Millionaires Paid To Farm, Or Not Farm, Or Just Own Potential Farmland
These New Yorkers are raking in the green.
More than 1,500 city residents are getting federal farm subsidies, 374 on the Upper East Side alone.
The recipients include some “farmers” who already have their own well-cultivated money trees, among them Mark F. Rockefeller.
“That should really make people wonder what on earth has happened to the farm program,” said Craig Cox, senior vice president for agriculture and natural resources at the Environmental Working Group, which maintains a national database of farm-subsidy recipients.
“Payments are going to people in Manhattan who simply have invested in farmland and are about as far away from farmers as one could imagine.”
Rockefeller, a fourth-generation member of the family and the younger son of late Vice President Nelson Rockefeller, has gotten $342,634 in taxpayer handouts from 2001 through 2011 for thousands of acres of unused farmland he owns in Bonneville County, Idaho. The payments are made so that he does not farm, to allow the land to return to its natural state.
Nearby, Rockeller, a partner in investment firm Rockefeller Consulting/Insight Capitalists and a former director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, owns an upscale fly-fishing resort where a three-day stay starts at $3,835.