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Policy Plate BLOG

Your daily serving of food and farm policy.

Farming Not Mandatory To Receive Farm Subsidies?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


EWG’s Mike Lavender responds to a report released yesterday (Oct. 8) by the Government Accountability Office that found almost half of the individuals who received farm subsidies in 2012 were not even working on farms.

Lavender writes:

If they don’t do the work, why do they get to collect taxpayer-funded farm payments?

Under the law, an individual who’s “actively engaged in farming” is entitled to claim a farm subsidy, but the new report found that USDA’s Farm Service Agency, which distributes the money, uses a definition of “actively engaged” that is way too broad. This allowed approximately $736 million to go in 2012 to people who didn’t actually farm. In some cases they didn’t even live in the same state as the farm.

Unfortunately, wasting taxpayer money on misconceived farm subsidies is nothing new.

Read the full response on AgMag.

Table Scraps:

Harvest Public Media writes on the rapid conversion of prairie to farmland in the Midwest, confirming the findings in EWG’s Plowed Under and Going, Going, Gone! reports.

Politico reports on the multi-state Salmonella outbreak that hit following the shutdown on the federal government.

Tweet of the Day: @ranoffic so about that "deal" on #conservation compliance: …

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