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About Agribusiness Freedom Foundation
Purpose Statement & Thumbnail Sketch PDF Print E-mail
Promoting free market principles throughout the agricultural food chain.

The Agribusiness Freedom Foundation promotes free market principles throughout the agricultural food chain. The AFF believes it is possible to value the traditions and heritage of the past, while embracing the future and the changes it brings.  The AFF is a communications and educational initiative striving to preserve the freedom of the agricultural food chain to operate and innovate in order to continue the success of American agriculture.

The AFF?freedom watchdog for American agriculture.


AFF Guiding Principle PDF Print E-mail

Hazlitt's economics in one lesson: "The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups."


Taken from p. 5 "Economics in One Lesson," by Henry Hazlitt, Copyright ? 1962, 1979. Laissez Faire Books, San Francisco.


AFF Philosophy & Goals PDF Print E-mail


The Agribusiness Freedom Foundation (AFF) is a communications and educational initiative that is intellectually honest and sound, promoting long-term, fact-based decision and policy approaches to food chain issues.  The AFF views the food production chain as a pyramid, with the ultimate consumer at the top and all the various industry sectors arrayed below.

We believe that keeping consumer interests always foremost and allowing members of the production chain to cooperate and compete in combinations as they see fit to best serve the consumer, with limited government intervention, is the proper business mode of American agriculture.  This method produces the world's safest, most diverse, highest quality and most innovative food supply in the world.
Free market approaches, including free trade, free business structure options, free alliances, free competition, free marketing options and free scientific innovation best serve the food production chain, the country and the consumer.  The limited economic and governmental restrictions on business set in place by our Founding Fathers has served America well.  We wish to see that traditional constitutional framework continued, unfettered by short-term "fixes" or capitulations to narrow interests.
We oppose efforts to put limits on businesses to ally or cooperate with each other.  We oppose limits on the abilities of agricultural operators or other food chain participants to utilize the business structures they choose.  We oppose limits on individuals or businesses to operate in multiple segments of the food chain.  We oppose efforts to undermine the abilities of government agencies to serve and protect the public and agriculture by removing industry expertise and scientific tools from the process.  We oppose destructive  attacks on consumer confidence in the food supply.  We oppose the isolationist, protectionist views of world trade that would condemn American agriculture to a dead-end, no growth future in a world with staggering food needs.

We believe the principles and traits of American agricultural producers, processors and marketers that have made the American food chain the envy of the world should be encouraged.  We stimulate in producers thoughts and actions that are honest, principled, optimistic, adaptive, inclusive, innovative and forward-thinking.

Our goal is to provide the majority in agriculture the intellectual ammunition to bolster their inner belief that it is possible to value the traditions and heritage of the past, while embracing the future and the changes it brings.  But free market believers must defend those principles against other groups active in moving to curtail the freedom American agriculture requires to adapt and progress.  We need a movement for agribusiness freedom?freedom to operate and innovate to prosper in the future.

Our overriding goal will be to provide information and analysis for food chain participants to use in propelling their businesses into the future.
More specifically:
  • To provide the reasonable, rational approaches?based on fact, science and free-market principles?that agricultural people need to eliminate damaging industry turf battles.
  • To explain pertinent economic principles to the industry and the public in a common-sense fashion that illustrates the most efficient way of producing the best quality food in the safest system.
  • To seek out existing and/or commission the research or data necessary to provide solid solutions to food industry problems.
  • To explain the legitimate economic forces behind the concentration and globalization of the world economy and the consequences of ignoring those forces.
  • To provide information to those working for fewer government restrictions and involvement in the food chain.
  • To provide support to government agencies and functions necessary to safeguard the integrity of the food supply, the health of the U.S. herd and the minimum regulations needed to provide a fair and free-flowing market system.
  • To promote the concept that each segment of the food chain has responsibilities to all other segments of the food chain, as well as the ultimate consumer.
  • To explain the contributions of free market capitalism and advanced technology to the world food supply and its importance in increasing food availability not only to all Americans, but to poor populations in the developing world.

