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More corporate welfare in Michigan for Agri-business companies while child poverty grows

August 23, 2017

Earlier this week, MiBiz reported that the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in conjunction with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. will be giving out $4.7 millions to agri-business entities to expand their already large production projects.

This is not surprising considering the history of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC). Both of these government run entities are essentially using taxpayer funds to give to agri-business companies, because this is the kind of work that both groups do. That is to say, both the MDARD and MEDC do not generally provide funding to small businesses or small sustainable farms.

Another corporate entity, the Michigan Agri-business Association has hundreds of members, but some of the largest members are a who’s who of toxic and destructive companies like Bayer, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Syngenta and Enbridge.

Most of the space provided to spokespersons in the MiBiz article is from these three agri-business entities.

The article does provide some commentary space to one of the companies benefiting from the taxpayer subsidies, the largest egg producer in Michigan, Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch.

Herbruck’s has been under a great deal of scrutiny for years because of its environmental record, since the company runs Controlled Animal Feeding Operations, known as CAFOs. You’ve probably see one of their larger facilities, which can be seen from highway 96 as you travel eat, right before the Ionia exit. 

Herbruck’s is no stranger to living off of taxpayer money. The Environmental Working Group, which has a massive Farm Subsidy Data Base shows that Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch has received $430,864 between 1995 – 2014. You can search the data base yourself to see who else is receiving corporate welfare.

One of the other agri-business entities receiving corporate welfare is Fairlife LLC, operating in Coopersville, Michigan. The company makes a milk drink and is actually a subsidiary of the largest beverage company on the planet, the Coca Cola Company

Nice to know that we are all paying money to agri-business corporations so they can they can expand and make even more profits, while so many people are just trying to survive.

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