Monday, June 20, 2011

Fighting the War One North Carolina Farm at a Time, 1942

The following stories are from the columns of F. H. Jeter, State Extension Editor, and Ruth Current, State Home Demonstration Agent, in the March, April, and May 1942 issues of The Southern Planter.
Copeland 4-H Club Excells
The Copeland 4-H Club of Surry County was named the best 4-H Club in North Carolina in 1940 and when an organization reaches the top here is no further to go.
But the Copeland Club didn’t know that. In 1942, the club exceeded its former activities, believes Arthur P. Graham, principal of the local high school, who says that he gladly adjusts the school work so that club members can go about their many activities.
The Copeland Club collected over 30,000 pounds of scrap metal which was sold for $125 and the money divided between the Red Cross and the President’s Infantile Paralysis fund, and the Junior Cross war fund. Old paper is being collected and more than 500 defense stamps were purchased. Two pigs were bought for $24, fed on waste from the school cafeteria, and sold to pay the hospital expenses of a fellow club member who had smashed his shoulder. Seventy dollars was secured from a tobacco campaign and $109 from a beauty contest. All of these activities were in addition to the usual project work and community efforts in health, physical education and practical religion. School-man Graham is of the opinion that the club lived up to its motto and made “the best better.”
One Farmer Doing His Part
R.V. Lockhart of Monroe, Route 1, has bought a $1,000 defense bond. He is selling all his scrap iron and donating the proceeds to the Red Cross, in addition to other contributions. His hens are producing 700 eggs a day; he milks five cows and is feeding them better than usual so as to produce more milk; he plans to grow soybeans for oil producing purposes. His son is an officer in aviation, and he intends to buy more bonds as he makes more money.
Other than that, the 70-year-old patriarch told County Agent Tom Broom, he was not able to do very much.
Save Baling Wire
David S. Weaver, agricultural engineer, is authority for the statement that American farmers throw away enough baling wire each year to build three mighty battleships or 3,000 medium tanks. Yet, he says, all of this wire can be recovered and saved with a little care. Most of it is allowed to rust away on the farm.
One Beef Calf
Harold Cotton, a member of the 4-H club at Kipling, Harnett County, worked hard with his beef calf last year and had the animal in such excellent finish and condition at the time of the North Carolina State Fair last fall that the calf sold for $191.14. Harold immediately invested $75 in defense bonds, paid his father $75 for feed used, and placed the remainder in the bank. Now he has bought another calf to fatten this year and had enough money left over to buy another defense bond for $18.75.
Growing Your Own Sweetener
Zeb Norville of Union Mills, Route 2, in the Cane Creek section of Rutherford County sees no need for any farmer to worry about sugar rationing when sorghum cane will grow as easily as it does in North Carolina. “I planted only 1.7 acres of Silver Drip sorghum last year and made 370 gallons of fine syrup in addition to 50 bushels of cane seed,” said Zeb. “We had all the syrup we needed at home and sold the balance for $1 a gallon. We also sold the surplus cane seed for $1.75 a bushel.
4-H Mobilization
The 60,000 4-H Club members in North Carolina will be mobilized into a food and feed production cambaign during the week of April 5 to 11, says L.R. Harrill, State Club Leader, who said that this mobilization week will take the place of the National Club Camp, which has been cancelled for the duration.
“We aim to make a great contribution to the cause of victory by helping to produce food and feed this year,” Mr. Harrill said. “We shall, through our projects, increase milk production and grow pigs, poultry, corn and certainly a ‘Victory Garden.’” Home and community improvement will be continued as will attention to the ideals and patriotic traditions of the nation.
Women Filling Income Gap
There are 278,276 farm families in North Carolina whose gross income as indicated by the 1940 census was $790 per farm. To relieve this unhappy situation, 2,334 women produced and sold $458,101.92 worth of products on organized curb markets in 1941. Other sales to merchants, hotels, institutions and individuals reported from 60 counties totaled $419,373.87—a gross total of $877,475.79.
Feed Bags Into Dresses
