Note from Dan: Shrillary posted this on this thread Monday. Good stuff!
There are fewer and fewer small farms run by “mom and pop” in the US. A “small” farm as categorized by the U.S. government is that which has a gross income of under $250,000; large family farm(gross income $250,000 – $500,000) and very large (over $500,000 in income).
Few small farmers and “micro” farmers receive subsidies – in fact, most small farmers (which is a category my husband and I fall into) get minimum technical or financial help. Very large and large farmers consume most of the $240 billion farm subsidies – without any real oversight – they encourage the hogs to keep their heads in the public trough.
I, for one, would like to see farm subsidies completely eliminated. When the government pays farmers to plant or not plant something is very wrong. Providing somewhere around 75% of farm funds to these agribusinesses has become acceptable to the public, as subsidies are cloaked in nice sounding terms like “family farm” aid.
However, “subsidies ” are concentrated in the hands of a small number of large farming operations.” If asked, most Americans would support subsidies for farmers, but they are hoodwinked into the delusion of family farms like “American Gothic” receiving abundant aid, which I can assure you we [small farms] are not.
In fact, “in 2011 more than 10,000 individual farming operations have received federal crop insurance premium subsidies ranging from $100,000 to more than $1 million apiece.”
When money is dolled out, rarely is there any determinant or reasoning for who will receive funding. “The subsidies go to large operators with no conservation strings attached to protect water and soil, no means testing, and no payment limit on how much a farm business can collect.”
Why aren’t republicans demonizing these agri-businesses as “moochers” or “welfare farmers”? Why not cut out the cost of subsidies from the budget and return it to the revenue side? These very large farm operations are assuredly addicted to the public trough as any other subsidized business. Hhowever, they should be allowed to go through withdrawal – stand on their own to either succeed or fail. It’s time to remove the “needle” of public funding from the proverbial arm of the largest agri-businesses.
citations from: http://farm.ewg.org/