Cumberland Times-News

Jan Alderton - Opinion

April 11, 2008

Farm subsidies abound in area

Farm subsidies continue to be a big expenditure for American taxpayers, with about $13 billion in subsidies expected to be paid out this year, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

In our area, scores of farmers and other individuals receive the payments.

For the period 1995-2005, 69 Allegany County residents received $401,926. During the same period, subsidies in Garrett County amounted to $4.7 million to 352 recipients. Mineral County, W.Va., saw 275 people sharing $1.66 million. Hampshire County, W.Va., had 547 recipients and $7.59 million.

Top recipients in each of those areas were:

Allegany County — Ronald Shipley, Little Orleans, $200,835; Gary P. Browning, Oldtown, $89,624.

Garrett County — Ernest L. Ganoe Jr., Frostburg, $256,358; Scenic Vista Farms Inc., Grantsville, $227,272.

Mineral County — Flying W. Farms, Burlington, $117,546; Brookedale Holsteins, Keyser, $112,800.

Hampshire County — Mount Levels Orchard, Levels, $395,278; Lorin Kane Shanholtz, Romney, $304,816,

A complete state-by-state, county-by-county list is available to the public at http://farm.ewg.org/farm/farm/....

When the Cumberland Police Department turned to the Internet auction site eBay to sell surplus motorcycles, it was joining a growing movement among governmental agencies. Two 1997 Harley-Davidson motorcycles fetched $17,100 for the city.

The Boston Globe reports that schools are turning to eBay-style auctions for fund-raisers. Rather than asking parents for money month after month, the schools use online auctions to sell donated items like restaurant gift certificates, sports tickets, memorabilia and the like. Some schools have raised as much as $20,000 through such auctions....

The Parade Magazine inside today’s Times-News features the publication’s 25th annual What People Earn. The magazine peeks into the pocketbooks of Americans in all 50 states and features photos, and salary figures, for everyone from pro athletes, movie stars and corporate CEOs to farmers, school teachers and cosmetologists.

While you are gleaning through the information, take time to enter Parade’s $50,000 What People Earn sweepstakes....

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Jan Alderton - Opinion
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