Saturday, July 16, 2016

Frank Jeter's "Personal Mention" Column from Extension Farm-News, July 1955

“Personal Mention” by Frank Jeter, Agricultural Extension Service Editor at N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in Extension Farm-News, July 1955. If you want an image of the page for your files, it's below the story.

He retired July 1, but every morning about 8 o’clock you can see Roy Dearstyne walk in in to his office in Scott Hall. “So what,” he retorts. “I didn’t say I’d quit work, did I?” It was a wonderful dinner the college staff tendered Roy at the Youth Center of the State Fairgrounds. . . .196 of us there by actual count and a handsome purse presented to the veteran poultry leader. . .a great fellow who retires full of years and honor.

So does our “Miss Hattie.” The girls in the Division of Ag. Information had a little party for her. There were one or two short talks, gifts were presented, and Mrs. Smith came by the next morning to say goodbye with one of the most original cartoons yet seen in this office.

One of our best Farm and Home Weeks. . .that 47th annual event! Only 345 men and 1,291 women registered. What to do? If our people are not interested in this type of meeting anymore, despite yards of publicity of every kind, lots of personal letters, and much personal effort, then the event should be dropped from the college calendar. Secretary Fred Sloan, President Loy Howard of the Farmers’ Convention, and Mrs. E.P. Gibson, charming and energetic home demonstration president, did a wonderful job preparing the program and planning the week. Evidently the people are getting their information in the various other meetings, achievement days, institutes, short courses, field demonstrations and the like. The old Farm Convention, so long a great event for rural North Carolina, seems a thing of the past. Every year we hold a “wake” over the remains. Every year, the new officers dislike for it to die on their hands, so we try again. Here’s a vote to drop it and let’s move ahead with something else. An equal amount of work and nervous energy could well be used to a better advantage in some other area.

The ladies had a wonderful Farm and Home Week. It was an all-day affair, broken by a delightful luncheon tendered by Dr. Frank Graham and the other speakers in the College Union. Mrs. Theta Barnard of Clay County stole the show. Mrs. J.C. Berryhill of Charlotte, the new president of the State Home Demonstration Federation, Ellis Vestal, new president of the State Farmers’ Convention, wonderful selections. Also wonderful tobacco meetings at the several branch stations. . .upwards of a thousand growers at each meeting.

A great indoctrination week for youthful, starry-eyed youngsters entering Extension for the first time. It’s good to see them catching something of the spirit of those who have made the Service what it is today. . .better still, to see them realizing that a new day is dawning for Extension and on the solid foundation of the past, a still greater superstructure is being erected.

Over a hundred farm and home agents here for the three weeks’ refresher course. . .45 in our course on the effective use of information media. . .a sharp group. We had a good time together and learned something from one another.

Glenn Hardesty of Rowan says you get more out of this Extension job than your monthly salary. Glenn happened to recall a job vacancy when one of his club boys had been graduated from high school and despaired of finding a job. . .badly needed, too. Glenn called, arranged an interview, the boy got the job. His previous record as a 4-H club member did him no harm at all, not at all.

Among the loud anthems of praise over 139 tobacco, Charley Raper plays a cracked record. The variety is susceptible to Fusarium wilt, he says, and one or two Columbus growers have lost heavily for this reason.

“Big Nick” Nicholson of Union finds a pullet, now laying, that was hatched with only one wing. No sign of any rudimentary wing on the left side. We have often heard the old saying, “A bird can’t fly with one wing,” but that’s another story.

Have you heard the one about William Lamm’s cat? Get Steve Lewis to tell you. Steve tells how Bill utilized one of the desk drawers in the Goldsboro Extension office as a kitten nursery.

Radio brings blessings to the old. Bob Love of Transylvania tells about Jim Mull, a 90-year-old farmer with failing eyesight, who keeps up with the latest in good farming by listening to the farm program on the radio.

“General” Grant must not be overlooked in the current series of Extension stories and tells of honey bees which spend the past winter on the top of a dead pine. The bees, says the General, spent the winter in a comb about the size of a man’s head built late last summer and fastened to the pine. And it was cold in North Carolina last winter.

Bertie, incidentally, will have a real peanut growing contest this season with $100 in cash offered to four prize winners.

Ever head of “gate fever”? It’s a new disease prevalent now in Yancey County, says Bill Bledsoe, assistant agent, but it’s a delight to the Extension office as more strong gates are hung to more pasture entrances.

For 33 years and 15 days, Ewing “Shorty” Millsaps has served Randolph County. He retired on July 2 and Ben Jenkins returned to the Extension fold to carry on in Shorty’s place. They are getting a bit too modern in Randolph, however. Douglas Young, assistant agent, wanted to take a look over the county so he accepted a plane ride from Garland Allen of Ramseur and learned more about the topography of the county in an hour and a half than he ever knew before.

We are happy to have Bill Carpenter back in the editorial office as head of the publications section. Bill earned his Masters at Wisconsin this past winter and is now on the job filling the place made vacant when Lyman Noordhoff accepted a position in Washington.

That piece of red meat given to Governor Hodges by Dean Colvard and Jim Graham of the Hereford Association came from Catawba County. Please don’t forget that, or you earn the stern disapproval of Frank (The Hat) Harris. Nancy Johnson of Catawba fed and exhibited the steer and sold it for $40 a hundred pounds after winning the grand champion ribbon at the Catawba-Iredell Livestock Show on May 25.

Pender County will issue $100,000 in bonds for an agricultural building and library. J.N. Honeycutt says a referendum to decide the question will be held on October 1. R.M. Ritchie of our Extension Engineering Office has designed the building.

John Gorman of Leicester, Buncombe County, won the $100 first prize this year in the Western Carolina Timber Stand Improvement Contest.

Fifty people labored two days to provide a suitable recreation park back of Wilson’s new Agricultural Center and it was here that Bill Lewis and Mrs. Ona Humphrey worked with the farm leaders of the county to stage their very successful county-wide farm picnic. .  .a greater occasion that usual because of those two $1,000 prizes for being the outstanding county of the year in rural progress.
Again speaking of progress, the farm folks of Forsyth County hired two big passenger planes to visit the Coker Seed Farm at Hartsville, South Carolina. Sam Mitchiner said they mainly wanted to see how 139 tobacco was being cured and handled.

The home demonstration club women of Mecklenburg County dedicated their special edition of the Mecklenburg Times to B. Arp Lowrance. Bill Arp owns the paper but was powerless, as are we all, when the good ladies told him they were running that particular show.

Forty years after he began the Extension program in Pitt County, June 1, 1915, B. Troy Ferguson, retired district agent, went back to visit old scenes and found few that were as they were when he began to work.

Speaking of veterans, we were glad to have a letter from J.D. McVean, first pig club agent in the state, and now a farm agent at Chestertown, Maryland.

Finally, a big, big day in Chowan. . .county elimination contests, a country picnic dinner, recreation and all sorts of good times arranged by R.S. Marsh and Mrs. Clara Boswell. Mrs. Boswell is now in the florist business as of July 1 and invited you to come by when in Edenton.

John A. Christian, native of Dubois, Pa., has been appointed as Extension animal husbandry specialist at N.C. State College. He will specialize in meats’ work. Before accepting his present appointment, Christian was an associate professor at the University of Connecticut for nine years. A veteran of World War II, he was discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1946 with the rank of captain. Christian graduated from Penn State College in 1942 and received his M.S. Degree from the same institution in 1947. He is married and the father of four daughters.

Peanut Support Prices

The 1955 crop of peanuts produced in North Carolina will be supported at a national average of not less than $244.80 a ton, F.C. Hall of the state ASC office, has announced.

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