Big Ag's Growing Influence
American Farm Bureau Federation
One of Capitol Hill's most vocal lobby groups, it is also one of the nation's largest crop and livestock insurance companies. Its county-level meetings have been a prime forum for airing fears about the climate bill.
Lobby spending: $2,634,661
Campaign contributions: $26,000
National Cattlemen's Beef Association
The group that brought you "Beef: It's What's For Dinner" represents the likes of the American Hereford Association, Purina, Dow Chemical, McDonald's, and Wal-Mart.
Lobby spending: $198,257
Campaign contributions: $225,047
National Pork Producers Council
Members include billion-dollar corporations like Cargill, Bayer, and Pfizer. Top priorities this year include a demand for a $250 million swine subsidy.
Lobby spending: $863,137
Campaign contributions: $202,134
National Milk Producers Federation
Has some 40,000 members, from local co-ops to titans like Kraft Foods; vows to "ensure that agricultural enterprises are shielded from any adverse impacts" of climate legislation.
Lobby spending: $460,000
Campaign contributions: $88,000
National Corn Growers Association
Works hard to defend high-fructose corn syrup and ethanol subsidies, often in concert with ag behemoths like Archer Daniels Midland and John Deere (which by itself spent more than $1 million on lobbying this year).
Lobby spending: $340,000
Campaign contributions: $71,500
National Farmers Union
Represents some 250,000 mostly small farmers and ranchers; the only major ag group supporting Waxman-Markey, it flew members to DC in September to lobby for it.
Lobby spending: $450,000
Campaign contributions: $57,500
Campaign contributions are for '07/'08 cycle, House and Senate campaigns only. Lobby spending is for first half of 2009. All figures from the Center for Responsive Politics.