Farming these days is largely dominated by corporations, political “contributions,” government subsidies and price controls. For the most part they also support illegal aliens, their slave labor, and socializing their costs. The romantic notion of what a farmer is only applies to a very small group.
“The romantic notion of what a farmer is only applies to a very small group.”
Check your facts. There are more family-owned farms and ranches in the USA today than at any other time in US history and there are more people working those farms and ranches than at any other time in US history. We may be a much smaller percentage of the population but we are not a shrinking group nor a disappearing group.
May we deduce that you really don’t have all that much experience in farming?
Actually, there’s a large group to whom the ad applies.
The group that sucks down the farm subsidies fit your description, and are numerically a small group. Over 60% of those who file a Schedule F pull down no subsidies at all, according to the USDA. We were one who didn’t. The USDA proffered all manner of literature to get us to sign up for this, that and some other BS. Older farmers who were wise to their antics told me: “Once you take the first dollar, there’s a gossamer thread attached to it... and one day, you’ll find out that it’s grown to a steel rope.”
Once you get outside the “big six” crops, subsidies are few and far between. Rice, corn and beans are the biggest crops for the trough-feeders. Many smaller outfits might have CRP payments, but that program was built to suit the “needs” of duck hunters, not farmers.
The biggest tit-suckers on ag subsidies are the top 10% in revenue (not necessarily production). They pull down about 50% of ag subsidies. By the time you’ve gotten down to the top 20% of all revenue makers in a county, you’re looking at over 70% of subsidy payments in a county. Some of the worst are co-ops and farm services companies that don’t actually do any farming. And then, of course, there are the trough-feeders who own farmland, but don’t actually do any farming who get the checks in the mail. USDA subsidy checks go to some very unusual addresses, including NYC, Las Vegas and others where there is obviously no farming done.
As for who has pulled down the largest aggregate amounts of ag subsidies in the US? Corporate rice co-ops in Arkansas. Since 1995, the top tit-sucker has been the “Riceland Foods” co-op, and they’ve pulled down over a half-billion dollars in trough money.
Next biggest tit-sucker from 1995 to now? Producers Rice Mill, also out of Stuttgart, AR, with over $300 mil in grift. Third biggest? Another rice co-op, only out of Sacramento, CA
Oh, and I should add: Once you get outside a select group of states - about eight, overall, the rate of subsidy non-participation goes up dramatically.
Example: here in Wyoming, the USDA says that over 70% of farms/ranches don’t collect subsidies. Where we used to farm, Nevada, over 85% of farmers didn’t collect anything.
The top 10 states pull down about 60% of subsidy payments. The worst offender is Texas, followed by Iowa, then Illinois. Right there, the top three states, you’re up to 25% of ag subsidies. The top 25 states pull in about 90% of subsidies.
The ag subsidy system is designed to buy votes in states that historically wobble between sending Republicans or Democrats to Congress. That’s’ it. States like Wyoming, which has been pretty solidly Republican for a long time, don’t get jack compared to the wobble-states. Iowa is the worst of the wobble states, and every four years, it’s an outright bidding war for votes with subsidy money in that state.