The National Livestock Cooperatives Federation (NLCF) illustrates in microcosm tensions in formulating internal and external policy in Korea. Formed in 1981 as an offshoot of the state-sponsored agricultural cooperatives, it became independent of government in 1987 as a wave of pluralism swept Korea. Although initially formed to implement state policy and still subsidized by the state, it gradually acquired an agenda of its own and began to compete for control of assets at the local level. Even as the importance of the agricultural sector declined in the national economy, the influence of the livestock subsector rose as meat consumption rose. Its leadership now publicly opposes government policies on import liberalization.