The image of the family farmer toiling away in the fields with dirt under his fingers is carefully promoted by the Agricultural Industry which – as per the recently released Census of Agriculture - continues to be more dominated each year by very large, corporate farms. The number of farms in the US has reversed and is going up because of an increase in retiree and other small farms that sell less than $1,000 in farm product each year. Meanwhile the number of very large farms, the value of agricultural land and the income generated from those large farms continues to increase as well while medium sized farms - those we usually think of as "family farms" - continues to decline. Many of the corporate farms are also (technically) family farms; they are owned by corporations comprised of one or more family members. They are “family farms” in the same sense that DuPont is a family company.
|Irrigation Elite mansion - and message - in the Lower Lost River Basin|
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has obtained the information and placed it in a searchable database. We used that database to look at payment of taxpayer funds to leaders of the two principle political organizations based in the Klamath River Basin which represent agricultural interests:
• The Family Farm Alliance (FFA) is a national organization based in Klamath Falls which lobbies the federal government on behalf of agricultural interests.
• The Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) is a local organization also based in Klamath Falls. It represents irrigation interests which obtain water from the Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Project.
What we found is presented and summarized below.