UPDATED: Hundreds of City Slickers, Wealthy Beach Bums Received Farm Payments for 33 Straight Years

EWG found that 208 people who have received taxpayer-funded farm subsidies or disaster payments for 33 straight years currently reside in the nation's 50 largest cities, according to an analysis of Department of Agriculture data.

These individuals received a total of $47.8 million between 1985 and 2017, including six recipients who each collected more than $1 million.

Nationwide, almost 25,500 people received taxpayer-funded federal farm subsidies or disaster relief payments every year between 1985 and 2017, according to the USDA data.

While many urban subsidy recipients reside in Midwestern cities – like Dallas and Austin, Texas, and Oklahoma City – repeat subsidy recipients also live in cities ranging from Washington, D.C., to Las Vegas, Nev., to the Bay Area in California.

Photo: Annette O Martin Living Trust's home in Las Vegas, Nev., via Zillow.com


Photo: Delia Hedlund's home in Washington D.C., via Google Maps

Some repeat subsidy recipients also live in waterfront mansions worth millions or have homes just blocks from the Santa Monica Pier.

Raymond Armbruster, who resides in a beachside mansion in Osprey, Fla. – worth more than $7.8 million, according to Zillow – received a payment every year between 1985 and 2016, and received $839,000 in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies between 1995 and 2017.

Photos: Raymond Armbruster's home in Osprey, Fla., via Zillow.com

Here is a partial description of Armbruster’s mansion, courtesy of the real estate website.

Surrounded by serene tropical landscaping, an entry gate ensures coveted privacy while the property itself spans 1.18 acres from Little Sarasota Bay to the Gulf of Mexico with 100' of frontage on both sides. 

The outdoor living spaces are simply breathtaking, and include a summer kitchen, outdoor shower, and Bayfront patio with heated infinity-edge pool with waterfall. A four-plus car garage completes the picture. A covered dock with 10,000 lb boat lift makes boating a simple pleasure. Casey Key is recognized as one of Florida's most prestigious addresses, exuding a unique blend of affluence, elegance and Old Florida charm. 

Cynthia Cotton lives in a seven-bedroom, five-bath home in Santa Monica, Calif., just blocks from the beach, which Zillow estimates is worth $4.2 million. Cotton has received a farm subsidy payment every year for the last 32 years, and received more than $157,000 in farm subsidies between 1995 and 2017.

Photo: Cynthia Cotton's home in Santa Monica, Calif., via Zillow.com

EWG previously reported that 17,836 of all farm subsidy recipients in 2015 and 2016 lived in these and many other cities across the U.S. In theory, farm subsidy recipients must be “actively engaged” in farming, but many subsidy recipients do not live or work on farms.This year, the Government Accountability Office reported that in 2015, almost one-fourth of farm subsidy recipients did not personally provide labor on the farm.

Photos: Barbara Moore's home in Amelia Island, Fla., via Zillow.com

EWG’s updated analysis comes as farm bill negotiators are deciding whether to tighten or expand farm subsidy loopholes.

The Senate version of the farm bill would modestly tighten an existing means test and ensure that only farmers who contribute personal labor are eligible for subsidies. By contrast, the House version of the farm bill would waive the farm subsidy means test first established in 2002 for certain corporate farms, once again making billionaires like Charles Schwab eligible for farm subsidies. In addition, the House bill would make a farmer’s cousins, nieces and nephews eligible for farm subsidies.

Between 1985 and 2017, farm subsidy programs paid farmers when crop prices fell below price guarantees set in the federal farm bill or, more recently, when crop revenue fell below historic averages. In addition, “direct” subsidy payments linked to historic crop production were made between 1996 and 2014. Disaster payments have been paid through both annual spending bills and permanent disaster programs.

Farmers are also eligible for crop insurance premium subsidies, but the USDA is barred by federal law from releasing data about individual crop insurance subsidy recipients. EWG did not obtain data on farm subsidies prior to 1985.

Federal law does not limit farmers from receiving farm subsidies or disaster payments, even if they have received a payment every year for 33 straight years. Farmers remain eligible for subsidies so long as their average annual adjusted gross income is less than $900,000, or less than $1.8 million for farm couples, and they have more than $1,000 in farm sales. The Senate version of the farm bill would lower the means test to $700,000, or $1.4 million for farm couples.

