Land prices are booming because of strong crop prices and the Federal Reserve’s low-interest-rate policy. Large agriculture-related companies are swarming Midwest campuses, snapping up agricultural science students: The Wall Street Journal reports that ag students enjoy the third-lowest unemployment rate of any undergraduate major.
Farmers are wealthy, the U.S. food supply is not remotely at risk — and yet the government still piles on the subsidies. They totaled an annual average of $11.5 billion over the past four years, according to USDA. Farmers get direct payments for growing certain commodities, deeply subsidized crop insurance, cash rewards for practicing soil conservation — you name it. The programs distort markets and shift resources to agriculture that might find more efficient use elsewhere. Sorry, ag science grads: That includes your labor.