Monday, December 1, 2014

Success of Boys' Corn and Girls' Tomato Clubs, 1913

“Corn and Tomato Clubs,” from the Western Carolina Democrat and French Broad Hustler, Dec. 25, 1913

“More than 100,000 boys and girls in the south are teaching their elders how to improve the methods of farming,” declared Dr. Wallace Buttrick at the Shoreham hotel in Washington Saturday. Dr. Buttrick is secretary of the general education board endowed by John D. Rockefeller, and now controlling a capital of $40,000,000.

“The late Dr. Knapp, who began farm demonstration work, is entitled to all the credit for starting a movement that it is believed will do more to make the south prosperous than any other movement ever known,” said Dr. Buttrick to a Post reporter.

“It was he who conceived the idea of taking the improved modern methods of farming to the farmer in his field and showing him how to make ‘two blades of grass grow where one was grown before.’ He started his demonstration plan in the southern states, and it grew and grew, until now the federal government is spending $500,000 a year in this work, where, in the beginning the amount expended was little more than $10,000. The general education board is helping the government and the states in this work, and is contributing in the neighborhood of $300,000.

“The plans to invite several farmers in a section to witness the methods of the government experts, and to have them with their own eyes see the wonderful results that follow. The outcome has been that all through the south the farmers have increased their products. They used to raise cotton and buy their food products. We have been teaching them that they can raise cotton and also their own corn. In many of the southern states the corn crop this year was larger than ever in their history.

“Corn clubs of boys and canning clubs of young women on the farm were the natural result of the demonstration work. The boys have been organized in nearly all the southern states and are showing their parents that, with modern methods of farming, the produce of the farm is marvelously increased. So with the girls’ canning clubs. The young men started in to plant an acre and the girls one-tenth of an acre. The girls of Mississippi are supplying one of the big railroads nearly all the canned goods used by it.”

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