Subsidy Recipient City, State Subsidies 1985-2016
Jolene Gustafson Inc Austin, TX $1,999,318
Henry Brueggen Oklahoma City, OK $1,604,475
Michael J Andra Wichita, KS $1,542,931
Robert F Robben Wichita, KS $1,454,839
Nancy M O'Neil Dallas, TX $1,371,789
Donald V Jones Fresno, CA $1,311,928
Curtis Straka Moore, OK $943,280
C And H Farms Co Omaha, NE $920,858
Mcgowan Revocable Living Trust Phoenix, AZ $915,274
Leon Grigg Oklahoma City, OK $878,175
Jack A Peters Living Trust Albuquerque, NM $824,161
Agri Center Int Memphis, TN $788,177
Kissler & Sons Inc Oklahoma City, OK $709,207
Melvin Bollenbach Oklahoma City, OK $695,987
Evangeline Andrews Trust Oklahoma City, OK $677,903
Lacey S Butler Jr Oklahoma City, OK $632,410
Hagan Farms Plymouth, MN $616,794
Cindy Bryant Lawrence Fort Worth, TX $612,695
Wilson Ferguson Farms Inc Albuquerque, NM $611,556
Dudley Hodgkins Co Inc Fort Worth, TX $597,735
J Fred Bucy Est Tr Dallas, TX $570,181
Kunc Family Farms Inc Oklahoma City, OK $554,672
Vivian G Schoenstein Dallas, TX $536,772
John Wolsmann Jr Omaha, NE $504,668
Stephen Haterius Dallas, TX $504,234
Delores C Paney Living Trust Wichita, KS $499,784
Geraldine F Kepler Dallas, TX $495,978
Strasser Farms Nashville, TN $494,806
Leon D Hoffman Lakewood, CO $490,935
Carl T Jaax Rev Trust Wichita, KS $488,049
Catherine Marie Sims Austin, TX $474,308
Tom L Cadan Austin, TX $466,861
Robert L Kraus Oklahoma City, OK $420,605
Bob Powell Farms Inc Dallas, TX $412,959
Myrna G Verner Dallas, TX $403,498
John R Owen Oklahoma City, OK $402,324
Hagan Enterprises Inc Plymouth, MN $401,947
Nichols Farms Inc Oklahoma City, OK $384,803
John W Haralson Denver, CO $358,865
Lenora N Atkins Albuquerque, NM $347,099
Mary Lou Stehr Omaha, NE $325,661
John B Tuggle Dallas, TX $321,592
Marcus E Cunningham Kansas City, MO $317,527
Richard Baxter Dallas, TX $314,625
Brent Burford Wichita, KS $313,429
Mark L Laughlin First Revocable T Omaha, NE $309,352
Comanche West Inc % Fred Soper Wichita, KS $303,213
Tom Mccarvel Bloomington, MN $300,089
Johnston Sis Fms Ptnrs San Antonio, TX $293,983
Norma Lee Manning Colorado Springs, CO $293,059
Mary Ann Phillips Colorado Springs, CO $291,614
Lowell M Thrasher Omaha, NE $290,762
D S Marley Family Partnership Omaha, NE $287,454
Jim W Mcdaniel San Antonio, TX $286,318
Kwk Investments Austin, TX $261,200
Oscar D Brown Arlington, TX $258,251
Delia M Hedlund Washington, DC $250,488
Joe Darst Robinson Austin, TX $248,674
Dorothy Wickwire Trust No 30072 Austin, TX $248,067
Templeton Farms Inc Omaha, NE $247,434
Sally P Ficken Rev Living Trust Austin, TX $246,253
Joel B Mitchell Austin, TX $244,595
Henry S Foster Jr Washington, DC $237,368
Cheryl Foster Virginia Beach, VA $236,669
David C Boyenga Bloomington, MN $233,760
Buddy Orville Jones Oklahoma City, OK $231,529
Jed Robinson Jr Colorado Springs, CO $230,978
Joe S Langford Austin, TX $226,646
Margie P Sanders San Diego, CA $225,904
Linda Louise Keller Fort Worth, TX $225,880
Paul E Gilmore Omaha, NE $224,070
Reeder Farms Atlanta, GA $220,713
G Hal Ross Wichita, KS $218,920
Laura Ann Elwood Houston, TX $217,004
Adamson Living Trust San Antonio, TX $216,055
Jane F Armayor Albuquerque, NM $215,532
Milton Bludworth Dallas, TX $215,250
Estate Of Arden Ray Douglas Dallas, TX $215,216
Joyce Mauldin Oklahoma City, OK $213,318
