The Corner

New York City Farmers

Not an oxymoron, apparently:

Billionaires Edgar Bronfman Sr. and Leonard Lauder are among the New York City-based “farmers” who have received federal farm subsidies in the past several years, according to a new set of data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Between 2003 and 2005, Mr. Bronfman received $17,455 in subsidies for his farm in Virginia’s Albemarle County, and Mr. Lauder received $3,015.58 between 2003 and 2004 through his share of an organic farm in Idaho, the data show. Mr. Lauder no longer owns shares of the farm and has stopped receiving subsidies, aides said. Messages left at Mr. Bronfman’s office were not returned.

Until last year, the names of Messrs. Bronfman and Lauder were concealed behind farming companies and other ownership structures, but on a new set of records the USDA connects each owner of a company to the subsidies they received. Officials at a public interest group, Environmental Working Group, made the records available on its Web site this morning.

EWG has a blog called Mulch where you can read all about this stuff. Other famous farm-subsidy recipients include such struggling family farmers Ted Turner, Scottie Pippen and the late Ken Lay.