Friday, September 30, 2011

Mount Airy Merchants' Picnic Held in New Veterans Memorial Park, 1947

From the Mount Airy Times, September 26, 1947

Approximately 300 Mount Airy merchants, their employees and guests gathered at the new Veterans Memorial park last Thursday night and enjoyed a real get-together at their annual merchants’ picnic.

It has been the custom for the past few years for all the folk that look across the counters of the various stores and business establishments and serve the wants and needs of all the people of surrounding Mount Airy throughout the year to get together once a year to become better acquainted and enjoy real community fellowship.

This was accomplished in the fullest measure last Thursday evening when everyone enjoyed a sumptuous meal of honest-to-goodness Southern fried chicken, with all the necessary trimmings that go to make up such a feast.

The highlight of the evening was an entertaining and enjoyable address by Frank Jeter, agricultural reporter for the agricultural extension division of N.C. State College. Mr. Jeter very interestingly pointed out some of North Carolina’s proud heritage. He gave early history highlights in the state’s agricultural development and progress to the present time. He also pointed out future possibilities of agricultural development and progress through the conservation of our state’s natural resources and the closer co-operation between the merchants and industrialists of North Carolina and the rural folk, or tillers of the soil.

“Everything we have and are comes from our North Carolina soil,” Mr. Jeter said, “and we want to make our towns and cities and our boys and girls who are to live in them peers to none, and this is possible only if we work together,” he said in closing.

The president of the association, M.A. Thomas, manager of the local store of J.C. Penney Company, presided. Others participating in the program were Mark Goforth, assistant county agent, who introduced the speaker, and William Woodruff, Mount Airy florist.

At the close of Mr. Jeter’s address, the large assemblage adjourned to the park’s clubhouse where they enjoyed dancing.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Can't Address Farmers in Wrinkled Pants, 1942

The following funny story was printed in the Monroe Inquirer, Sept. 10, 1942, with a note saying that it was originally printed in State Magazine.

By Carl Goerch
There was a meeting of farmers in Tarboro recently. Among those who attended were Ben Kilgore of Louisville, Ky., Pop Taylor of State College, and Frank Jeter, also of State College.

They went in Mr. Jeter’s car.

When they got to Tarboro, Mr. Jeter parked his car near the hotel and said, “You fellows wait here just a minute. I’ve got to attend to a little business matter but I’ll be right back.”

He ran into a pressing club around the corner. There was nobody in the front room except a Negro man, and Frank said to him, “I’m in a hurry and I want to get my pants pressed. How long will it take?”

“Just a few minutes, boss,” said the Negro. “You jes’ take ‘em off in that back room and then set down and rest yourself.”

“You sure it won’t take long?” inquired Frank anxiously.

Sitting and Waiting
So Frank went into the back room. He took off his trousers, passed them through the curtain to the man, and then took his seat I a chair. He had discarded his Palm Beach suit that morning and had put on a dark one in its place. It wasn’t until he was about to leave Raleigh that he noticed that the suit needed pressing rather badly. Being of a somewhat fastidious nature, he decided that it would never do to appear on the speaker’s platform in a pair of wrinkled pants. He had a hesitancy to mention the matter to his two friends, because he knew they wouldn’t want to wait for him; and besides, they’d undoubtedly have told him that he looked all right.

So he sat. And he waited.

There was the sound of somebody stirring in the front room. Then a lady’s voice called out: “Jim!”

Mr. Jeter held his breath.

“Jim!” the voice said again. And then came the sound of footsteps approaching the curtains that hung in the doorway leading to the back room.

With remarkable agility, Frank sprang from his chair and dashed behind a large packing case in the rear of the room. The curtains parted and the woman appeared. She seemed rather surprised to see Mr. Jeter standing there.

“Isn’t Jim in here?” she inquired.

“No, he ain’t,” said Frank, forgetting for the moment that he was a college man.

“Would you mind giving him this coat?” she inquired, holding it out toward him.
“I’ll be glad to,” said Mr. Jeter.

She extended her arm a little further in his direction, waiting for him to come and take the garment. Frank wouldn’t have moved from his position behind the packing case for fifty coats.

