Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don’t Farm

Posted on July 2, 2006 

Farm Program Pays $1.3 Billion to People Who Don’t Farm

Even though Donald R. Matthews put his sprawling new residence in the heart of rice country, he is no farmer. He is a 67-year-old asphalt contractor who wanted to build a dream house for his wife of 40 years.

Yet under a federal agriculture program approved by Congress, his 18-acre suburban lot receives about $1,300 in annual “direct payments,” because years ago the land was used to grow rice.

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