Your Tax Dollars Go To Big Local Farms

According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign...

The taxpayers are getting milked by corporate farms.

...Department of Commerce aid to farms and dairy operations totaled $16.6 million in grants, low-interest loans and tax credits to 633 recipients – averaging $26,285 each –between 1999 and mid-2004.

The programs helped only a sliver of Wisconsin’s 16,000 farm operations.

Per capita, contributors again received strikingly larger awards than non-contributors. Non-contributors, who numbered 613, or 97 percent, received $12.7 million in awards – averaging $20,702 apiece.

Meanwhile, the remaining 20 recipients, or 3 percent who made $25,472 in campaign contributions, received about $3.9 million or an average $197,387 apiece – nearly 10 times more than the awards to non-contributors...

...In addition to the disparity between contributors and non-contributors, corporate farms, like large corporations, got a bigger boost from the state than small operators. A large chunk of the grants and low-interest loans that Commerce Department programs doled out to farmers between 1999 and mid-2004 went to several corporate farms. Those operations, which have 700 or more animals, are often criticized for their adverse impacts on air and water quality and the survival of the typical small family farm.

The state was home to 135 corporate farms as of late 2004. Eighty-six of these farms received federal farm subsidies totaling $27.4 million between 1999 and 2003, and Commerce Department programs helped 48 of them with $6.4 million in low-interest loans and grants. That is about 38 percent of the total $16.6 million in awards doled out to the 633 farms and dairy operations by the department’s programs.

Like large corporations, at least some factory farm owners do not appear to need state aid to buy a large dairy operation. One recipient, James Thompson, received a $337,500 low-interest state loan to buy Thistle Dairy in Winnebago County in 2003. A Commerce Department staff review of the project noted Thompson, who would continue to live with his family on a farm in Northern Ireland, is the largest investor in a 2,700-cow farm in Michigan and an individual "with significant net worth."

To follow the money, read more at the

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Below is the list of the four CAFO currently permited to operate in St. Croix County.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign also provide tracking on were campaign contributions come from. The local CAFO's are very active in providing contributions to a variety of state politicans from Govenor Doyle to 30th Assembly Representative John Murtha and 10 District Senator Shelia Harsdorf.

Here's a contributions made on behalf of Emerald Dairy.

Below is a summary of the amounts made by individuals claiming Emerald Dairy as their employer:

Below is a summary made to candidates by individuals claiming Emerald Dairy as their employer:

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