It is impossible to give a definitive answer to this question. individual people do things for unique purposes. Some people are true believers. Others are more pragmatic, they're trying to survive and prosper. It is possible, however, to make some likely conclusions based on organizational needs.
Organizations are much like individuals. Once born, they don't want to die. People, however, don't have to justify their existence to anyone. They just have to make a living; and all will eventually die. An organization will survive as long as it is supported. It doesn't have to die. It does have to justify its existence.
The United States has evolved into a government of agencies. Each was formed to cure some perceived crisis, real or not. If you were hired to build a fence to contain somebody's livestock, but also knew you'd be killed when the job was complete, would you ever finish the job? As soon as any government agency is formed, it begins looking for ways to never finish the job. The fence will need maintenance, of course. And maybe the critters should have individual corrals. Pretty soon, bolstered by panic-inspired legislation, the employee is telling the employer what to do.
Farmers have been targeted because most of the real crises have been solved despite government intrusions. DNR, PCA, EPA, etc., all have to justify their existences in a time when, if the truth be known, they can't. The well-paid employees of these agencies must believe fiction, or live a lie.
Farmers have become a choice target for a variety of reasons.
- The decline in people actually farming makes for a relatively few people responsible for large tracts of land. Strict regulatory controls give the agencies a large dominion while openly hurting only a small minority of people.
- Farmers have been operating under federal and state controls and subsidies for so long that they have become semi-dependent on government. Agencies have a well-established "carrot and stick" program already in place.
- The thousands of acres owned by farmers represent a huge, relatively untapped bonding capacity. This money would go a long way toward maintaining the high-spending ways of several government agencies.
- The propaganda used to denounce farmers can be made to sound credible to a predominately urban population and their legislator lawyers.
- The misguided environmentalist crowd wants to turn the entire state into a nature preserve.
- Bear in mind, these conclusions can't be effectively proved. You'll have to use your own judgment.