|Updated: 12/19/2013 6:28 pm
||Published: 12/19/2013 4:19 pm
An Oklahoma winery was targeted in Sen. Tom Coburn's annual Wastebook.
A $200,000 grant from the USDA for the Whispering Meadows Winery in McAlester was one of 100 items totaling $30 billion that Coburn called wasteful spending.
Six tanks hold the real value of the federal grant: more wine. In fact, the ability to double wine production is why Karen Stobaugh put in $100,000 of her own money to match the $100,000 of tax money.
"I don't see what part of it could be wasteful," said Stobaugh.
She said she was awarded the grant because her business does exactly what the USDA wanted the grant to do: increase agriculture in Oklahoma.
"Actually, to be able to purchase more fruit, to be able to harvest more fruit, and to have more room to be able to actually process that fruit and turn it into wine," she said.
The matching grant allowed her to buy the tanks, and new processing and bottling equipment.
"These tanks and this equipment will definitely bring us to the next level," she said.
In fact, she went from producing less than 5,000 gallons a year to almost 10,000 gallons a year.
"It's really good for our state," she said.
Because the grant allowed Stobaugh to increase production by so much, she was also able to add on 10 new employees.