BySky Chadde/Gannett Ag Data Fellow and Lucille Sherman/Gannett Data and Investigations Reporter |
The Trump Administration has paid farmers billions to offset losses from ongoing trade wars, but millions have also gone to an alternative farm lender.
Agrifund LLC, which does business as Ag Resource Management, or ARM, has received more trade mitigation money than anyone else, according to a Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of U.S. Department of Agriculture data.
ByLeah Douglas/Food and Environment Reporting Network |
A community divided. A local official accused of self-dealing. A top political appointee ousted from his job. In Wisconsin, a state where the footprint of agribusiness is growing, the question of how to regulate factory farms is a pressing topic from the town hall to the statehouse.
The partnership is emblematic of the broader system of industry-sponsored research that takes place in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and especially in the Division of Plant Sciences. Corporate money goes to MU professors on both ends of the research spectrum, from basic science to product testing.
Industry’s stake in the system is clear. Companies gain the expertise and credibility of renowned plant science experts , University Extension experts who Missouri farmers trust.
Critics of new proposed rules regulating how oil and gas refineries blend biofuels say the federal administration’s generous exemptions to large refineries have contributed to the shuttering of at least 10 ethanol plants since 2017.
In Washington D.C. Friday, President Trump announced that China and the U.S. had reached a tentative trade agreement. The announcement came at the end of a 13th round of trade talks between the two nations over 18 months. Though the president's statement was light on details, one promise brought cautious optimism to U.S. farmers and ranchers. Trump said the deal will include $50 billion in U.S. agricultural goods heading to China, though no timeline was mentioned. More than 800 miles west of Washington D.C., Rich Guebert, a farmer in Ellis Grove, Illinois, hoped the rain would hold off long enough for him to finish harvesting corn.
Two of the biggest food companies in the U.S. were fined a $16 million penalty for allegedly manipulating the wheat market for its own gain as part of a settlement agreement reached in August. When the federal agency posted a news release about it, the two food companies complained the agency broke its part of the agreement.
ByClaire Hettinger/MIdwest Center for Investigative Reporting |
United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue took the stage at the Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois, Wednesday to discuss the U.S.-China trade war, trade agreements and other problems facing farmers. He was interviewed by long-time agriculture journalists Max Armstrong and Orion Samuelson. Then the president called.