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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kristi Noem: Hamlin County Farm Welfare Queen

If Mr. Epp keeps putting out good material like this, I might have to add him back to the RSS feed list!

We learned last year that Minnesota Congresswoman and anti-government, anti-socialism crusader Michelle Bachmann is herself a beneficiary of government socialism: her family farm collected over a quarter-million dollars in farm subsidies from 1995 to 2006.

But Bachmann's a piker compared to South Dakota's Iron Lady-in-waiting, Kristi Noem. During that same period, the newest U.S. House candidate, who works our pro-life anti-government factions into such a froth that they need a good cold shower, eleven-tupled Bachmann's farm welfare haul. As Middle Border Sun reports, the Environmental Working Group database shows that Noem's Racota Valley Ranch received $2,765,175 in government handouts, most of that for corn, soybean, and wheat production.

Noem has a 16.9% ownership stake in Racota Valley Ranch. The operation, which apparently spans three counties, was the single largest recipient of federal subsidies in Hamlin County:

Rank Recipient*
✴ ownership information available
Location Total USDA Subsidies
1Racota Valley Ranch ∗Hazel, SD 57242$2,598,827
2Bochek Stock Farms ∗Vienna, SD 57271$1,834,856
3Clarmont Hutterian Brethren Inc ∗Castlewood, SD 57223$1,389,763
4Poinsett Hutterian Brethren Inc ∗Estelline, SD 57234$1,363,047
5Terrance Lee HilliardBryant, SD 57221$1,194,959
6Nathan N LaknessHayti, SD 57241$1,082,698
7Leiseth Farms Inc ∗Hazel, SD 57242$996,724
8Ronald E JongelingCastlewood, SD 57223$967,193
9Milton A LaknessHayti, SD 57241$957,429
10J Anderson Farm Inc ∗Bryant, SD 57221$921,281
Table 1: Top 10 Farm Subsidy Recipients, Hamlin County, SD, 1995–2006
Data courtesy of Environmental Working Group

It takes two Hutterite colonies combined to beat her haul, and that's saying something!

For perspective, from my read of the EWG data, the average amount Hamlin County farmers received from Uncle Sam from 1995 to 2006 was just under $82,000, or about $7400 a year. Noem's ranch averaged $250,000 in government handouts each year.

Racota Valley Ranch's handout haul makes it the 16th largest farm subsidy recipient in South Dakota. That's out of 75,612 recipients.

Sigh. Just when I thought Noem might bring some fresh perspective to the House race, it turns out she's just another Tea Party faker, shaking her fist at big government holding out her other hand for payment.

Update 15:29 CST: Bob Mercer mentions that "some Democrats" have brought up the issue of candidates taking farm subsidies. Why he doesn't just say "Todd and Cory" is beyond me. Mercer notes that we can find Democrats and Republicans on the subsidy rolls. I maintain that receipt of federal farm welfare will be an issue for any candidate of any party who campaigns as a champion of the free market and an enemy of big government handouts. But I ask Bob: which party's candidates are shouting that message louder? And where oh where will the Tea Party crowd find anyone who really embodies their purported values?

1 comment:

  1. Two things about Mrs. Noem raise a red flag. 1)Accepting farm payments from the feds, and not having a problem with it. If you are a true conservative the question has to be asked of yourself - Why am I giving my rights away as a farmer for a little security when I should have the ability to grow whatever crop I want and sell it to whomever I wish. There is a huge untapped market in Cuba we could go after and crops that would grow well in South Dakota that don't take up vast amounts of water or need chemicals to kill the weeds and insects. 2) Being a board member of the Farm Service Agency. Why should the feds provide below market crop insurance to farmers that don't have the income to buy that protection? Why give these farmers low interest loans to take on more debt than they can handle?

    View the actions of Mrs. Noem, not her words.


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