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Honored Advisor

Re: Agriculture With No Farm Bill

Jim, as a citizen volunteer who has helped select recipients of a very limited amount of grant money of federal origin for almost 20 years, i can say you are precisely right.  There are certain objectives that are considered "sexy" - that is, sufficiently interesting - to any given agency at any given time.  This is often quite subjective.  

 

Requests for Prosals for any grant money are structured in such a way as to direct funds to support research and other activities ( in the case of my group, demonstration) in support of what are often rather vague and even esoteric objectives.  If you have done it a few times, you can perhaps bend an RFP to get data you actually want, but by funneling it through a different filter.  This is essentially what professional grantwriters do...it is as much art as science.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Agriculture Wtih No Farm Bill/$42/acre in Subsidies

And here we are all gripng about subsidizing health care coverage...feels sort of hypocritical, no?

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Advisor

Re: Agriculture With No Farm Bill

The major difference between submitting RFP's to the government for grant money, is that grant money does not add to the GDP and usually provides an income for those who allegedly are working for furtherance of the grant.

 

 Agriculture does contribute to the growth of this country and the GDP, so those funds subsidizing crop insurance and other programs, are the insurance taxpayers pay, to ensure that the acres get planted, whether harvested or not,  so that American Citizens will have and adequate supply of food to not experience starvation that most countries in this world has experienced in the past.

 

 Although, I argue for the elimination of subsidies, I also understand that without crop insurance the crops produced this year may have not even been planted, and 2013 will be worse.  So if we want to avoid food rioting in our streets, over throw of our government, and destruction of our way of life the rest of the muppets are going to have to help out.  Who gives a rats ass if RSW buys a new car or even an airplane, he did not write the rules your elected officials who want to stay in their job did.  

 

Farmers are a minority, we really have no representation, so if subsidies are allocated, it is much better they go to people who contribute something to our country that every citizens must have to pursue the nimrod activities they elect pursue instead of having to scratch out a subsistance living with a sharp stick and a bag of corn like the Mayan Indians do.

 

 Without food stability, and security none of you would be sitting on your ass pulling down the big bucks.  Food production is the bedrock and where civilization begins, destroy our agriculture and you will be living in caves.     

 

On the other hand, in agriculture subsidies guarantee that your grantee can have abundant food to eat while pursuing nefarious activities of a subjective nature which probably does little good.  Case in point . . . I am sure the fella studying field tile drainage, after what he is studying has been in practice for decades is contributing anything to society, other than justifying the budget of a bloated bureaucracy.

 

In government, you always use up grant funding, because if you do not, you cannot ask for more next year. What project has really been successful in the social welfare area that has been funded or sponsored by the US Government?

 

Lets talk about how government training funds were awarded non profit agencies to "train" inner city youth (when few can read or write) or fund training programs or fixed asset improvements on Indian Reservations. I have audited all those programs, I found new homes on the Winnebago Sioux, and the Standing Rock Indian Reservations, with the door kicked off windows broken out, and the residents of the reservations living in poverty.  

 

As for the "inner city youth projects", the only beneficiaries were the executive director, his/her secretary and a few other drones, who some how continue to perpetuate themselves by always being on the payroll for the next program.

 

 Audit findings were swept under the table, because few of those in charge of these programs have absolutely no administrative ability at all, usually their only qualification is that they were raped, incarcerated, a former drug addict, or were engaged in some other criminal activity.  in all cases, the top dog had to be black, or indian, and in all cases most were gamers!  

 

Of course in those days I was not surprised, because if a person was black or American Indian and had graduated from high school, was not on drugs, or had a criminal record, they could receive a free ride scholarship to Harvard or any other college.  Few made the cut. 

 

These are the people, we throw money at to fund the betterment of the people who are supposed to be the real beneficiaries of these grant fund.   I even held a pay off (and I mentioned this before) in Portland, Oregon where after performing a compliance audit (where there was absolutely no compliance) employees were required to pick up their pay checks in person instead of having them mailed to them, we had over 50 not show up to receive their pay check.

 

We turned the matter over to the FBI and they did absolutely nothing.  In Kansas City, Missouri on Troost Avenue, me and my team were locked inside a building, escorted to our cars, for fear we would be preyed upon by enrollees in these programs. 

 

On the Reservation, I had to take a room at the Holiday Inn, in Sioux City, because the fella in charge of the project, who was sitting at a desk in a shack when I walked in was too busy giving instructions to a fella on    feeding the cattle.  Around the wall of the one room schack squatted five or six squaws on the floor.  One was

the bookkeeper, no adding machine, no chair, no desk, no office. I mean WTF! 

