Sunday, November 13, 2016

Money for Rural Communities

Corn Harvest

One thing I’ve read about the recent election is that some part of the result was a result of “resentment” of urban dwellers for all the money that gets spent on them.  But one thing you rarely hear is now much money rural communities receive by way of farm subsidies.  Approximately 60% of Wisconsin farmers received some form of subsidy in the past 20 years for their businesses.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has compiled a database of farm subsidies from 1995 - 2014 based on data from the USDA.  Wisconsin ranks 16th in its receipt of farming subsidies totaling $7.66 billion from 1995 - 2014.  The bulk of that money was spent on corn subsidies and dairy program subsidies.

Wisconin Farm Subsidies

Looking at just the corn subsidies, the average value-per-recipient was on the order of nearly $50,000 over the course of the program.  That’s about $2,500/year on average.  Plus, many farms draw on multiple programs.

I just think its interesting that the rural communities seem to think that only urban dwellers are the recipients of government largesse.  And I rarely hear urban dwellers complaining about these massive subsidies to agriculture.

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