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9 Nines

USDA heads squashing internal reports that show the subsidies are mostly going to ultra rich, large farms - not regular farmers

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9 Nines   

Economists flee Agriculture Dept. after feeling punished under Trump

Reports showing farmers hurt by the president’s policies have drawn the ire of top officials.



05/07/2019 05:03 AM EDT




“Things like conservation, rural development, food assistance, have just been de-emphasized” in favor of the administration’s preferred topics, said one economist who left ERS because of the relocation plan.


Former ERS Administrator Susan Offutt, who oversaw the service under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, said the agency’s studies showing how USDA’s farm-subsidy programs disproportionately benefit wealthier farmers have been a “perennial irritant” to influential lobbying groups, but an “over-the-top reaction” to clamp down on such reports would be unprecedented.


“Of course, this is not the story the farm lobby wants to tell about struggling farmers,” said Offutt. “Controlling ERS would stop unflattering news about federal farm subsidies favoring high-income, high-wealth farm households from reaching the public.”



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