>The question should not be if Stonyfield Dairy CEO and prolific Democrat donor Gary Hirshberg gets another pile of taxpayer cash, it should be “how much is he going to get?” But whatever do I mean?
The University of New Hampshire has just been approved to receive a Department of Agriculture grant totaling $2.86 million dollars to “enhance the year-round capacity of northeast organic dairy producers to produce high quality component-enriched organic milk.”
Hirshberg is almost always on the receiving end of taxpayer funded public largesse. In August of 2010 he was awarded $100,000.00 by Democrat Governor John Lynch and the State of New Hampshire as part of a job training program.
Not long after Stonyfield was fingered by Senator Tom Coburn over the matter of a $700,000.00 Federal grant to the University of New Hampshire to study the environmental impact of organic dairy farms on the environment. Who do you think just happens to have an organic Dairy Farm? An organic dairy farm run by the Hirshberg’s but majority owned by Dannon /Group Danone, one of the largest food companies on the face of planet earth.
How big is Danone?
In May of 2011 Danone joined the OTC Markets Group Index. Reuters posted the press release with the following company description.
One of the fastest-growing food companies in the world, Danone is present in over 120 countries on five continents. Its mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible. In 2010 Danone had more than 160 production plants and around 100,000 employees, generating sales of Euro 17 billion, of which half were in emerging markets. The group holds top positions in healthy food through four businesses: it ranks no. 1 worldwide in Fresh Dairy Products, no. 2 in Bottled Water and Baby Nutrition, and is Europe‘s no. 1 Medical Nutrition Company. Listed on Euronext Paris, Danone is a component stock of leading social responsibility indexes including the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes DJSI Stoxx and DJSI World, ASPI Eurozone and the Ethibel Sustainability Index.
SOURCE OTC Markets Group Inc.
So with global sales of around $23.6 Billion dollars (€17 Billion), a company with $39 Billion (€28.1 Billion) in assets, which made about $2.6 billion (€1.87 Billion) in profits last year, just happens to own a dairy Farm in New Hampshire that is a scheduled whistle-stop for every available taxpayer funded Democrat party handout that comes along?
Did you recall in paragraph one where I mentioned that the Hirshberg’s were major Democrat party donors?
This all pales in comparison to Meg Hirshberg, his wife. Her name turns up an enormous history of Democrat giving. Here are Meg’s Democrat donations as Margret, more as Meg, even more with a misspelled last name, and another one here. And don’t forget Ethan Hirshberg, or how about Alex? And then there’s the Stonyfield manager, Nancy Hirshberg. Nancy donates healthy sums to Democrats as well. Could there be more? This site doesn’t list small contributions so of course there’s more. Anyone want to see if they donate to UNH as well? I didn’t bother.
So we’ve got serial Democrat donors (and Obama supporters) dumping huge amounts of cash into the state party and all manner of Federal level candidates and Democrat committees; Democrat donors who run an organic dairy and Yogurt company owned by a very profitable global food conglomerate. In return they get or are repeatedly given access too large taxpayer funded grants, and despite having access to Danone’s massive global presence, they repeatedly suckle at the taxpayer’s teat, all during a massive recession.
So how much of that recent $2.86 million dollar UNH grant do you think will end up in the hands of the Hirshberg’s and Stonyfield Farm? They shouldn’t get a dime, but I can guarantee they’ll get plenty.
Keep that in mind he next time a New Hampshire Democrat or the state party starts whining about handouts or crony corruption or corporatism. Take a few minutes to come back and check the donor lists then ask the question again. Why do Democrats keep directing money at Stonyfield when the company that owns it has billions in annual profits?