“Just lay it on the table in the front room,” he told her.

She followed his suggestion and departed. Frank breathed a sigh of relief as he heard the front door close.

Further Embarrassment
Fifteen minutes passed, and by that time Mr. Jeter was getting very impatient. At the end of five more minutes, he parted the curtains and walked out into the front room. It was an inopportune time for such a maneuver, because at that very instant two ladies were passing by. As though drawn by some invisible magnet, their eyes turned in the direction of the pressing club and became focused upon Mr. Jeter’s bare legs and blue shorts. Inasmuch as he never has sought any public admiration of either his underwear or his legs, Frank dived hastily into the back room again.

Then, to his great relief, he heard a man’s footsteps in the front room. He peeped through the curtains and saw that it was the colored man.

“Where are my pants?” demanded Frank, glowering at him.

“Good Lawd!” said the Negro. “I plumb forgot that you were still waiting here. I’ll get them for you right away.”

He dashed out the front door and went into the adjoining building. In a minute he was back.

“Boss,” he said, “them pants got into the dry-cleaning solution by mistake an’ I jes’ can’t get them for you right at this minute.”

“But I told you that I only wanted them pressed!” howled Frank. “How long have I got to wait now?”

“It won’t take that long, boss. I’ll rush ‘em right through for you.”

And once more he disappeared.

The Pants Arrive
Frank sat there for another twenty minutes, fretting and fuming. Then the Negro appeared and, to Mr. Jeter’s relief, he had the pants in his arms.

“Give ‘em here,” said Frank holding out his hand.

“Boss, they’s got to be dried first,” the man told him.

So for another twenty minutes Frank had to sit there, watching his beloved trousers blowing in balloon-like fashion in front of the drying contrivance. Altogether, he spent well over an hour in the shop. In the meantime, Mr. Kilgore and Mr. Taylor were wandering all over town, looking for him. They were hot and they were mad.  So was Mr. Jeter. When the three of them got together at last there was some heated conversation for a few minutes, and Frank’s explanation didn’t help matters any. They finally started for the meeting and, although the program had already started, got there in time to make their talks.

Frank’s pants looked very nice to the crowd.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Home Demonstration Women Help WUNC, 1954

Extension Farm-News, July 1954 issue

Home demonstration women across North Carolina have volunteered to help conduct the WUNC-TV audience survey, according to R.F. Schenkkan, director of television for the Consolidated University of North Carolina. Purpose of the study is to determine present viewing habits of the people of the state in both urban and rural areas, and to find out the program needs and wishes of the Channel 4 station’s future audience.

Farm Cash Receipts Down, 1953

From Extension Farm-News, July 1954 issue

Farming in North Carolina yielded somewhat lower cash receipts last year than in 1951 and 1952, reflecting a nationwide trend. Receipts in 1953 came to 94 per cent of 1952 receipts. The 1953 cash farm receipts for the nation dropped slightly less, to 96 per cent of the 1952 receipts.

North Carolina ranked fourth in cash receipts from crops in 1953, with farmers getting $672,434,000. Tar Heel farmers received $211,636,000 from livestock, placing North Carolina 23rd among the livestock-producing states. Total cash receipts—livestock and crops—amounted to $884,070,000 in 1953. The $884,070,000 makes North Carolina the 12th ranking state in cash receipts from farm marketings. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

N.C. Doctors and Nurses Heroes During the Spanish Flu Pandemic, 1919

From Transactions: Medical Society of the State of North Carolina, 1919, published by the Medical Society of the State of N.C. and online at

Between October 1, 1918 and March 1, 1919, the State of North Carolina lost 13,793 of its citizens from influenza. Deaths, distributed by months, were as follows: October, 6,561; November, 2,083; December, 1,920; January, 2,266; February, 873. Assuming that the fatality from the disease was around one and one-half per cent, the State has had within the five months period mentioned about 1,000,000 cases of influenza.

