Kind of ticked off

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Zack, Jun 2, 2004.

  1. Zack

    Zack Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    54
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    Tx / Ms zone 8A
    Found this link over at Beesource.com www.ewg.org/farm/ and found out that my neighbor who I actually like very much has received slightly over 100k in farm subsidies over the last seven years.
    I have always wondered how a dairy farmer could afford a new dually every other year, a 50K tractor and goes to the livestock sale every weekend and buys a full load of what ever he fancies that day to load in his knew 25k trailer and still afford to build 6 commercial chicken houses.

    Something just ain’t right with that and I must admit my opinion of this fellow just dropped several notches to say the least. Or Maybe I need to go down and get him to teach me how to play this game.

    Anyway just felt the need to vent and thought some others might find the link interesting.

    It just ain’t right IMO
     
  2. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    526
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Mississippi
    Its called corporate welfare. This is how the system works now, you just have tickle the right palms to get on board.
     

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,067
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2004
    Location:
    deep south texas
    There are those that feel its their just due to milk every penny they can get from tax dollars.
     
  4. charles

    charles Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    90
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    OTOH, 100K over 7 years can be a drop in the bucket for a dairy (or other ag operation). And what percentage of all agricuture is subsidized? With the way prices are skewed downard, can you grow any commodity crop or produce any commodity product and make money if your prices are not subsidized?

    Over the last 7 years do you think your neighbor made ANY money on capital investment? What percent? Maybe he made no net money at all on his dairy.

    Heelpin, if you plant pine trees in Mississipi through cost share (which inflates the real prices) you will show up on that list of "corporate welfare" recipients.
     
  5. Momo

    Momo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    484
    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Location:
    North Alabama
    A few of our local millionaires who own a lot of property but are not really farmers receive quite a bit in these subsidies. Anytime the gov gives out money there will be people who thwart it's intended purpose.

    On a funnier note one of my "independent" gov hating neighbors got a $100 subsidy to bury a dead cow.
     
  6. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    17,320
    Joined:
    May 21, 2004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    IMO, farm subsidies exist not for farmers, but for voters (consumers). It is to elected officials advantage to keep cheap food in front of the electorate. Farm subsidies encourage overproduction. That said, unless you raise every bit of food you eat, you are also a benificiary of this welfare.
     
  7. shelbynteg

    shelbynteg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    163
    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2003
    Location:
    Beasley, Tx
    I looked in my home county, and know just about everyone on the list. Probably because we are so remote, the subsidies for CRP, Livestock and Wheat are going to individuals (or family trusts) without exception, and I'm glad to see that. Until Congress is ready to take on agricultural monopolies, subsidies is the only way they know of to support farmers. If, God Forbid, they start subsidizing intensive hog farms, that picture will totally change in my area.
     
  8. It's not just dairy farmers. Some tobacco farmers around me are getting $250,000.00 plus per year. one local farmer got over $600,000.00 last year on grain farming.
    TN.
     
  9. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    526
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Mississippi
    It was tempting but I turned it down, I'm the boss on this peice of ground as long as I pay my fees every year but of course Uncle Sam could humble me in a hurry or the city can move their limits to take me in and I done for. Does anybody know of an Island that I can declare an Independent country?

    As for government subsidies, I think they should get out of the business of helping inefficient farmers to not fail, let market forces weed out the weak and the law of supply and demand will rule, this will reward the workers and punish the slackards, maybe its not fair for some that will be forced out of business, but thats the way I see of cleaning up a mess.
     
  10. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,808
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    years ago my uncle in WV used to get a hefty chunk every year NOT to grow corn.

    I always wanted a farm where they pay ya not to work...
     
  11. Zack

    Zack Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    54
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    Tx / Ms zone 8A
    A commodity like timber? Nope no subsidy there for me even though my gross net is only 5.00 bucks a ton on pulpwood then I have to prep and replant OK down to around 2.50 know pay the tax man 30%
    I still show a profit and when I don’t I will stop harvesting and will work harder at one of my other ventures until prices return to a profitable level, You know kind of like a Business

    In my eyes
    To stay in a business that can not support it’s self with out government aid is wrong as is taking a hand out when you are doing OK. This gentleman has told me he has no intension of getting out of his dairy operation when he completes his new chicken farm and I guess I wouldn’t ether if the government was going to support my bottom line.
    I suppose when the chicken market becomes saturated with all the new operations in the south we will subsidize them also. Matter a fact until chicken prices shot up very recently Dairy was the growth industry in the state.
    Now I may not know much about being a dairy farmer but I do know about running a profitable business and you don’t get growth with out profit being made somewhere by someone and its looking like some of that profit is coming from tax dollars.
    As far as not showing a profit in any business is not that hard to do if that is your goal. A farm is one of the best vessels you could ever find to hide personal spending from the tax man. That’s why so many successful businessmen own them and report losses year after year.

