Buffers: farmer mentions removal of Dakota people, whines about land grabs in same breath


The tweet above by a friend who attended the Governor’s buffer initiative meeting in Worthington was fleshed in a Worthington Daily Globe article by Julie Buntjer, Dayton’s buffer initiative targets water quality:

A New Ulm-area farmer was the first to speak up, saying that of the 55 million acres in Minnesota, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages more than 5 million acres, and 27 million acres is in production agriculture.

“I foresee this as a land grab,” the man said. “My ancestors settled in southern Minnesota in 1858. They removed the Native Americans from this property to gain access to it, and now I look at our government moving us off of our land.”

Moerke noted in a message that this statement caused some in the audience to groan.  Buntjer reports on the governor’s response:

“We’re not trying to take your land away, but when it comes to runoff and stuff going into the water, that’s a different story,” Dayton responded. “If everything were good out there, there’d be no reason to get involved with it.”

He then turned the table on the crowd, asking for solutions to clean up Minnesota’s waters.

Covering the same meeting, MInnesota Public Radio’s Mark Steil reports in Plan to curb runoff too costly, unworkable, farmers tell Dayton:

At a meeting in Worthington Thursday, farmers said they want to help solve the problem. But many told Dayton his plan goes too far and would take too many acres of cropland out of production.

“I foresee this as a land grab,” said Tim Waibel of New Ulm, Minn. “When you start taking 50 feet of my ditch slopes away, it hurts you in the back pocket.”

Moerke confirmed that Waibel is the same guy who mentioned that his ancestors removed Native Americans from the land and he now fears a land grab by the government.  This is a curious take from a guy who grabbed $588,971 in farm subsidies between 1995-2001, $4,765 of which came from conservation subsidies, between 1995 and 2012, according tothe EWG Farm Subsidy Database.

Here’s a screengrab of the payments:


[Another sign of Tim Waibel’s oppression are the crop subsidies he’s received, via EWG Farm Subsidies Database. He’s a victim.]

Waibel’s farm property is locate in rural Courtland, Nicollet County. Courtland is a small town near New Ulm.  Waibel’s wife, Mary Jean Waibel, received $115,293 in subsidies from 2006 through 2012, according to the EWG database.

In an added twist of irony, the New Ulm Journal reported in 2008 that the Pawlenty administration gave the Waibels a good neighbor award. In the Journal article State recognizes Courtland couple for consideration of neighbors’ noses, we learn:

Tom Waibel explained many of the things that he and Mary Jean and their children have done on their farm. 

The Waibels use the Conservation Resource Program, which returns farmland to its natural state, on three pieces of the land they farm. The adjacent land has government-recommended buffer strips.

Apparently, Waibel was for buffer strips before he was against them, just as appropriation of native land and deportation of the former residents was a-okay in the 19th century, but asking for landowners to keep their lands but plant vegetative riparian buffer strips is so totally a land grab.