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Noem Beats Former SD House Colleagues for Farm Subsidies

Eager commenter Jana asks a reasonable question: as our legislators preach austerity and self-reliance, how many of them are benefiting from farm subsidies from Uncle Sam? We all know Subsidy Queen Kristi Noem creams her former colleagues in Pierre in suckling at the government teat. But among the currentState House members, we find the following recipients of federal largesse from 1995 to 2009 (courtesy of the redoubtable Environmental Working Group Farm Subsidy Database, as close as I can figure, without tracking down spouses and ugly cousins... andopen to correction for duplicate names!):

  • Rep. Thomas Brunner (R-29/Nisland): $102,003 (part owner, Brunner Dairy, Inc., $233,807)
  • Rep. H. Paul Dennert (D-2/Columbia): $140,900
  • Rep. Dennis Feickert (D-3/Aberdeen): $60,015
  • Rep. Kent Juhnke (R-21/Vivian): $58,277
  • Rep. Frank Kloucek (D-19/Scotland): $176,489
  • Rep. Betty Olson (R-28B/Prairie City): $7,014
  • Rep. James Schaefer (R-21/Kennebec): $541,918
  • Rep. Dean Schrempp (D-28A/Lantry): $426,608
  • Rep. David Sigdestad (D-1/Pierpont): $364,562
  • Rep. Steven Street (D-4/Revillo): $473,998
  • Rep. Burton Tulson (R-6/Lake Norden): $1,856
  • Rep. Edward Van Gerpen (R-19/Avon): $132,428
  • Rep. Mark Venner (R-24/Pierre): $64,718

Add those 13 House members' subsidies up ($2.55 million), and they still don't outdo the three-plus million hauled off by Noem's family business.

I'll tackle our Senators later. In the meantime, feel free to search the EWG database for the kolkhozy in your ZIP code!


  1. Wayne B. 2011.03.04


    In the past 15 years, SD has received $8,965,000,000 in farm subsidies. Racotah Valley Ranch has received $3 mil plus change. Quick number crunching shows RVR has received 0.034 percent of those subsidies.

    Wow... 9 billion coming into South Dakota over the past 15 years. That's something to ponder. An average $600,000,000 coming into our economy each year. If we got rid of subsidies, how much of that would be made up in higher food prices? How much would just be lost? How would practices change? How many farmers would go out of business? How many other jobs would be lost because that money isn't there? ... I should've pursued a Ph.D. in economics :p

    Of that almost 9 billion dollars in welfare, $1,170,000,000 goes to conservation. I'm a fan of CRP and other programs which pay farmers to leave land for wildlife. I'm a fan of encouraging farmers not to plant fencepost to fencepost so that wildlife has nesting ground and we can enjoy all those critters.

  2. larry kurtz 2011.03.04

    I smoked pot with Mark Venner in 1977 after shooting a deer on his dad's ranch. Thought you might find this interesting, Cory.

  3. snapper 2011.03.05

    Noem is so fake. People all over Pierre the last couple weeks told me how unpopular Noem is with the legislature and other politicial people. Apparently she does't know how to remember the common folk. She has moved on and so should we.

    No more NOem.

    If everyone who knows Kristi said - I know what she is really like and I'm going to stop forgiving her just because she is alfa and hot she would lose soon.

  4. Nick Nemec 2011.03.05

    When looking up farm payments it really helps to know the names of any corporate or dba names an individual might have.

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