The rapidity of the onset and development of the epidemic, together with the absence of a considerable percentage of the medical profession that were engaged in military service, created an administrative problem, local and state and national, of great difficulty. The difficulties of the problem were increased owing to the highly contagious nature of the disease, and its striking down during the first week or two weeks of its prevalence many of the overworked doctors and nurses who remained for civilian service. Perhaps no community in North Carolina, and certainly no state in the Union, received anything like adequate medical or nursing care.

In the beginning of the epidemic the American Red Cross and the United States Public Health Service organized for the purpose of creating a reserve supply of doctors and nurses and of distributing the reserve through state boards of health to stricken communities. The Public Health Service and the American Red Cross felt in the beginning of the epidemic that in this way all calls could be met. In less than a week both of these great agencies, swamped with appeals from all parts of the country for doctors and nurses, threw up their hands in despair and admitted their inability to supply the urgent appeals for help. The North Carolina State Board of Health, through the assistance of the Public Health Service and the American Red Cross and through the volunteering of North Carolina doctors and nurses, was able to supply 64 communities with 70 emergency doctors and 61 emergency nurses. The following 35 members of our state profession, at a sacrifice of ease, convenience, and remuneration, accepted service under the direction of the State Board of Health during the epidemic for detail to those communities where they were most needed:
H.S. Allyn, Greensboro
J.E. Anthony, Kings Mountain
Aydlette, Greensboro
W.P. Beall, Greensboro
A.C. Bethune, Winston-Salem
D.R. Bryson, Bryson City
W.B. Bullock, Oxford
Burnette, Wilmington
J.E. Cathell, Linwood
J.W.V. Cordice, Greensboro
R.C. Ellis, Shelby
J.E. Duncan, North Wilkesboro
W.E. Evans, Rowland
J.N. Flippen, Winston-Salem
J.R. Gamble, Lincolnton
R.H. Garren, Monroe
William Harper, Albemarle
W.C. Herring, Charlotte
A.L. Hyatt, Kinston
J.F. Jonas, Marion
J.W. Jones, Boone
N.O. Lubchenko, Charlotte
J.A. McClellan, Maxton
C.W. Moseley, Greensboro
R.J. Nelson, Robersonville
George Oates, Grover
H.A. Parris, Wilmington
M. Roberson, Durham
B.B. Smith, Bridgeton
E.L. Stamey, Greensboro
E.L. Swann, Semora
T.D. Tyson, Pleasant Garden
L.J. Walker, Charlotte
A.R. Wilson, Greensboro
D.R. Wolff, Greensboro

This is a small group of volunteers, but a most creditable number when it is remembered that the epidemic rapidly involved the entire state so that comparatively few physicians could leave their own stricken communities for service in others. In combating the epidemic, all of the physicians of the state were overworked, their vitality dangerously drawn upon, and probably more than half of the profession contracted the disease. Of those contracting the disease, 16 died. The following is a list of physicians whose deaths from influenza or its complications have been officially recorded with the state:
Willis Alston Jr., Warren County
V.L. Andrews, Montgomery County
B.W. Cox, Wayne County
Wyatt P. Exum, Robeson County
J.S. Harrison, Nash County
John Rogers Hester, Wake County
Edward Warren Jones, Beaufort County
Edgar W. Lassiter, Northampton County
John Herbert Matthews, Moore County
Joseph Martin Matthews, Moore County
D.H. Perry, Wake County
Arnold Stovall, New Hanover County
Julian Rush Sutton, Buncombe County
Albert Johnson Terrell, Buncombe County
Benjamin J. Willingham, New Hanover County
T.H. Wilson, Wilson County

These men, back in their early years, in the instinctive germs of their characters, were inspired by a lofty altruism that had its roots entangled with the chorda tendinae of the heart of the suffering world. Such a beginning and such an initial course they followed as is pictured in Wordsworth’s “Ode on Intimations of Immortality”

Heaven lies about us in our infancy.
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
                Upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
                He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
                And by the vision splendid
                Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.

Characters that are fundamentally right, though they may have their vestures soiled and disarranged and worn and rent in the turmoil of daily struggle, under a stern test, in a great crisis, emerge ultimately triumphant.

