AGRICULTURE: A Wonderful Thing

The vigilant, self-reliant citizens of southern Texas' Rio Grande Valley knew little about the newly formed Rio Farms, Inc.; but what little they did know made them mighty suspicious. That was in 1941.

It seemed that the Farm Security Administration had lent five substantial Valley farmers and businessmen $1,226,350 (payable in 50 years) to buy 26,000 neglected acres of the local delta orchard land. These salaryless "directors" were going to operate the tract on an "altruistic, nonprofit" basis, as a kind of socio-economic experiment.

The object was to make self-sustaining landowners out of...

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