Byron Leydacker bwl3 at comcast.net
Thu May 20 19:47:23 PDT 2010

Fresno County farmers lead the nation in harvesting farm subsidies and have
collected nearly $1 billion since 1995, newly available Agriculture
Department records show.  Other California counties are close behind. Kern,
Colusa and Tulare counties rank third, fourth and fifth respectively
nationwide for total farm subsidies received, with rice and cotton growers
benefiting the most.  Payments to Fresno County farmers totaled $961 million
between 1995 and 2009. Last year alone, the farmers took in $75.9 million.
"It's a good thing, because it shows we are putting federal dollars to
work," Fresno County Farm Bureau Executive Director Ryan Jacobsen commented.
Only about 10% of California's farmers receive subsidies, while the fruit
and vegetable crops for which the state is famous are largely unsubsidized.
Despite the abundant payments to certain Central Valley counties, California
only ranks ninth among states for total subsidies received.


     The newly available records update a popular subsidy database begun by
the Environmental Working Group in 2004. The organization releases the
information in hopes of influencing lawmakers to tighten payments, but its
data is widely respected as accurate.  "We have a farm program that says the
bigger you get, the more you'll get from the federal government," said Chuck
Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Nebraska-based Center for Rural
Affairs. "This database documents the truth about this."


     The Sacramento-based Farmers Rice Cooperative and the cotton-growing
Dublin Farms and Hansen Ranches, both based in Corcoran, have topped all
other subsidy recipients in California since 1995. For the Farmers Rice
Cooperative, all of the money was passed through to the 750 individual
farmer members of the cooperative, and no payments were received after 2006.
Some public figures, too, have benefited from the federal farm subsidy
program.  Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, is identified as having received
$57,193 in crop subsidies between 2001 and 2005. Nunes took office in 2003.


Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 mobie

bwl3 at comcast.net 




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