Flache Farms Inc Austin, TX $210,648
Sarah B Hilgart Dallas, TX $209,663
Caroline B Drumm New Orleans, LA $202,910
Donna M Clark Arlington, TX $202,902
Neva June Taylor Dallas, TX $199,363
Cecil Tim Speck Dallas, TX $195,754
Peggy Rice Duffey Dallas, TX $191,709
Jerry Elizabeth Gardner Memphis, TN $191,392
Berton Fleenor Oklahoma City, OK $190,709
Laverne D Knezek Arlington, TX $189,826
Henry Liland & Twyla D Horten Tru Chicago, IL $188,085
Fischers By R Fischer Minneapolis, MN $185,956
Rebecca A Umphress Benbrook, TX $184,942
Lesley L Wilkes Austin, TX $183,984
Patty Jo Wilkes Austin, TX $179,910
Ann Iler Houston, TX $176,935
Annette O Martin Living Trust Las Vegas, NV $175,602
Evalyn S Quarles Kansas City, MO $173,424
Daniel W Reimers Oklahoma City, OK $172,831
Colleen R Ward Trust Oklahoma City, OK $172,473
Lisa A Hefflefinger Albuquerque, NM $169,308
Betty F Mckinnon Albuquerque, NM $165,635
Margie S Johnston Tulsa, OK $163,722
Ronnie Baker Oklahoma City, OK $162,696
Theilen Family Living Trust Houston, TX $153,670
Jeanne Fausch Oxenford Family Far Plymouth, MN $152,869
Patricia Gronau Revocable Trust Wichita, KS $152,743
Laurence S Ohara Trust Wichita, KS $148,495
Hope H Tinsley Fort Worth, TX $148,262
Margaret Buie Fort Worth, TX $147,518
Margaret B Ginatta Hogan Dallas, TX $147,452
Gorman Robinson Austin, TX $144,864
Clifford Hicks Tr Omaha, NE $139,542
Garland Walker Oklahoma City, OK $138,668
Mary L Bunch Houston, TX $138,196
A C Edinburgh Austin, TX $135,848
Leon E Breedlove Wichita, KS $131,795
Michael John Dolan Revocable Trus Edina, MN $130,813
Rubye Mae Hubbard Arlington, TX $125,994
Thomas A Hoffman Austin, TX $125,353
B F Murchison Jr Albuquerque, NM $124,359
Gary L Johansen Colorado Springs, CO $121,277
John C Barnes Lakeway, TX $120,337
Franklin D Nixon Tucson, AZ $117,637
Megan Spencer Austin, TX $116,725
Linda Fowler Stevens Saginaw, TX $116,589
Leonard Leo Whitley Houston, TX $116,399
Ron L Schmidt Albuquerque, NM $115,676
Louis K Bodecker Rev Living Trust Wichita, KS $114,058
Howard A & Jean F Katz Trust Houston, TX $113,880
Edward R Richmond Jr Memphis, TN $111,516
Robert A Knezek Arlington, TX $109,819
Cherry Burger Colorado Springs, CO $109,350
Beverly A Drawe Austin, TX $109,076
Coy Wayne Mcclendon Nashville, TN $107,617
James Daniel Grappe Austin, TX $107,607
Wanda L Plentl Austin, TX $106,972
Deanna R Vanpelt San Antonio, TX $102,622
Henry W Wells Dallas, TX $101,262
Bondell Johnson Tucson, AZ $100,809
Don Miller Dallas, TX $98,704
Susan V Williford Houston, TX $98,076
Rex Appleton Houston, TX $97,216
Joe W Turner Fort Worth, TX $94,068
Richard J Habbinga West Lake Hills, TX $93,150
Gary N Johnson Austin, TX $89,879
Mary I Whitney Tucson, AZ $84,721
Joyce T Harrison Tulsa, OK $83,850
Kermit G Crenwelge San Antonio, TX $83,688
W H Smith Arlington, TX $82,996
Barbara P Kazda Fort Worth, TX $82,170
Earle D Wagner Oklahoma City, OK $79,898
Jack P Vogt Portland, OR $77,815
Virginia P Lobitz San Antonio, TX $77,544
Charles M Jones Fort Worth, TX $77,233
Mittie Nickles Oklahoma City, OK $76,227
Gary W Schur Lakeway, TX $76,224
Rosemary Karr Fort Worth, TX $75,695
Kere Noel Wichita, KS $74,743
Mildred J Mauldin Dallas, TX $72,297
Gackle And Ottmar Land Partnershi Edina, MN $70,599
Ryan B Seals Dallas, TX $66,312
