WaPo: Big Ag Corp Sold Land to Trump USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue for Pennies on the Dollar…

Brown said ADM wanted $4 million for the plant — 16 times what Perdue’s company ultimately paid for it

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Submitted to VT by the Washington Post

The Washington Post’s Desmond Butler reports: It was a curious time for Sonny Perdue to close a real estate deal. In February 2017, weeks after President Donald Trump selected him to be agriculture secretary, Perdue’s company bought a small grain plant in South Carolina from one of the biggest agricultural corporations in America.

An examination of public records by The Washington Post has found that the agricultural company, Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM), sold the land at a small fraction of its estimated value just as it stood to benefit from a friendly secretary of agriculture.

Jackie Anderson, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based ADM, denied that the company sold the property at a discount, saying that ADM began negotiations with Perdue’s former company, AGrowStar, in 2015 — well before Trump was elected — and could not find another buyer.

The Post constructed a 3-D model of the property using footage from drone flights over the two most valuable parcels in February.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Danny Brown, the former president of AGrowStar, confirmed negotiations began in late 2015. But Brown said ADM wanted $4 million for the plant — 16 times what Perdue’s company ultimately paid for it. The timing of the sale just as Perdue was about to become the most powerful man in U.S. agriculture raises legal and ethics concerns, from the narrow question of whether the secretary followed federal financial disclosure requirements to whether the transaction could have been an attempt to influence an incoming government official, in violation of bribery statutes, ethics lawyers say.
  • Public officials are barred from accepting anything of value if the benefit is given “with intent to influence.” ADM sold the plant in Estill, S.C., to Perdue’s then-company, AGrowStar, for $250,000 — a fraction of what county and independent appraisers say it is worth. Six years earlier, ADM had paid more than $5.5 million for the same land, a figure that closely matches assessments by independent experts contacted by The Post, who analyzed the value based on state records and drone footage of the property.
  • Months after Perdue took over the U.S. Department of Agriculture, his family trust sold AGrowStar to a group of investors along with all of its real estate for an undisclosed amount. According to Brown, AGrowStar sold for about $12 million. The real estate sales illustrate the limits of the financial disclosure rules intended to reveal potential conflicts of interest before confirmation.
  • The sale of Perdue’s company was also obscured by complex financial moves that appear to have evaded at least the spirit of an agreement Perdue made with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, according to Walter Shaub, who led the agency at the time.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. The new head of the USDA is another retread with nostalgia rather than vision, Vilsack (former gov of Iowa) has defended the monster corn and pink slime as “food”…. and Cindy McCain
    ” Biden has made his choice for role of ambassador to the UN’s Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization, the group tasked with coordinating efforts to meet a zero-hunger goal”
    “Cindy McCain has no obvious qualifications for the job—beyond appealing to the presidential tradition of using ambassadorships to reward political cronies.”

  2. found this tonight, the guy does a good job explaining how the chemical farming causes illness, but the positive zinger is if Real Organic farming returns and gets 16 % of market, then chemical farming becomes destabilized which would be a very good thing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aw16LPVnNco
    Chemical Farming & The Loss of Human Health – Dr. Zach Bush
    YT ch After Skool

  3. The department of agriculture was the, or one of trumps lowest priorities. The decimation of the farmers and food quality will not be fully known for some time. Purdue was unapologetic in his actions against small farmers. Many went under.
    Business minded corporate people make horrible farmers. Your food will be whatever is cheapest and easiest, and they will seek to crush anyone producing quality. If I had to rate the US agriculture right now, out of 10, I would say it is a 2. Every community should be able to feed itself. This is actually part of national security. Does anyone think Trump ever had a garden ? Oh, that’s right yea, they did rip out the rose garden. Poetic.

    • You should write more on this. Yes…we are getting total crap food….even worse than before.

    • The long game is to control crops and cattle. The crap they are growing in Iowa and Nebraska is used as ingredients in tons of food. People should be making their own baby food. Part of the obfuscation by blaming vaccines, is sourced from protecting the real sources of dumbing down and multiple syndromes in US health. Fly Ash, heavy metals, flouride, etc etc. The cows that are supposed to eat green grass are being force fed nasty monster corn and they must be butchered before it kills them. beef has never been worse, pork has never been worse, and chicken has never been worse. Beans and corn are the sacred staples in N A , and they have been turned into monsters.

    • The original new deal, the part that actually secured us and fed us, was the attention to agriculture, and it was possible for a farmer to be small and provide for their family. Massive corporations, some with religious agendas, are at war with that concept. The New Green deal, threatens poisoned stock, John Deer, the midwest monoculture in general, and incentivizes the return to food security. Just knowing Baby food has lead and arsenic way above allowable levels, and this causes brain abnormalities, should be enough for people to gravitate toward locally produced, organic food. No chemicals. Spraying poison on our food is insane. The way we prepare cattle is insane. Grass fed Holstein, is better than the angus people pay 15 bucks a lbs for. Food security is the front door to our house. And it hasn’t been manned for decades.

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