According to recently released financial disclosures, Michele Bachmann’s family farm, which received significant federal farm aid, generated a profit to Bachmann and her family. The farm in question, Independence, Wisconsin based Bachmann Farm Family LP, received over a quarter of a million dollars in the form of federal farm aid between 1995 and 2008, while the farm was under the ownership of Bachmann’s father in law.
The controversy stems from Bachmann’s personal financial gain from the farm as well as her political views on federal farm subsidies. In an interview earlier this summer, Bachmann denied that she or her family received money from the farm, in which she is listed as a limited minority partner. However, according to her most recent financial disclosures, Bachmann reported receiving between $30,000 and $120,000 in income from the farm since 2006.
In addition to the incomes she received, the farm’s acceptance of federal farm subsidies raises some questions about Bachmann’s commitment to lowering federal spending, in particular her desire to reduce federal farm subsidies. Bachmann’s opposition to federal spending seems to run counter to her family farm’s receiving direct federal financial support.
The Bachmann controversy demonstrates the importance of maintaining federal farm subsidies and agricultural spending. Federal farm spending is so vital and ubiquitous that even major opponents to federal spending have received support from the federal government. As Congress prepares to cut trillions of dollars from the federal budget, politicians in Washington should remember how vital and necessary federal support is to the agricultural community as a whole.
Rather than exploit Bachmann’s political troubles for partisan gain, we should use them as examples of how important agricultural spending is to small farms across the United States, many of which can only remain in business with support from the federal government.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer