Since the founding of our nation, agriculture has remained one of the countries most viable industries, and is still the top industry in Alabama.
Federal farm subsidies were originally created during the great depression to support family farms and America’s food supply. Now, however, some are used for a different purpose; making wealthy investors and large corporations more wealthy.
“It was never the intent of Congress to create a new class of millionaires through federal farm subsidies. Yet, the subsidies continue to flow,” Adam Andrzejewski wrote to Forbes. “Last year alone, a very fortunate 400 entities, including farmers, corporations, and agri-businesses, harvested between $1 million and $9.9 million each in federal farm subsidies.”
Some key findings of the report were:
- The federal government awarded $13.2 billion in farm subsidies to 957,109 recipients in fiscal year 2017.
- America’s five most populated cities received $17 million, collectively, in farm subsidies – Chicago ($7.7 million); Miami ($4.5 million); New York City ($2.8 million); Los Angeles ($1.6 million); and Philadelphia ($309,000) – during a three-year period.
- Paid not to farm – $1.8 billion in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments flowed to farmers in fiscal year 2017. Farmers received these rental payments in exchange for not using their land. The contracts can last between 10 and 15 years.
On the interactive map included in the Open The Books report, the wealthiest zip codes in Alabama yielded no results. However, several Alabamian farms made the list of farms who had received over $1 million since 2008.
Big Creek Farms in Grand Bay, Ala. received nearly $3 million in federal farm subsidies in 2017 alone, and Driskell Cotton Farms has received over $4.7 million since 2008.
Red Mountain Harvesting LLC in Birminhgam, Ala. was reported to have earned over $1.3 million in federal farm subsidies since 2008