Charles L Wolf Houston, TX $66,232
Lee E Mcduff Houston, TX $66,101
Wm E Shellhart Colorado Springs, CO $63,087
Bonnie C Dickinson Dallas, TX $62,370
Fred H Jones Oklahoma City, OK $61,656
H Edwin Rejcek Et Al Austin, TX $61,531
Deanna C Murphy Houston, TX $60,846
Carroll W Chambliss Nashville, TN $60,620
Grover Gillett Jr Dallas, TX $60,552
Yvonne Weatherred Memphis, TN $60,482
E L Perry Jr San Antonio, TX $60,000
Doyle Balentine Colorado Springs, CO $56,477
Viola Watkins Memphis, TN $55,585
Clyde Emmons Enterprises Inc Arlington, TX $54,789
Doris A Harding Moore, OK $53,693
D A Hamilton Jr Colorado Springs, CO $53,203
C F Cox Westworth Village, TX $51,179
Jana R Craddock Westworth Village, TX $51,179
James D Galloway Austin, TX $50,976
Alan Durham Oklahoma City, OK $50,498
Larry Mcneely Oklahoma City, OK $49,326
Fred Marosko Austin, TX $49,276
Lendell Ellis Revocable Trust Oklahoma City, OK $48,409
Druena Lock Fort Worth, TX $48,050
Harms Family Living Trust Colorado Springs, CO $47,642
Ruth B Manuel Arlington, TX $44,991
Billy G Weaver Fort Worth, TX $44,861
Anita Rawson Edwards Austin, TX $43,852
Kenneth Schwenke El Paso, TX $42,978
Kay Shaw Fort Worth, TX $42,543
Farrier M T A Oklahoma City, OK $41,252
Jim T Mcdonald San Antonio, TX $40,991
Diana Guszak Austin, TX $40,624
Andrew F Moore Memphis, TN $40,038
Dale-Dale Lynn Peter L Peters Oklahoma City, OK $39,968
Jeri Sue Strange Tulsa, OK $39,508
Jo Ellen Fuhrman Denver, CO $39,381
Quiet Acres Ltd Omaha, NE $39,326
Roy-Roy Jefferson Pe J Peters Oklahoma City, OK $39,224
Thomas H Garner Jr Arlington, TX $39,021
Charlene Morris Austin, TX $38,943
Betty A Schaar Wichita, KS $38,332
Maxine Arnoldsen Las Vegas, NV $38,148
Mark B Hoes Austin, TX $38,141
Doris King Baker Oklahoma City, OK $37,475
Charles Gaddy Jr Austin, TX $37,219
Tommye Marr Dallas, TX $36,879
Winston H Anderson Austin, TX $36,655
Elva Carlson Austin, TX $36,209
Don D Strother Memphis, TN $35,680
Gordon A Hejl Arlington, TX $33,431
Michelle Haney Anthem, AZ $33,331
Donna W Merklein Houston, TX $31,229
Rueben L Brownshadel Austin, TX $30,221
Al Buie San Antonio, TX $28,943
Rebecca A Shields Houston, TX $28,618
Wallace W Saage Jr Houston, TX $28,540
Elain Benton Dallas, TX $28,432
Kathleen I Schuster Lakewood, CO $27,423
Charles O Meyers Jr Trust Tulsa, OK $26,842
Betty Conkling Fort Worth, TX $25,937
Loretta Gaskamp Houston, TX $24,249
John R Price Louisville, KY $23,300
Carolyn Norbury Oklahoma City, OK $23,067
Helen Stallings Albuquerque, NM $23,063
Mary Ann Wannamaker Raleigh, NC $22,768
Paula D Cariker San Antonio, TX $22,191
A Scott Johnson San Antonio, TX $21,902
Dee Loran & Nancy Ni Nixon Tucson, AZ $21,431
Kristina C Madrid San Antonio, TX $20,433
Floyd H Marr Louisville, KY $20,011
Jean Hicks Harahan, LA $18,526
Deco Development Co Inc Tulsa, OK $17,964
Teddy H Carrington Minneapolis, MN $16,701
Nancy Smith Dallas, TX $15,766
Teresa S Wyatt Houston, TX $14,771
Carol D West Wilson San Antonio, TX $14,388
Veta B Collins Houston, TX $13,404
Janet L O Barnard Houston, TX $9,912
Elissa L Ernst Sacramento, CA $9,741
Adrianna Christian Ernst San Antonio, TX $9,447
Kimberly M Reida Wichita, KS $9,391
Kennard H Schanen Charlotte, NC $9,127
Richard F Cook El Paso, TX $7,928
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