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Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) this week called out the federal government for spending tens of thousands of dollars to help a farmer promote his pumpkin doughnuts.

Coats spoke on the Senate floor about a federal agricultural promotion program that has handed out more than $290 million over the last decade, and called it a waste of federal funding to help a select few farmers promote their goods.

"One of the winners was a single farm that received a $44,700 grant to increase sales of its pumpkins and squash, including pumpkin doughnuts," Coats said. "I'm not making this up."

The Obama administration has pushed hard for kids to develop healthy eating habits in schools, and doughnuts are something that has not made the cut in the federal school lunch program. However, Coats said the federal grant helped the farmer promote his doughnuts as a "nutritious, locally produced food."

"In essence what we're doing here is promoting a few, select products. And why are we promoting pumpkin doughnuts over, say, banana nut muffins?" he asked.

"What about watermelons and not cantaloupes, or carrots and not turnips? And on and on you could go," he said. "These government-selected projects are not the best use of taxpayer money, in stark contrast to what government ought to be doing."

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