Marlin Stutzman has a credibility problem.  On one hand, he decries subsidies and states,

“I think it’s time to get rid of farm subsidies.” “The subsidies only manipulate the market.”

But on the other hand, he accepts subsidies for his businesses – a total of $179,370 in his name alone – the bulk of which went to Michigan farming.  And, when you include the $819,202 paid to his “partner” father, Albert Stutzman, the subsidy total jumps to just shy of $1,000,000.  Pretty nifty gift considering Stutzman opposes subsidies.

His policy maneuvering has to lead one to ask just which position does he support?  Now that he is in the spotlight, he seems to be taking a hard right in disowning subsidy dependence.  Beginning in 1997 – over 13 years ago – he and his family began taking subsidies and did not miss a year.

Stutzman’s defense?

“Yeah, we still do (take subsidies), and we have to by law.” “I don’t think it’s right, but by law the producer has to take the farm subsidies. We’re mandated to take them if we’re going to farm certain properties that are owned by other landlords.”

These statements require explanation.  Farm subsidies come with qualifications that must be met – either by the landlord-owner leasing farmland to another to farm or by the owner-operator  farming his or her own land.   Which is it for Stutzman?  Either situation hinges on qualifications.

Somewhere back in the Stutzman past, an application had to be made to receive the subsidies, in particular for the land actually owned by the Stutzman family .  The USDA Conservation program does not simply go looking for farmers who qualify.  If the land is owned by the Stutzmans, then one of the  Stutzmans made application for the subsidies.

If, on the other hand, the land is owned by a landlord and leased to Stutzman, the same criteria applies – someone made an application.  The subsidy value can be built into the acreage rental value of the lease amount with the owner of the land receiving a small amount and the producer receiving a larger amount.  Either way, Stutzman benefits from the very thing he opines he so detests.

That’s what I call giving real meaning to “actions speak louder than words.”

Farm subsidies


About Charlotte A. Weybright

I own a home in the historical West Central Neighborhood of Fort Wayne, Indiana. I have four grown sons and nine grandchildren - four grandsons and five granddaughters. I love to work on my home, and I enjoy crafts of all types. But, most of all, I enjoy being involved in political and community issues.
This entry was posted in Agriculture and Food Production, Farming, Government, Marlin Stutzman, Republicans, Third District and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. If he is required to accept the subsidies, he can still voluntarily pay it back when he files his 1040. Good post!

  2. john b. kalb says:

    Enders – How do you know if he does what you suggest or not?? Do you somehow have a way to view his past 1040s?

  3. Arthur Lewis says:

    The truth is that the subsidies go to the big farmers, who hardly need them. They are the ones gobbling up all of the land they can get, and then cynically play on public sympathy for the ‘small farmer’. Small farmers, who could really benefit from subsidies, have little political clout.

  4. Arthur:

    Yes – the big farmers get the bulk of the subsidies. My point, though, is not that subsidies are evil or should be abolished. Small farmers need help at times to be able to survive.

    Stutzman called for the end of subsidies, but all the time knew he and his father were benefiting from them. That is truly hypocritical, and, so far, he hasn’t provided an explanation that absolves him from his hypocrisy.

    • Arthur Lewis says:

      Charlotte, we’re in agreement. I only meant to point out that everything that is set up to help the smaller farmers, and other businessmen, becomes distorted into corporate welfare eventually. There should be caps, or some other mechanism, to prevent farmers who are already millionaires (like Stutzman) from sucking on the public teat, to use a farmer’s term.

  5. Dave says:

    Stutzman walked the Grabill Parade this year… I didn’t see Mark Sauder there although I had heard that he planned on being in the parade. hmmm…
    I thought you had to be a hypocrite to be part of the GOP. Sauder was certainly qualified … and he proved it. Certainly Palin is qualfied as well. Seems like Stutzman will fit right in. It is the old GOP grab the money and run game.. do one thing and advertise the other as nobody will notice..

    Unfortunately this part of the county doesn’t think much when voting. I bet that if Sauder was running he would be voted back in – seriously – even if he ran on a platform of family values..

  6. john b. kalb says:

    Dave – You probably would never see a former congressman named Sauder in a parade at Grabill – but you would have seen one named David Souder. I know that spellcheck doesn’t work on most surnames, but if you are from around Allen County, you should know how to spell the name of the person you are demonizing!

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