Crises cause a reversion to type. In crises the little personal effects and the superficial things are cast aside as the soldier lays aside unnecessary accoutrements when the fight is on—the real man, the man as he was in the beginning and is in his deeper being, comes to the surface. In crises the light of common day yields again to the “vision splendid” of the early days, and the little fears and animosities of ordinary times go into eclipse. In crises men go back to first principles and to the God of their youthful dreams and aspirations.

So it was last winter with these 16 whose names I have called. Then let this be our remembrance of them as they appeared in the last act: with all the splotches of this worldly game, with all the grime, and grease, and dust of their humanity washed away in noble sacrifice, their diviner natures unobscured, their feet firmly set on the old road of their early choosing, passing out of mortal sight over the westward hills, through the hazy horizon of mortality, and into the country beyond the sunset.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rockingham Farmers and Businessmen Draw Up Plan for Better Rural Living, 1947

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte News, August 22, 1947

Better rural living through proper and full use of the land, labor and other resources, is the objective of the long-time agricultural program and farming pattern recently drawn up by a group of Rockingham County farmers, businessmen and agricultural workers.

The need for such a program in the county is shown by the fact that in 1945 92 percent of the total farm income was derived from tobacco, which occupied only 15.5 percent of the cropland. The other 84.5 percent of the land produced only 8 percent of the farm income. To correct this situation through better use of more farm land and improve the living conditions on the farm, those in charge of planning the program list many potential ways.

1.       Home Food Supply: It was estimated that the production of an adequate food supply for a family of five is equal to the income from two acres of tobacco. In order to have a n adequate food supply,the following was recommended: a) a year-round garden; b) small fruits and home orchards; c) adequate milk and egg supply throughout the year; d) pork, beef and poultry to supply the needs of the family; and e) better and more food conservation.

2.       Dairying: In 1945, 37 farms in Rockingham County were listed as dairy farms with incomes of $6,348 as compared with $2,000 for strictly tobacco farms. Farmers should include dairying along with their tobacco production and should breed their cows to have them dry during the peak of labor needs for tobacco.

3.       Poultry: There are less than 20 acres of cropland on 2,676 farms in the county. Poultry as an enterprise offers a possibility on these farms as a supplement to tobacco. Only one-half of the egg requirements is produced in the county; therefore, there is a ready market for both poultry and eggs.

4.       Beef Cattle: There are 550 farms with 30 to 200 acres of crop land in the county. With the available land on these farms, they offer good possibilities for beef cattle production. Beef cattle fit in well with tobacco production in that only a small amount of labor is required.

5.       Swine: In order to take care of home needs, 2,000 to 3,000 pigs are imported into the county each year. These could be produced at home on a limited acreage. It is estimated that a farmer with two brood sows could produce 18 to 20 pigs for sale or to feed out in addition to supplying home needs.

6.       Feed Supply: It has been demonstrated by a large number of farmers in the county that pastures, hay, small grains and corn can be produced economically where recommended approved practices are followed.

Wake County Farm Demonstration Tour, 1947

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Fuquay Springs Independent, June 5, 1947

More than a hundred Wake County farmers, FFA youth, and persons interested in their progress with pastures, alfalfa, and forage crops joined a tour of ten farms recently at the invitation of county Extension Service personnel.

A caravan of more than 30 cars and trucks met at the Municipal Auditorium parking area in Raleigh when the tour began at 8:30 a.m. Led by County Agent John Reitzel and escorted by Bruce Butler and Carl Tower, assistant agents, the group pulled out for the first stop at the H.P. Green farm, Raleigh, Route 4.

Some fifteen years ago, Green quit growing cotton extensively and turned to dairying. With a couple of head, he began building a dairy herd. His visitors observed that he now has 30 excellent milkers.

One- and two-year stands of a mixture of ladino clover, orchard grass, and alsike were examined by the group, and Dr. Roy L. Lovvorn, forage crop specialist for the State College Extension Service, took part in an on-the-spot discussion.

Rolling along, the motorcade moved to the Blaney Franks Farm, near Green’s place. Here the visitors found a stand of alfalfa going into its fourth year and apparently improving all the time. The high point of interest here was Frank’s praise of crimson clover, a supplemental pasture crop that he said was responsible for increasing his milk flow last winter by 40 gallons a day. The increase netted him $2,000 in six months, over the total cost of preparing and building the extra grazing.

