FEBRUARY 18, 2015
In an effort to “diversify American agriculture” the Obama administration has embarked on a multi-million-dollar spending spree and this month proudly announced the creation of a new Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center.
The new facility will be dedicated to collecting and analyzing data, developing policy recommendations and evaluating policy concerning socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers including minorities, veterans and Native Americans. It’s simply the latest of many costly initiatives launched by the president to even the playing field in farming and ranching. In the last few years the administration has allocated more than $66 million to conduct training, outreach and technical assistance to minority and veteran farmers and ranchers, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the bloated agency that doles out the money.
There seems to be no end in sight to the cash flow. In fact, just a few weeks ago the administration announced another allocation of over $9 million to support socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. The USDA does a great job advertising the taxpayer dollar giveaway on its website, announcing in all upper case and bold letters “NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS!!” for fiscal year 2015. The site touts the program for improving the supply of skilled agriculture workers and helping socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers own and operate farms, ranches and nonindustrial forest lands.
The minority initiative proves that “an investment in all of America’s farmers and ranchers is an investment in our future,” according to USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden, who announced the new policy center this month. Harden went on to claim that America’s farmers and ranchers must be “diverse” in experience, background and skills to stay competitive. “Every farmer and rancher has something to contribute to America’s agriculture,” she said.
On the same week that the agency announced the $9 million to support socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, it also gave an additional $18 million to “strengthen the research, teaching and extension capabilities at 19 historically black” colleges and universities. That allocation was announced by the USDA’s Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Joe Leonard, and is part of different program to help minorities—in this case blacks—succeed in agriculture. The grant is an example of the Obama administration’s commitment to institutions, known as 1890 land-grant universities, that provide higher education opportunities in underserved communities, according Leonard.
The USDA has been one of agencies the Obama administration has most utilized to help poor minorities, mainly though costly, fraud-infested programs that have wasted huge sums of taxpayer dollars. A perfect example is food stamps. The administration has shattered records by giving 50 million people free groceries at a mind-boggling cost of $80.4 billion. Food-stamp corruption is so pervasive that last year Judicial Watch reported that the administration dedicated millions of dollars to crack down on the fraud, which includes using social media to illegally sell and buy food stamps online. JW has also reported that illegal immigrants get food stamps from Uncle Sam and the USDA Inspector General has confirmed that recipients use their welfare benefit to buy drugs, weapons and other contraband from unscrupulous vendors. Some trade food stamps for reduced amounts of cash.
Michelle Obama’s $4.5 billion initiative to conquer childhood obesity in underserved communities is also administered by the USDA via a number of scandal-plagued programs in which taxpayers provide low-income populations with healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The inner city neighborhoods are “food deserts” that don’t have affordable healthy food and therefore the government must provide it to assure that minorities eat healthier. After pouring tens of millions of dollars into that outrageous program, a recent study, focusing on Philadelphia’s inner-city food desert, revealed that it’s not working. The government helped build new markets and added healthy food options to convenience stores in the city’s low-income neighborhoods, but residents didn’t consume it and there was no improvement in their body-mass index after six months.
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