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Taxpayers are subsidizing pumpkin patches and festivals this fall

Revelers looking to make the most of the autumn season should consider taking part in a fun pumpkin patch, hay ride, or fall festival this autumn, since they likely already paid for part of their experience.

The Washington Times reports that federal subsidies issued millions of taxpayer dollars to "bankroll pumpkin farmers, agritourism efforts, fall festivals, and other questionable projects" this year.

"Most of the festivals and events financed by state and local tax dollars this time of year focus on pumpkins," the Times reports, "and many of those pumpkins are grown with the assistance of pricey farm subsidies courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

According to numbers published by the USDA, farm subsidies supporting U.S. pumpkin growers averaged about $75,000 per year between 1995-2010. In most recent years, however, that number ballooned to an average of $420,000 per year, due in large part to flooding and poor growing conditions.