andrew schneider investigates

April 30, 2008

Taxpayer help to farmers

Farming has to be one of the most difficult, unpredictable and sometimes frustrating professions there is, especially for the small mom and pop growers.

But the Environmental Working Group reports that 2007 was a banner year for farmers of grain, soybeans and cotton, as high prices for their crops earned them record net income, even after they paid skyrocketing costs for fuel, fertilizer and seed.

EWG President Ken Cook

And for some, the financial picture gets even better. Under formulas set by Congress, taxpayers topped off the record farm earnings with another $5 billion in “direct payment” crop subsidies, says EWG President Ken Cook.

“Over 60 percent of the subsidy was pocketed by just 10 percent of the recipients-the largest and generally wealthiest subsidized farming operations in the country, said the head of the public interest research group.

More than 400 Washington State farms got a piece of the public pie according to the EWG’s database of recipients. Here a link that will tell you who got what in our state.

For a breakdown of payouts in the rest of the country check out this link.


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