,000 farmers in 58 farm groups that seek to reform the government’s checkoff program, which Irby and the bill’s supporters say symbolize USDA-big ag corruption.

In November 2019, Irby was recognized by President Trump at the signing of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act that he helped get passed. He has been an unabashed Trump supporter, but also is committed to the humane treatment of animals.

Marty grew up on a South Alabama farm with horses, cattle, and other animals and eventually became president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association. It was then that he shifted his attention to animal protection and joined efforts to eliminate cruel training practices in the equine world.

Marty…this is quite the story. Thanks for joining us on the Lean to the Left podcast. Conservative lobbyists usually shy away from us.

Q. Tell us the story. What happened and why did you leave FreedomWorks and Animal Wellness Action? What happened?

Q. Why is the OFF Act needed? What’s going on? Exactly what is the checkoff program and how does it work?

Q. Is this a battle between corporate interests and independent farmers and ranchers?

Q. This legislation has been kicking around for a while. Why has it been held up? What are the chances of it being included in the Farm Bill this year?

Q. Why should people care?

Q. Talking politics…what’s your take on the GOP presidential sweepstakes and those who would challenge Trump. DeSantis, Sen. Tim Scott, Pence, Nikki Haley and others like Chris Christie or Liz Cheney?

View the interview:


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