    BTW
    I get equally angry about any business welfare not just farmers
    If you can receive subsidies on your farm year after year and hold your head high with pride then you are a different kind of man than I.
    This particular fellow is a good kind of guy for the most part and as far as neighbors go I probably couldn’t hope for a better one ( at least till those chicken houses are done and the wind shifts ) but I have lost respect for him and I would imagine this issue will come to mind every time he tells me of something new he has purchased or I write my quarterly tax checks.

    Anyway thats my Beef, I resign to let society judge their neighbors as they see fit.
     
  12. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    71
    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    This site is kind of old news--but I'm glad you happened onto it. It was making the rounds a couple yrs ago and making quite a stir. My name is there with a 5 figure number. It was even there before I had received anything from the goverment---for about 2 yrs before. I checked into it and what they had listed as a payment to me was infact a refund for money goverment had withheld from milk check each month. Few yrs back we had a program where monthly deductions went right to USDA and at yrs end if you could prove you did not increase production past last yrs amount you could file and get your money back--which I did a couple yrs. So--I got listed as receiving a goverment payment and everyone says---oh----that guy is just sucking it off the poor taxpayer. Sort of like your Fed tax refund. How would you like to be listed as receiving goverment payments because you got a check for your refund? Anyway---time passed and another farm bill. This one pays extra n production when price falls below a certain price. So---your in to get a fair price even if you don't care for it. Kind of like your employer paying you 3 bucks an hour and you have to get the other 2 from a gov program even if you don't want to. It's the system. You get super cheap food and farm program pays us to keep the food suppy stable. FB
     
  13. Bob in WI

    Bob in WI Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    349
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Western WI
    Wouldn't it be better if everyone just got what they earned, no subsidy? If you can't farm efficiently, get out of the business, and those who can will do well. It is as simple as suppply and demand.

    Anything the government interferes in will never be efficient, that is a given.
     
  14. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,490
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    he was probably in the crp--conservation reserve program---where they will pay you x amount per acre to put your ground in grass cover and keep it that way for 10 years.

    you can't change your mind after a couple years and you can't do anything with land. no grazing, no haying (they do make exceptions due to drought).

    many conservation programs are there due to demand of the people. they want conservation, but how else can you ask someone to let their biggest asset sit idle?

    jena
     
  15. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,490
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    it's funny how many people are against corporate farms and want to preserve family farms, "weeding out the inefficient" would pretty much destroy most family farms and the corporations would be all that was left.

    jena
     
  16. Cedar

    Cedar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    208
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pa
    I'd take the money.

    The rich pay like 90% of the taxes so who cares? :rolleyes:

    So you don’t take the money…then what…what do you get, bragging rights?
     
  17. Herb.

    Herb. Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Location:
    Layton, Utah-for now
    I have to go along with Jena and Farmer Brown on this. I have always looked at the farm subsidies as a way to control prices for the product so the market does not get flooded with too much of something driving the price down and putting some farms out of business. One year when we lived in northern California there was so much local hay you could get it for $1.00 a bail, the next year not very many people grew hay because they lost their butts in it the year before so hay shot up to almost $5.00 a bail, well guess what the next year too much hay again. The CRP program preserves the top soil for future generations by paying farms to let some of their ground lay fallow for ten years. The program allows the farmer to do this without losing his shirt do to the lost income from that ground. To me this is good business for consumers as well as a good farming practice. $100,000 over seven works out to less then $14,300 a year Don't know what your neighbor had to not grow or how much land he had to not farm for this but I'll bet he could have made more by not entering the program and using the land. Talk to him about it, maybe you will get a better understanding of the situation. With any big program there will invariably be some that abuse it, like putting land in it that would not grow the crop anyway but that is a problem with the program and it's administration, it's still a good program with loopholes that need to be closed.
     
  18. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,325
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN

    Judging people on incomplete & inaccurate information would leave you to be judged rather poorly, I'm afraid.

