Environmental and animal rights extremists are hoping to end modern animal agriculture and radically change food production in the United States. Their allies? Two groups that claim to advocate for farmers: Farm Action and the Organization for Competitive Markets.

Farm Action. Founded by two former employees of the anti-meat Humane Society of the United States. While it has called itself a “a coalition of family-farmers and advocates,” half of the staff and board of Farm Action and its political arm are not actually farmers. Numerous employees have backgrounds in leftwing politics. Farm Action is funded by leftwing activists.

Organization for Competitive Markets. While it claims to fight for freer, fairer markets, it lobbies to support government restrictions on the sale of farm products. OCM has deep ties to animal rights activists.

These groups do not speak for modern farmers. Real farmers don’t ally with extremists to attack other farmers. Read a detailed background on these groups below.


Farm Action and OCM attack animal agriculture and advocate for “woke” policies, including:


Farm Action and its lobbying arm are funded by wealthy leftwing activists in California.

In 2021, 70% of Farm Action’s revenue came from only two sources: Leftwing foundations. It received $100,000 from the Schmidt Family Foundation, which funds anti-meat environmental groups and anti-ag journalists. It also received $300,000 from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which runs donor-advised funds for philanthropists who live near San Francisco.

Farm Action received $50,000 in 2020 from the Quinn Foundation, which is run by a board member for the Humane Society of the United States–the largest anti-meat organization in the country.

Farm Action’s political arm received $153,000 in 2017 from the Open Philanthropy Project to lobby on the 2018 Farm Bill. This San Francisco-based organization has given more than $100 million to animal rights extremists who have the goal of ending animal agriculture.

Farm Action’s political arm received $85,000 in 2020 and 2021 from the Sixteen Thirty Fund–a “dark money” group that funds many leftwing causes. In 2020, Sixteen Thirty Fund spent over $100 million to help elect Joe Biden and other liberal politicians.

The Organization of Competitive Markets also has activist funders. In 2018-19, OCM took $127,500 from the Schmidt Foundation. And it also took $25,000 from the Kirkpatrick Foundation, an organization that attacks the pork industry in Oklahoma and funds animal rights extremists.


Read more below about who is behind these groups and what they lobby for.


The staff of Farm Action has ties to animal liberation extremists and leftwing politics.

Joe Maxwell, Farm Action co-founder. Maxwell is a lawyer and former politician. Before founding Farm Action, Maxwell worked as a vice president at the Humane Society of the United States, an animal rights group that wants to end modern livestock farming. Despite using his family’s small hog farm (300 sows) to burnish his credentials, Maxwell has said, “the fact is the United States eats too much meat.”

While Maxwell leans on his farming background, he registered the Farm Action website from a suburban house in a Missouri cul-de-sac, where he apparently lives.

Angela Huffman, Farm Action co-founder. Huffman previously worked with Maxwell at the Humane Society of the United States.

Jessica Cusworth, communications coordinator. Cusworth previously interned for the Humane Society of the United States.

Christian Lovell, senior director of programs. Lovell previously worked for far-left Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

Joe Van Wye, policy director. Van Wye previously used to work for leftwing Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI).

Sarah Carden, senior policy advocate. Carden worked on two Democratic presidential campaigns.


The so-called Organization for Competitive Markets (OCM) also has worked with anti-agriculture activists for a decade. Beginning in 2012, OCM has worked with the Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s most aggressive anti-animal agriculture group. HSUS provided legal assistance to OCM.

“Every cowboy out there owes a deep debt of gratitude to the Humane Society of the United States,” said Fred Stokes, OCM’s executive director at the time.

The relationship between the two groups has continued, with HSUS CEO Kitty Block saying in 2018 that her group is often “on the same page” with OCM.

OCM’s board of directors includes Marty Irby, an animal rights lobbyist. Irby worked for HSUS’s political affiliate and then for Animal Wellness Action, founded by former HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle after he resigned following accusations of sexual harassment. (To learn more about Irby’s involvement with animal rights extremists, visit WhoIsMartyIrby.com.)

OCM executive director Mike Eby has close ties to Democratic politics and has donated money to Bernie Sanders.


National Ban by 2040
Farm Action supports the so-called Farm Systems Reform Act, which would impose a national ban on large-scale animal feeding operations. All new operations would be banned, and existing farms would be banned by 2040. The legislation is sponsored by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a vegan who works closely with animal rights activists.

Smearing Farmers
In a lawsuit filed in Indiana challenging the state’s “right to farm” law, Farm Action filed an amicus brief alongside activist groups Food & Water Watch and Public Justice. The brief argues that large-scale pork farms are “a recent creation that presents extreme risks” and that large-scale farms “do not ‘conserve’ or ‘protect’ agricultural land, and harm rural communities.”

Food & Water Watch is opposed to GMO crop biotechnology and has called for “a halt to all sales of genetically engineered foods.” Public Justice, meanwhile, is a group of leftwing lawyers whose food practice is run by a former attorney for the Humane Society of the United States.


OCM is opposing federal legislation, called the EATS Act, that would protect interstate commerce from state bans on farm products.

In 2018, California passed Proposition 12, a radical measure that bans the sale of eggs and pork raised using standard animal husbandry practices. The measure was funded by the Humane Society of the United States and other animal liberation extremists who are using it as a stepping stone to more restrictions on the sale of animal protein.

OCM is siding once again with animal rights activists, and in June 2023 launched a deceptive campaign to oppose the EATS Act. Farm Action also opposes the EATS Act.


Despite claiming to be for “competitive markets,” OCM wants to restrict competition by closing off markets–and not just between states. In a May 2020 letter to then US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, OCM wrote that not only should the US ban cattle imports, “The U.S. must also ban beef imports.”


In June 2023, Farm Action co-signed a letter with animal rights extremists asking for more vegan meals served in federal agencies.

The letter called for “Leveraging federal food purchasing to promote racial equity [and] mitigate climate change.” Specifics include tapping the USDA “to expand the availability of values-aligned food products, like organic and plant-based options, to school districts.” The “values” are those promoted by the special interest groups signing the letter, who include Mercy for Animals, The Humane League, and PCRM–organizations that all promote vegan diets.