The eye-opener at the farm of Johnnie Murray, Apex, Route 1, was the acre of fall-seeded ladino clover that he has penned off for his pigs and hogs. The pep and vigor of his six-week-old pigs that weighed close to 40 pounds, was a good recommendation for the use of a grazing crop.

The last stop before lunch was at Wallace Adcocok’s farm on Varina, Route 1, where his two-year-old alfalfa and fall-seeded ladino clover pasture was a point of interest. He also has a waist-high stand of a cereal mixture that includes oats, wheat, and barley, which he will feed to his small beef herd and work stock.  Mr. Adcock’s main crop is tobacco, but the neighbors who visited his farm found out that he is paying a lot of attention to providing his dairy cows with home-grown hay.

Following a Dutch lunch at a roadside barbecue, the tour wheeled away again, bound for the farm of O.A. Adams, Raleigh, Route 3. Adams seeded a mixture of orchard grass, red top, and ladino in September, and he told the crowd that he had received results better than he had even hoped for.

Some of the farmers on the tour who are emphasizing increased milk production on their own farms got a look at some high producing cows when the string of cars pulled up to the Julian Nipper farm on Raleigh,  Route 1. Nipper pointed out some Holsteins that were giving 10 gallons of milk a day, and said that a big factor in his high production was his recent work on supplementary and permanent pastures.

John Rich’s use of recommended pasture practices on the W.W. Holding farm, at Wake Forest, bears witness to his management of this large enterprise. Alfalfa and acres of grazing crops were observed here by the visitors, who also got a look at the dairy plant and a new cinderblock calf barn.

Successful chicken raising these days calls for a grazing crop that will get those eggs on the market during late summer and winter when prices are up. That’s what young T.K. Seawell, a returned serviceman, is aiming at on his Oak Forest farm near Wake Forest, where the group saw his work with oats,lespedeza and red clover. Three range houses were provided for Seawell’s 253 pullets.

At the farm tour drew to a near close, the cars stopped off at the L.N. Rogers farm near Rolesville at 4 p.m. to see his success with alfalfa in sandy soil.

A good story on the proper use of land was unfolded at the last stop of the day, Green Brothers’ farm on Raleigh, Route 1. A four-acre plot of bottom land could not be used until dynamite ditching reclaimed it for pasture. It was seeded the first week in September, and now the land that was formerly too wet even for kudzu, is covered with a heavy growth of ladino and orchard grass.

With such progress on the part of Wake County farmers, the goal of 10 months grazing may become commonplace.

Friday, September 23, 2011

N.C. Marine Lieutenant Received Silver Star for Bravery on Iwo Jima, 1945

Published October 12, 1945, in the Union Times newspaper

First Lt. Robert B. Jeter, son of Mrs. J. Mobley Jeter of this city, on September 4, 1945, received the Silver Star Medal. His citation reads as follows:

“For conspicuous gallantry and intrepity in action against the enemy while serving in action against the enemy while serving with a Marine tank battalion on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, on March 11, 1945.

As a platoon leader, First Lt. Jeter was employing his tanks in support of an attack by a marine rifle company when this company was ordered to withdraw. The enemy forces immediately laid heavy fire across the open ground thru which the company had to move, causing heavy casualties. Radio communication being lost between the tanks and the rifle company post, First Lt. Jeter got out of his tank under accurate small arms fire, and crossed 100 yards of open ground to contact the company and recommend means of supporting a withdrawal and evacuation of the wounded.

When this was accomplished, he returned to his tank and ably directed the fire power of his platoon upon the enemy positions after the company had withdrawn and skillfully maneuvered his tanks as shields for the casualties in order to make possible their evacuations thru the open ground.

By his courage, skill in combat and determination, he contributed greatly to the successful withdrawal of the rifle company and to the quick evacuation of its wounded men.

His heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”

Lt. Jeter has been promoted to captain and is on Guam in the South Pacific with H and S Co., 3rd Tk. Bn., 3rd Marine Division.