    Every business in town - EVERY one - gets subsidies to that tune. $100,000 in 7 years - and a good share of that is _NOT_ a subsidy, but money your neighbor put in the pot or a payment for services - means the govt is giving him, maybe, $6,000 a year in subsidies.

    Bet if you were honest & added up the subsidies the wood industry gets, and bothered to pencil out your share, your neighbor would look a lot 'better' than you.

    But it's easy to sit back & judge others.

    I remember years ago, people who wanted to rip farmers would say that the food stamp program was only 1/3 as big as the money spent on farmers, what a horrible thing.....

    What they didn't tell you - the food stamp program is a PART of the ag budget, and uses up 1/3 of the money that was supposed to be spent on agricultre. Do these greedy people want the whole 100% of the ag budget? Sheez. What a load.

    Same deal here. The EWG is a self-interest group that wants to make a name for themselves. Their figures are raw data mis-used to their political advantage. Very little of their numbers is a direct handout. Much of it is rent the govt is paying, and another good share is repayment of money the farmer invested into a govt program. If you don't like these purchases the govt is making, go bellyache to the govt, not your neighbor.

    If you can feel good about yourself being that petty & misguided.... Well, the better neighbor is pretty obvious. If you are an open-minded individual, do some research on how the govt has treated farmers compared to other businesses, and what those numbers you saw _actually_ mean and how much real income your neighbor lost to try to do a good thing for you & the rest of society - not the fairy tale you are dreaming up.

    I just find your comments so demeaning & insulting. Can't believe there are such people in this world.

    --->Paul
     
  19. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    526
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2003
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I took a look at the people who received subsidies in my county, for the most part these are well heeled people who do not depend on the farm for their main source of income and there was a lot of fudging going on to quaify in my opinion. I see a lot payments were made for some kind of disaster, I must have missed it, don't remember a disaster except maybe a little dry weather, its a joke and nothing but a windfall. These programs do nothing but create disruption of economies worldwide, the surpluses created are dumped on foreign markets, what effect do you think that has on the local farmers in those countries?

    Farming on Our Own
    by Deanna Dyksterhuis, Bonus 1995

    My husband Jerry and I are farmers in Corvallis, Oregon. We started with ten acres of strawberries on rented ground in 1961. We now own and farm 1,500 acres of riverbottom land along the Willamette River. We have grown green beans, carrots, cauliflower, table beets, black-berries, alfalfa, barley, sweet corn, wheat, and peppermint for oil. We have made our entire living farming. We love the challenge of producing farm products for consumers in the marketplace.

    We do not, as a matter of principle, participate in any government farm programs. We made that decision years ago, and we have never regretted it. We have never accepted a subsidy payment (and we do grow wheat). We have never accepted a crop-disaster payment (we lost our berry field to frost damage one year). We have always spent our own money protecting our riverbottom land from being washed away during winter floods.

    When Jerry and I started farming, everyone told us we were crazy (in much nicer words, of course) and that we would never make it. Neither one of us had come from farming families. Jerry's dad worked in the woods and plywood mills in Cottage Grove, Oregon. My dad was an optician in an eye, ear, nose and throat clinic in Salem. Neither of us had taken any agriculture courses in school, and neither of us had had any farming experience.

    Both of us had a strong work ethic. We understood the difference between "spending money" and "working capital" (money that was invested back into the farm). We had an excellent banker who gave us sound advice and insisted on a detailed budget (we have always borrowed our money from a commercial bank as opposed to a government lending institution). We had good neighbors who gave us lots of help and advice. We learned from our mistakes.

    We have raised two children and provided jobs for them on the farm, as well as summer jobs for children of relatives and friends. The jobs included hoeing weeds, changing irrigation pipe, and picking berries. It was an opportunity to teach our children a work ethic, to be responsible, and to feel that they were an important part of our family.

    Government programs that guarantee farmers a "fair price" in the marketplace involve only ten commodities — feed grains, wheat, field corn, soybeans, rice, tobacco, sugar, peanuts, cotton, and dairy products. Since these are the most commonly produced commodities — and since their production involves the majority of farmers in the U.S. — people naturally assume that all farmers are subsidized by the national government.

    Over two hundred other crops do not receive any direct government support. These crops include fruits, vegetables, essential oils, herbs, meats, poultry, grass seed, Christmas trees, and flowers. Unlike so many farmers who produce the top ten commodities, the farmers who produce these crops do not spend their time traveling to Washington and asking for special favors, privileges, and subsidies. They take care of their own land, water, and produce without Washington's assistance.

