Commentary: USDA’s billions in wasteful spending
Item 65 – Cash Cows. The next brilliant expenditure of USDA is to our friends at Kansas State University who are concerned that cattle and bison may shrink in overall size in the next 50 years because of global warming. USDA and Kansas researchers apparently believe that rising temperatures may cause grass to grow more slowly resulting in smaller cattle and bison. K-State will be joined by scientists from Oklahoma State, University of Oklahoma and Tarleton State University. The K-State research team, according to Sen. Coburn, will be led by three K-State professors, one of whom is an associate professor of sociology. Where is our friend Dr. Flinchbaugh when we really need him?
Item 78 – This one I could not pass up for a good laugh. Yale University has received, not from USDA but from the National Science Foundation, $384,989 to study the oddities of the duck penis. This study comes from the 2009 Stimulus Bill (aptly named!). The NSF website claims we need to better understand duck reproduction. Really!
The description, according to Sen. Coburn, notes the project will, "incorporate high school students from underrepresented minorities." I am not making this up but a key finding of this study is describing the corkscrew-like shape of a duck’s penis, which apparently has been determined by one researcher saying, "This is literally anti-screw anatomy." As I said, you cannot make this up.
I have been picking on the silliness at USDA and their wasting of our tax money but cannot close without discussing Sen. Coburn’s bridge to nowhere. Apparently the bridge project in Alaska is still alive. The bridge to nowhere is expected to cost approximately $750,000,000 for a two lane project to a small island in Alaska with few people living there. Sen. Coburn says as of Oct. 31, 2013, $67,000,000 has been spent on a bridge to nowhere that is unlikely to ever be built.
Sen. Colburn's Waste Book will not only make you laugh, but also cry for our country.
Gary H. Baise is a principal at OFW Law (Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz P.C.). This article first appeared in Farm Futures magazine. The opinions presented here are expressly those of the author. For more information, go to www.OFWlaw.com.
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