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Noem Still Getting Farm Subsidies; Family Farm Closes with $233K Welfare Send-Off

Last updated on 2013.10.17

The Environmental Working Group has new farm subsidy data up for 2012. The Washington Post summarizes the data with this fun map and a list of the top Congress critters enjoying their slurps at the subsidy trough:

Farm subsidy map and list of top Congressional recipients in 2012

Interesting to map those bands of farm subsidy payments... and to see almost none of those welfare payments in the liberal Northeast.

Rep. Kristi Noem has significantly cut her farm subsidy take. After enjoying a $481K share of her family corporation's over $3 million in farm welfare payments from 1995 to 2011, South Dakota's lone Congresswoman took just $1,400 in direct payments last year, similar to the amounts she received in 2010 and 2011.

Perspective: Congresswoman Kristi Noem earns $174,000 a year, and she receives a welfare check. Spearfish High School French teacher and middle school drama director Cory Allen Heidelberger is earning $37,500 this year and will receive no welfare check.

Noem cashed out her share of her family's Racota Valley Ranch in 2008. Her mom and brothers-in-law took one more big swig of corporate last year, drawing $232,707 in handouts ($164K for disaster, $62K for crops, $6K for conservation) before dissolving the corporation at the end of 2012. Way to finish big, Arnolds!


  1. Jenny 2013.06.03

    No Cory, families with children getting food stamps is far worse than a wealthy farm family getting welfare checks. Families on food stamps do not contribute to society in any way, shape or form. You have it completely wrong.

  2. Barry G Wick 2013.06.03

    Families on food stamps do not contribute to society?...ha...what a joke. By spending their food stamps they keep the food industry open and thriving. That "money" turns in the economy providing jobs for people who haven't been unlucky or tossed away from corporate America. Those poor families are less likely to be seen starving on street corners. The few stories of welfare fraud and "Cadillac Queens" are examples used by Republican politicians to "prove" that food stamps should be eliminated. The vast majority of food stamp users really need the help. Not all in poverty are drinking, drugging or otherwise using funds that could provide food for their families. Seniors who get food stamps and who are on social security often make choices between eating and again, the food stamps go towards keeping these citizens from starving and being a drain on bloated and edifice-happy churches and charities. Lastly, food stamps keep children growing strong and healthy so that the real business of America...robbing and raping the rest of the world for resources with our military and corporate welfare recipients, i.e. providing "cannon fodder" for the various segments of our military in need of people to "give the ultimate sacrifice" and become heroes for greedy, bloated and ineffective politicians to exploit by having tear-filled pictures taken with grieving, poor families. Food stamps are an American miracle designed to keep the engine of democracy chugging over the bodies of little brown and yellow people worldwide.

  3. Joan 2013.06.03

    I have to agree with Barry on this. I know several people on food stamps, but they are all in the category of the working poor, disabled or senior citizens. Any farm that is considered a corporation shouldn't qualify for farm subsidies. It would be interesting to know how many farm hands the Noems have, on their "family farm." It would also be nice to know why they dissolved the corporation.

  4. Jenny 2013.06.03

    I was speaking like a fiscal conservative.

  5. Jil 2013.06.03

    You were speaking like a good Republican Jenny....
    That is horrible.
    Most seniors have to decide between food and prescription drugs. How about Walmart workers.....we argue against raising the minimum wage and yet WE the tax payer end up paying for it in food stamps.....silly. Why not just pay a living wage????
    How can Noem live with herself in good conscience. Selfish greed!

  6. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.03

    Jenny is not Kristi Noem, but she understands Kristi Noem's mindset very well. Please direct your ire at our Congresswoman, who makes a very comfortable living off the same federal government whom she demonizes to get elected.

  7. G-Man 2013.06.03

    Great reporting Cory! The map and your subsequent article is definitley an enlightening piece on where the welfare money is really going. Don't forget Krisit's pension, along with the pensions of all former Congressmen and Presidents.

  8. G-Man 2013.06.03

    Let's not forget about the huge corporate farm welfare payments as Cory has reported on in the past. Ah yes, the big ones catching the big payments from the taxpayer.

  9. Bree S. 2013.06.03

    It's funny to watch the liberals, in their hurry to attack Kristi Noem, demonstrate their citified lack of understanding of the farming lifestyle and the struggles of farmers to survive drought, hail, flood, inflated land values, and the vagaries of the market foisted upon them by FDR and his New Deal - thereby stereotyping and alienating the very people they need to get elected in South Dakota.

  10. bwschwartz 2013.06.03

    "It's funny to watch the liberals, in their hurry to attack Kristi Noem, demonstrate their citified lack of understanding of the farming lifestyle and the struggles of farmers to survive"

    I know right Bree. Everybody knows that liberals don't farm so they can't possible know what farmers deal with.../s

  11. rollin potter 2013.06.03

    Bree s and bwschwartz, Maybe you say that liberals don't farm but the conservatives sure like the liberal farm programs (chapter 12 etc.) that they feast on!!! I know what the farmers deal with!!!!! Government hand outs at the FSA office!!!!! Don't tell me after living on the farm since 1958 what the plow jockeys live on!!!! I have six(or more) plow jockeys with in five miles of me who are living off the government handouts!!! Chapter 12 etc.!!!!

  12. Joan 2013.06.03

    I grew up on a farm, back in the day when there wasn't farm subsidies, and what crop insurance there was, was so high priced we couldn't afford it, but we got buy. This applies to a lot of other farmers of that era.

  13. rollin potter 2013.06.03

    right on joan!!!!!! when the going got tough i went out and worked on construction instead of running to the fsa office looking for a hand out. I put up bins for plow jockeys who bought grain and hauled in to boost there yield records to turn into the fsa to boost there payments!!!

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.03

    Bree, baloney. Farmers are no privileged class. Life is hard all over. Storms, floods, accidents, cancer, downturns in the market, outsourcing, misguided austerity programs... we all face risks. How does pointing out the contradiction (as Rolling and Joan do) between conservative campaign slogans and dependence on farm subsidies alienate any voters? Seems to me they're educating, not alienating.

  15. Bree S. 2013.06.03

    I believe in a two party system.

  16. Les 2013.06.03

    Corey, your cost of employment(insurance, unemployment, fica, etc) is close to half your wages for a 9 month stint. There is a value I don't see expressed.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.06.04

    Les, if we're comparing Kristi and me, her benefits beat mine even more than her straight salary beats mine. I'd love to get her travel and staff allowance! And by one count, she is actually in the office fewer weeks than I am. (But let's not bog down in the calendar: teachers spend the summer taking classes and gathering materials for next year; Congresspeople spend the recesses doing constituent service and outreach.)

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