“Good New Year Resolutions for Any Farmer,” from the Jan. 5, 1904, issue of The Progressive Farmer
I will have a money crop, but I will not go wild over any one staple.
I will as nearly as possible keep an accurate account of my receipts and my expenses.
I will study the experiences of other farmers and the counsel of agricultural scientists, and will profit by their labors.
I will give my children the best educational advantages I can afford, and I will try to make that education bear directly on their life work.
I will try to get my neighbors to start a movement for better roads, and will see that our present laws are more rigidly enforced.
If possible, I will organize some kind of farmers’ club at my schoolhouse, so that the farmers and their families may meet every two weeks for social and intellectual improvement.
I will co-operate with my brother farmers as much as possible in the purchase of supplies and in all other matters which demand united action.
I will study the fertilizer problem and see if I cannot expend my guano money more economically.
I will look into the matter of improving my breeds of horses, cattle, hogs and poultry, and co-operate with my neighbors to this end.
I will try to get the best mail service possible for our rural districts.
I will see if the town nearest me would not purchase certain supplies which I can raise and pay me a larger profit than I can get from staple crops.
I will send for catalogues of farm advertisers and make better tools and machinery do some of the work that would otherwise require high-priced labor.
I will see to it that implements of all kinds are properly housed.
I will select the best seed for both farm and garden crops.
I will consider The Progressive Farmer’s advocacy of the rural telephone system, and will agitate the matter whenever I think it will do good.
Seeing that my health is my capital, I will look to its preservation by living temperately and according to the common laws of health.
I will write The Progressive Farmer’s staff for counsel when in doubt as to any farming problem.
I will join in the effort to improve the library facilities of our public school.
I will encourage the study of agriculture in the schools.
Besides trying to have the best farm, I will try to have the happiest home in the neighborhood, and will try to get the help of my wife and children to this end.
I will improve and beautify the buildings and grounds.
I will get the best books and papers for my family to read.
I will take a short vacation with my wife after the crops are laid by.
I will try to lighten the housework as well as the farm work by improved implements and appliances, and I will have the water supply as convenient as possible.
I will visit my neighbors and try to make the community an attractive social center.
I will put my brain as well as my muscle into everything that I do.
Not only will I try to use the most progressive farming methods, but I will endeavor to get my farm laborers to do likewise.
I will raise as many vegetables in the garden as the family can use, and thus save the buying of high-priced groceries.
I will take an interest in politics and will try to get my party to support the best men and the best policies, and I will not abuse those who differ with me.
I will get as many of my neighbors as I can to read the farmers’ bulletins and farm papers so that the may co-operate with me in bringing about better farming methods.
I will avoid debt as I would a pestilence.
I will investigate the profits my wife makes on poultry, and see if the industry could not be profitably extended.
I will try to keep plenty of fruit, milk, and eggs for family use and will enlarge my orchard.
I will encourage the planting of flowers about the house, and every other reasonable effort to make my home beautiful.
As the farm’s best crop, after all, is its crop of strong, sturdy men and pure, sweet women, I will do all I can, both by precept and example, to train my children for useful, happy lives.
Lastly, I will not worry. If any evil can be remedied, I will remedy it, losing no time in worrying. If it cannot be remedied, I will not make it doubly evil by worrying about it.