Wadesboro Native Is Father of Soil Conservation Service

In 1935, at the height of the Dust Bowl, North Carolina native Hugh Bennett arranged to testify before a congressional committee considering the creation of the Soil Conservation Service. He timed his testimony to the arrival in Washington, D.C., of a dust storm from the Great Plains. The dust storm helped demonstrate the need for soil conservation and the Soil Conservation Service Act was passed April 27, 1935. Bennett served as its chief until he retired in 1951.

Hugh Bennett of Wadesboro, N.C., had joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a soil surveyor after graduating from the University of North Carolina, and had investigated crop declines and soil erosion. He wrote extensively on the problem in popular and scientific publications, leading Congress to approve funding for soil erosion experiment stations in 1930. He helped establish the Soil Erosion Service in 1933 and served as its director until he became director of the Soil Conservation Service.

By Frank H. Jeter, published Sept. 9, 1946, in the Charlotte News

Because civilization rests upon that thin film of soil which covers the continents of the earth, I am glad that someone realized the danger to that film and sought to save it before it was too late. I shall always be eternally grateful to Dr. Hugh H. Bennett, native of North Carolina, who raised his voice in a prayer for protection of the soil. I shall always be eternally grateful for his persistence. At first, his pleadings were not heard; they were not popular, but now wherever agricultural leaders and good farmers gather they know that he was heard none too soon. Even so, it was almost too late for some sections and some farms.

But because Hugh Bennett saw and understood what was happening to the soils of his country, he has perhaps saved us from becoming a decadent people existing upon a decadent soil. North Carolina does well to honor him and those of us who try to find the facts and interpret them for others who live on and from the soil and proud to see credit given where credit is due.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jeter Family Visits Ft. Caswell, 1941

Published in the Southport Pilot, March 19, 1941

Frank H. Jeter, extension editor at N.C. State College, was thinking about a place to go with his family on their annual summer vacation this year, so he concluded that he’d come down and investigate facilities at Ft. Caswell, where he was in training during the World War.

He arrived Saturday morning, bringing with him Mrs. Jeter, their daughter, Jane, their son Vernon, and Miss Mary Elizabeth Campbell.

This was the first visit to Southport in 25 years, Mr. Jeter said, as he recalled some experiences while he was stationed at Caswell. “Why, I was a master gunner,” he confessed with a note of pride. “Used to fire one of those eight-inch fellows over there.”

He spent a part of Saturday afternoon over at Ft. Caswell showing his family around, and later they visited Long Beach and Orton Plantation. A proposed Sunday morning visit to Bald Head Island was rained out.

Published in the Raleigh News & ObserverMarch 24, 1941

A master gunner at Fort Caswell, where he trained preceding the First World War, Frank H. Jeter, extension editor at State College, came back last week for the first time.

When Mr. Jeter was in training at the fort, the only way to get to and from there was by boat. It was a bit of a novelty to him to make the trip around from Southport in 15 minutes. In fact, the journey of seven miles by paved road can be made in much less than 15 minutes.

The former master gunner simply took time easy on the drive around to the fort in order to explain to his family the difference between what it was years ago and what it is now. He plans to spend this summer vacation in Caswell, provided the government does not reoccupy it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

State College Plant Pathologist In Iraq, 1952

From the August 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News

Dr. J. Lewis Allison, plant pathologist at State College, left in June for Iraq where he will spend a year as advisor to the government there on behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Dr. Allison was recruited to make a general survey of the plant diseases of Iraq, help develop control methods for diseases of the field, vegetable, and horticultural crops, work with Iraqi plant breeders in developing disease-resistant varieties of wheat and barley, and do some lecturing at Abu Garib College of Agriculture near Bagdad.

Dr. Allison’s work will take him to the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, center of the earliest agriculture known to our civilization.

Monday, September 19, 2011

'Master' N.C. Farm Families Named, 1954

From Extension Farm-News, July 1954 issue

The selection of 12 “Master Farm Families” in North Carolina was announced recently by The Progressive Farmer and the Extension Service. The families come from Yancey, Warren, Yadkin, Guilford, Rowan, Union, Robeson, Perquimans, Buncombe, Wilson, Scotland, and Beaufort counties.