 

it was too dangerous to be on the Reservation the top indian said and the records were brought to me in a card board box in a hotel room, absolutely no qualified individual existed to administer funds or ensure compliance with the Federal Department of Labor Grants.   That was in the 70's when Russell Means and the boys were stirring the pot on Standing Rock and Pine Ridge, when I arrived at Ft. Yates on Standing Rock, everyone was gone, everyone was out either chasing or being chased by FBI agents.  Give me a break!.

 

So you will never convince me that throwing grant money to anyone is a good idea.  I also audited school districts, air force bases, and army bases who received these funds.  Their records were much better because most of the people in charge were literate and understood the rules of the game.

 

All grants should be eliminated, especially at land grant Universities which are nothing more than Alter-Egos for Monsanto, et. al., when new genetics are discovered  and the research funded by taxpayers, these discoveries should be "free" for use by farmers, not sold off to the highest bidder, and added to the cost of a bag of seed.  

 

Today, I own farmland at McLaughlin, South Dakota on Standing Rock, and nothing has changed since I conducted those audits in the early 1970's.  We have about 500 white people (mostly wheat farmers and ranchers) living in 2600 square miles of Corson county, the rest are Sioux Indians.Adios Amigo.   John 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Agriculture With No Farm Bill

I'm really not up on all this type of stuff.  So I have a stupid question.  Please explain to me how the dairy industry is subsidized by the government.

I don't see it.  I believe the price of milk is set and controlled pretty much by the government, but as a dairy farmer I don't think we see much governement money.  There is the MLC payments which don't kick in very often.  Mostly to me is seems they take money away from us with the price differential, which I don't even know what it is or how they figure it.  I think it protects manufacturers not farmers.

So if anyone knows where I'm supposedly getting governement money please tell me.

Honored Advisor

Re: Agriculture With No Farm Bill

Sounds like you have seen enough to have had a bellyful.  I despise the grant mentality...the proposition that something of value is necessarily going to come of most of them is ludicrous.  

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Contributor

Re: Agriculture Wtih No Farm Bill

If extension and experiment station federal involvement is still around in 5 years, I will be greatly surprised.  The feds do not control these programs, the state does.  These two programs are also tied to state universities and college education is being cut all the time.

 

At some point there is going to be a break in the federal/state bond. 

 

The outside is 10 years. 

 

 

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Contributor

Re: Agriculture With No Farm Bill

Loss of conservation funding would be very detrimental over time, I think.  Many aspects of abd strategies for public purposes like water quality conservation are not possible to cover out of a cashflow from production ag, without cost shares.   This is done mostly by NRCS and lesser by FSA.  Both federal USDA agencies.

 

The water quality programs are a USDA, EPA and probably other agency thing.  This is still a NRCS/FSA program.  I can see where this would be mandated by the feds without any money.

 

The bad thing about this whole conversation is when is the farmer part of USDA going away.  There are rumblings around to move some parts of USDA to EPA, HHS, Interior and other agencies.  In other words there is a possibility that there will be a farm bill in 5 or 10 years.  Farmers are making way to much money, gmos, etc. etc.

 

Without USDA, the funding will come from other agencies without as much input from farmers.  Mandates.

 

 

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Contributor

Re: Agriculture Wtih No Farm Bill/$42/acre in Subsidies

$210,000 is chump change when you are insuring 5000 acres x 200 bu corn/a x $7/bu.  My math comes out at  $7M.  The $210,000 is 3% cost.of the $7M.  Now I know about the 65, 75 etc. percentage, etc.  Not a bad return on a bad year.  I wished that I had crop insurance back when I got out of high school.  Maybe I would be farming.

 

 

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Contributor

Re: Agriculture With No Farm Bill

There is one persont that wishes that there were all of these hated programs around 35 years ago.  The very nature of the beast is that I got putshed out because there was a major drought in my part of the world and there were NO programs around to help me get started. 

 

So part of your rant is false. 

 

There are very few new people going into farmers that do not have a surgar daddy to get started.  If there were no USDA, then a lot more of the young people will shuck the farm life for a easier time in town with a better paying job than farming.

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Contributor

No it is not hypocritical...

Look at the number of voters in the US vs number of farmers.  Farmers are so few that they get lost in statistics.

 

I am surprised that the President and Republicans went to IA so many times.
  Totally

 

 

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