    Government programs create far more problems than they solve. As Ludwig von Mises said: "Government intervention always breeds economic dislocations that necessitate more government intervention." For example, the government guarantees dairy farmers a certain price for their milk. As a result, huge stockpiles of milk and cheese developed during the early 1980s, creating enormous storage costs to taxpayers.

    Another example: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) implemented a dairy-herd buyout program to decrease the amount of milk produced. They bought entire dairy herds and sold them for meat in direct competition with livestock producers. This flooded the livestock market. Meat prices dropped below the cost of production. Many livestock producers went out of business.

    Another example (and there are many!) of government-caused economic dislocation are the target prices government sets for feed grain and wheat. The target price is what "farm-policy experts" say is necessary to cover production costs. If market prices drop below the government target price, the government pays the difference in a direct subsidy (cash payment).

    Thus, when the price of wheat fell, wheat farmers increased production rather than reduce it. What happened? They produced a surplus — too much wheat! This surplus was a new problem that the government now had to "solve."

    The government created a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) similar to the Soil Bank years ago to take land out of production — land that probably would not even had been plowed in the first place in the absence of the initial government subsidy! The government now pays these farmers "rent" for CRP land. This has created additional economic dislocations. Many younger farmers looking for land to rent could not find it because it was enrolled in this "set-aside."

    Many dairy farmers claim that the government-guaranteed price for milk they produce is necessary because of the large investment they have in cows and dairy equipment. But berry growers, orchardists, and vintners are able to make the same argument. In fact, in some cases, these growers wait five years before they can harvest a crop, while a dairy cow will produce milk the first year. The government does not guarantee farmers a minimum price for their berries, fruits, nuts, and grapes. Why should we continue price supports and subsidies for dairy products?

    One of the crops we grow is an excellent example of the market process. We grow peppermint for oil. We harvest the leaves and stems and distill the oil. We have competition from other areas within Oregon, other states, and foreign countries. We compete with artificial flavorings. The price of peppermint oil is not guaranteed by the government. The price will vary from $8.00 to $20.00 a pound for oil. When prices are low, we produce less; when prices are high, we produce more. The key to our success in growing peppermint for the market (and we have been doing so for twenty-one years) is quality as well as our ability to grow above-average yields per acre for less cost. When we sell our oil, it is delivered to the buyer and we receive our money. Many fruit, vegetable, seed, and specialty crops, as well as livestock, are grown the same way.

    A free market — one free from government subsidies and interventions — would work equally well for dairy, wheat, tobacco, peanuts, and so forth. Unfortunately, farmers who grow these crops have been "protected" from direct market competition for so long they have no understanding of, appreciation for, or confidence in a market economy. Moreover, they have lost — or have never discovered — all sense of individual responsibility, self-reliance, self-worth, and independence.

    By refusing to look to government to solve our problems, we are definitely a minority in the farm community. We have decided it is time to speak out. For example, at a recent national farming convention, Jerry and I actively opposed all farm subsidies. As you can imagine, this does not make us very popular with those who participate in the government largess.

    Government payments, no matter how they are rationalized, are welfare checks for farmers. They eliminate the responsibility on the part of the farmer to be efficient, accountable, responsible, and flexible. Government intervention eliminates the voluntary exchanges between consenting parties. A free market is more unpredictable — there is more of a personal risk (we can always fail) — but the rewards of self-determination and self-respect are worth it.

    Some say that farm programs are in drastic need of reform. They are wrong. Subsidies, price supports, mandates, and all other forms of government intervention in agriculture must be ended, not reformed.

    There are generations of farm families who have cared for their land, their crops, their animals, and each other without government help and government interference. Farm families who work together and worship together without government help and interference develop a dignity that is characterized by honesty, self-respect, determination, and hard work. Government programs only destroy these values. They should all be abolished.

    Ms. Dyksterhuis, a Freedom Daily subscriber, resides in Corvallis, Oregon.
     
  20. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,490
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    it's pretty difficult to enroll non-crop ground in crp. the ground must have a proven crop base. they have aerial photos that show all the ground that canbe cropped and all the land that you are not allowed to crop.

    subsidies are a bone of contention in the world market, but would you rather become dependent on brazil for beef and russia for grain? the government has a big reason to keep our country producing cheap and plentiful food.

    most non-farmers wouldn't notice disasters. a dry year can seriously effect yields. so can a wet one....or one where the rain comes at the wrong time.

    jena