The families are picked from North Carolina once in every three years and in Virginia and South Carolina in other years. The following winners were selected “for notable efforts in developing a successful home and arm and for taking part in community improvements”:

The Fred Bryans, Burnsville, Route 1;

W. A Connells Jr., Warrenton, Route 1;

W. Herbert Flemmings, Boonville;

R. Max Fryars, Macleansville, Route 1;

Harold Grahams, Mt. Ulla;

B.B. Haiglers, Indian Trail, Route 1;

L.E. Lewis’s, Shannon, Route 1;

W.L. Madres, Hertford, Route 1;

Harry M. Morgans, Leicester, Route 1;

Jesse Proctors, Walstonburg, Route 3;

Jesse Sneeds, Laurinburg, Route 2; and the

A.D. Swindells, Pantego.

Christmas Trees Help Pay for Medical School, 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, from the Feb. 4, 1946 issue of the Wilmington Star

Dewitt Kornegay, now a young medical student and once a 4-H club boy of the Seven Springs Club in Wayne County, is still getting results from the cedar trees that he planted years ago as a club member. He completed his fourth season of marketing Christmas trees this past December when he sold 408 trees for $461.04. During the four years of selling these young cedar trees, Dewitt has sold $1,814.33 worth. His original investment was the small sum of $4 for which he bought 2,000 seedling trees that he planted on a one and four-tenths acre plot. C.S. Mintz, farm agent in Wayne, says the income from the trees since that time has been one reason why Dewitt could continue his studies to become a doctor of medicine.

John Holden of Franklin County is another person who thinks well of having a fruit orchard on his farm. John is in the army but he is looking to the future. When he had his furlough at Christmas, he spent most of the time pruning and spraying his one-acre apple orchard now just coming into production. He said it was all right to have a good time while he was at home but he felt that his orchard will mean something to him when he finally gets out of the service. He looks for no returns from his spraying in 1946 but if he can keep his trees in first-class shape, the acre of apple trees will mean something some day and John is looking forward to that day.

The movement for more fruit for the farm home is gaining steady momentum over the state, H.C. Scott writes that the 4-H club members of Edgecombe County are getting their second cooperative order for fruit trees this winter and this time, they are ordering apples, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, pecans, and grapes. That means that the folks of Edgecombe plan to use some of the vacant land about the farmstead to have a supply of healthful food which can be grown without constant attention. In the Edgecombe orders, the varieties of peaches and apples are being so divided as to have a few trees ripening in succession through the season so as to have a constant supply. All the orders will be completed by Feb. 10 and the trees set before the sap starts rising in the spring.

Tree-setting seems to be a contagious thing. W.H. Evans of the Christian Harbor Section of Hereford County is setting pine seedlings on three acres of his land and says he will cover seven more acres with kudzu to prevent erosion on some land that is not now being seeded to row crops. In other words, North Carolina farmers are finding that trees of all kinds are valuable and that there is no need to allow waste land to wash away when either trees, kudzu or pasture sods will hold the soil and allow it to be used for a useful and profitable purpose.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Catawba County Dairy Farmers, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, State Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Newton News-Enterprise, Dec. 11, 1945

One Catawba dairyman, who is milking 25 cows, said he had hay to sell last winter at $40 a ton right at his farm and did not stint his cows the least bit. One of the interesting visits on my trip to that county was to the dairy of J.O. Lutz of Newton, Route 2. Mr. Lutz has a fine herd of between 50 and 60 Jerseys and is milking 30 head at this time. It did one good to see the bales of alfalfa hay stored in the hay shelter and the other, later cuttings, stored in the loft of his lounging barn. Mr. Lutz uses a hay drier and says if he had not had the drier he would have lost all of his last cuttings of his alfalfa.

A little farther down the road is the up-to-date dairy plant belonging to W.R. Lutz and Sons. This father and two sons own 148 Jersey cows and are milking 70 head at this time. They sell about 200 gallons of fine grade “A” milk each day. W.R. Lutz owns about 210 acres of fertile land on his home place and leases an additional 140 acres so as to be able to grow all the feed possible for his dairy herd. He has 30 acres in alfalfa and had to bale much of his cuttings this summer so as to make room for the late harvest. He also uses a hay drier and says he would not be without it again.

