Farmers raisin' hell over the 'Raisin Reserve'.
There is a government program which can force a farmer to hand over nearly half of his or her annual crop without getting paid for it. The removed crop is put into a national reserve.
It's not corn, the nation's No. 1 crop and a commodity which can move markets. It's not soybeans, wheat, cotton or even rice. It's raisins.
Under a World War II era program, raisins can be forcibly set aside under the Raisin Marketing Order to help support prices. Other crops have had similar set asides over the years, but nothing has survived like the raisin reserve.
In the past, "We got paid for our raisins," said fourth-generation California farmer Laura Horne of the program. That changed a little over a decade ago. Now the USDA can take the grapes without paying a dime.
Raisin Administrative Committee President Gary Schulz could not comment on the case to CNBC, but in the past he has said some of the raisins in the reserve are sold overseas, with proceeds used to cover committee costs and to promote raisin consumption. Any leftover profits are supposed to be distributed back to farmers, though Schulz told The Washington Post, "We pretty well spent it all." <snip>
Raisin Administrative Committee.
What a scam. The farmers plant the vines. Water, pick and dry the fruit then the government run committee takes almost half away with no reimbursement at all. Then sell the same raisins overseas and use the money to pay for their committee. I love to see who owns the trucking companies, warehouses, office building being payed by the committee.
The Raisin Administrative Committee is based in Fresno, California and is overseen by the United States Department of Agriculture. Committee members are made up of industry representatives, who then decide what to do with the stockpiled supply. The profits from the raisins, often seized for no payment, are then used to pay the expenses of the committee or pay back farmers for their seized produce. In one recent year, $65,483,211 was made, although it was all spent, with none left over for farmers, according to the review of one recent year. <snip>
They haven't actually taken and added any raisins to the reserves for three years now, though. Currently there aren't any plans to take any raisins.
This is esoteric crap you learn if you spend a lot of time in Fresno!