Shortly after dawn, seven men in a guarded room in Washington's Department of Agriculture building crowded around a large metal bo., with two heavy padlocks. One man opened the first lock, another the second. Then for almost five hours, they pulled sealed envelopes from the box, tore them open, and carefully tabulated reports from farmers all over the U.S. A few minutes before n, the guards unlocked the doors, admitted Agriculture Secretary Charlie Brannan. Once he had examined the totals, signed his name and marched out again, the doors were thrown open. In came a dozen reporters to...

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