A Granville County feed dealer told the home agent that a home demonstration club woman had come into his store to buy three bags of dairy feed. He got them and started to put them in her car when she told him that she wanted three bags of the same material. He had to go back and take down about 100 bags of feed to meet her requirement. This he said taught him a lesson for thereafter he carefully put all bags alike together and let the women select their next dress as well as the feed they wanted.
Year-Round Gardens Will Help in Defense Program
Gardens were grown by 218,788 farm families and of these 62,746 were year-round gardens. We want to keep in mind this year that there are more than 278,000 farms in North Carolina and to have only 62,000 year-round gardens is a small percentage. If we do our part in the defense program, these figures will have to be increased considerably in the next 10 months.
The North Carolina Farm Goes to War
The program committee has been announced and plans are already underway for the North Carolina State College Farm and Home Week scheduled for Raleigh, August 10-16. Governor Broughton and the elected officers of the cooperating organizations have definitely agreed that the meetings should be held. “The North Carolina Farm Goes to War” is the theme around which the following committee is already at work: Chairman F.H. Jeter, State college Editor; Frances MacGregor, Assistant 4-H Club Leader; Pauline Gordon, Home Management Specialist; Roy H. Thomas, Vocational Agricultural Education; Paul D. Sanders, Editor, The Southern Planter; Harry B. Caldwell, Master, State Grange; and R. Flake Shaw, Executive Secretary, State Farm Bureau.
Growing Peanuts in Anson County
The farmer who hesitates about growing peanuts in 1942 because he is not familiar with the crop or because he has light, poor land will find comfort in the experience of Cliff Ratcliff of Morven, Anson County. Mr. Ratcliff tried nine acres last year and made a profit of $349.73 despite the fact his inexperience made it necessary for him to replant because the seed came in contact with the fertilizer. He harvested 110,000 pounds, which he sold to the oil mill at $67 a ton. He also harvested 10 tons of nice hay, which he valued at $15 a ton or $150. His entire crop was worth $515.
Help a Tenant
North Carolina ranks at the top in the number and value of home gardens. Out of 278,276 farms in the state, 247,127 have gardens. That is 89 per cent of the total, but there are still 31,149 farms without home gardens and most of these farms are operated by the very people who need a balanced and adequate supply of nourishing food grown at home. The farms lacking gardens are operated by tenants largely, says H.R. Niswonger, and it is entirely possible that some of them do not have the extra money with which to buy seeds and fertilizer. Therefore, land-owners on whose farms these tenants live have a patriotic duty to see that this condition is remedied. May landowners are meeting this obligation this year and are pointing out to the tenant that added incentive of the $1.50 payment offered by the AAA for each properly planted and well managed garden.
Cow Educates Girl
Jean Lyda, a former 4-H Club member of Flat Rock in Henderson County, is a student at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and from all reports is getting along right well. She has a self-help job to help with her expenses but, principally, she is able to stay in college because of a Guernsey cow she bought as a calf in 1937. The cow has produced plenty of milk for the Lyda family and the calves have been sold to add to Jean’s savings for an education. With the money her widowed mother is able to send from home, Jean thinks she will be able to complete her education.
Spending Records Reveal Surprises
Mrs. Maurice Grant, president of the White Plains Home Demonstration Club in Alexander County, kept a complete Farm and Home Record in 1941 and says her experiences and the results have been helpful for better planning for the year to come. “You know,” she says, “we found we spent more on our car than we did for food. We just used it for short trips like to town and around in the community. All the expense was for gas and oil except one tire and the license.”
Mrs. Frank Walden of the Rocky Springs Home Demonstration Club, also in Alexander County, says “I didn’t think I ever had any new clothes scarcely until I kept a record. We found out we had [spent] more than we thought we had.”

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