AFF Approach and Results PDF Print E-mail

Is Mainstream Agriculture Evil?
Did our great grandparents operate better?

A lot of folks think so. From radicals within the livestock industry to do-gooder activist groups to populist politicians in Washington, there are lots of people dedicated to a total destructive restructuring of modern American agriculture - supervised and controlled by them.

But there is a one-of-a-kind organization acting as vanguard and skirmisher defending mainstream American agriculture. This group does not replace existing trade associations. But it serves as the scout and blunt interpreter, the "sentinel," if you will, to warn the beef industry of what these groups are really about and how they could put you out of business.

The winner of accolades from hundreds of cattlemen, packers and retailers alike, this group needs your support to continue its undiplomatic, fact-based, plainspoken salvos in reply to the demagogues, the proponents of big government and the uninformed "do-gooders."

This group has been funded - on a confidential basis - by beef and pork industry people. These are the people who believe that consumers are our reason for existence and the source of our revenue. They believe our entire food production chain should be as free as possible to compete and cooperate as it sees fit, to innovate, improve and protect the quality and food safety interests of our customers.

The Agribusiness Freedom Foundation needs your help to continue the work we've outlined above. Our strategy of disseminating information and opinion over the internet has so far yielded:

  • Over 1,000,000 reader impressions of the AFF Sentinel e-mail newsletter
  • Over 800,000 page visits on the website.
  • Thousands of additional newsletter impressions from associations, companies and individuals who forward the Sentinel on to others.
  • The attention of legislators, influential officials and lobbyists in Washington D.C.
  • Articles in publications across the U.S. & Canada and the shaping of the thoughts of editorial writers and radio commentators

What we have done is arm the rational majority of producers and industry participants with facts and logical arguments they can use to form their opinions and influence others in the industry. That is how legislators' votes and agency opinions are shaped and our freedoms protected.

Please send us a check today or visit our website to use a credit card to make a contribution. And talk to some like-minded colleagues who share your understanding of the need and everyone's responsibility to fight for our freedoms.


AFF Issues PDF Print E-mail

AFF Purpose Statement: Promoting free market principles throughout the agricultural food chain.

Major Issues:

  • We believe in the importance of non-restrictive cattle ownership to producing quality beef efficiently through beef alliances, marketing agreements, contracts and branded beef programs (vs. packer bans or producer/packer partnership bans.)
  • We oppose the protectionist mandatory COOL legislation masquerading as a food safety measure, foisting tremendous cost on the entire beef chain for no real consumer benefit.
  • We believe in the importance and win/win benefits from free trade as opposed to cutting off imports and triggering trade wars ending our export recovery.
  • We believe in preserving all possible options for the beef industry to use in adapting to changing consumer demands worldwide, instead of allowing limitations by government fiat to be imposed on agriculture's marketing methods, company structure, operation size, business diversification and coordination. Why should agriculture be denied business tools other industries use?
  • We see the danger to production agriculture threatened by animal activist groups imposing human values on the housing, care and veterinary care of production animals, e.g. Humane Society of the U.S., Public Citizen, GRACE, Farm Sanctuary, PETA, PEW and a host of others.
  • We favor the beef check-off and its current legal structure as designed by cattlemen for cattlemen to fund innovative new products and approaches, research for nutrition and health defense, issues management, promotion and advertising.
  • We oppose efforts by do-gooders to restrict whether or not cattlemen use new genetic or scientific production tools or approved medications and feed additives in order to utilize natural resources and animals in the most efficient and prudent manner.
  • We oppose legal and public relations efforts to hobble or eliminate production agriculture by use of the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Protection Act or other government rules or regulations.
Contributions PDF Print E-mail

The Agribusiness Freedom Foundation is an independent, nonprofit, educational corporation.  We are applying for tax exempt status as a 501(C)4 non-profit corporation.  Contributions may be a business deduction, but you must consult your tax professional. Contributions are not deductible as a charitable contribution. The names of contributors are kept confidential.

To discuss a contribution, contact Steve Dittmer at (719) 495-0401 or email .


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