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Kind: Farm Spending Priorities Are Out of Whack
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/13/2007

Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind says he is alarmed by the findings in a new report released this week by the Environmental Working Group over America's farm policies. According to a database, which was compiled by USDA information, ten percent of subsidy recipients collected 73 percent of all subsidies, while 67 percent of all farmers and ranchers do not collect government subsidy payments at all. Half of all crop subsidies from 2003-2005 were directed to just 19 congressional districts.

One individual corn and wheat farmer in Colorado collected nearly $2 million in crop subsidies in 2005, the EWG's report noted. In Wisconsin, the database showed that just 10 farmers collected nearly $4.2 million in crop subsidies from 2003-05. Until now, information about individual recipients of farm subsidies has been obscured by their affiliation with partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability corporations, and cooperatives.

"This report clearly illustrates the way our farm policies direct the lion's share of subsidies to a few but very large commodity producers - and leaves family farmers behind," Kind said. "If America is going to meet our trade, environmental, nutrition, and energy challenges, we must get our farm spending priorities straight, and develop a more equitable system that realizes benefits for farmers and consumers in every region of the country."

The LaCrosse Democrat, along with his colleagues in the house Rep. Flake (R-AZ), Rep. Crowley (D-NY), and Rep. Reichert (R-WA), will introduce legislation this week to correct some of the uneven distribution of farm subsidy payments.

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