In the same neighborhood is the dairy farm of L.H. Seitz and sons, who own 70 Jersey cows and are milking 41 at this time. They have 30 acres of alfalfa on their 275-acre farm and they also have planted some good pastures, as have the Lutzs and the others. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Extension Farm News Across N.C., 1954

Published in Extension Farm-News, July 1954 issue

Good things always get imitated, says D.J. Knight, Halifax County Negro farm agent. Knight said Halifax Negro farmers and their wives will hold a Ham and Egg Show and Sale next year in an attempt to imitate the successful show and sale held in Johnston County each spring. Knight said the Johnston event has been so successful in promoting better pork and poultry management that Halifax Negro families want to give it a try, too.
It may not be a trend, but at least it’s interesting, says Rockingham County Farm Agent J.E. Foil in referring to Bruce Gunn’s decision to stop growing tobacco and become a truck farmer. Gunn, a long-time tobacco farmer of Wentworth, had always wanted to be a truck farmer. This year he made the big decision to switch farming operations completely. Tomato and potato plants were his first marketable crop; strawberries were his second. He sold 650 quarts of berries from a two-tenths acre plot, which grossed him $227.50. Gunn’s next truck crop for sale will be 8,000 lettuce plants. Seems like he’s doing all right, says Foil.
Jim Allgood says Ben Dixon of Stella began to cure tobacco on June 9 to be the first man in the county to begin curing and to break all past records for Onslow. Mr. Dixon also recorded another first at the same time, because it was the first tobacco in Onslow to be harvested by a mechanical puller. The tobacco was set in the open field on April 12.
Mrs. Annie J. Johnson, Negro home agent of Rowan County, and her home demonstration women have prepared and printed 500 copies of a 175-page book which records the splendid progress made by Rowan’s Negro citizens since 1943. It tells by text and picture of citizenship in action and compares favorable with well-edited college annuals.
When Brennan Winslow of Belvidere, Route 1, injured himself with a blast of dynamite while working on his farm pond, his Perquimans County neighbors planted and cultivated his crops so the family would not suffer. As R.M. Thompson says, “His work is as caught up as anyone’s.”
Home Demonstration women of the Southport Club in Brunswick County took part in the big Live Oak Festival early this month. Southport Club President Mrs. B.J. Holden says there was a parade, guest speakers, a boat race and special sight-seeing tours around the county and other historical points of interest for those who attended.
Many Henderson County farmers are utilizing their surplus labor to supplement their incomes by selling pulp wood, says C.H. Thompson, assistant county agent. Thompson says that during the past year 9,500 cords of pulp wood have been shipped through the Hendersonville buying station, bringing local farmers about $100,000. Pulp wood thinning serves two purposes: it brings in needed money and makes the remaining timber more valuable.
Citizens of Haywood County’s West Pigeon community are making sure no one gets lost around their neck of the woods. Residents, cooperating in the community’s long-range development program, have been working in the afternoons and evenings making signs to be placed at each road intersection. They are also making new community entrance signs to properly identify “The Beautiful Valley.”
A total of 104 communities, representing 14 counties, are entered in the 1954 Western North Carolina Rural Community Development Program, according to Morris L. McGough, executive vice president of the Asheville Agricultural Development Council, Inc. McGough said the various counties are offering nearly $7,000 in prizes this year to stimulate the community development programs. Another $1,700 is being offered in area awards.
Winners in the 1954 Home Demonstration Choral Awards contest were Rutherford County, first in mixed voices; Pitt, second in mixed voices; Forsyth, first in women’s chorus; Cabarrus, second in women’s chorus. Leaders of the choruses, who accepted prizes given by radio station WPTF during Farm and Home Week, were Mrs. Paul Davenport, Pitt County; Mrs. Helen Cole, Rutherford County; Mrs. Holly Lentz, Cabarrus; and Mrs. Lester Reich, Forsyth.
For the seventh consecutive year, the North Carolina champion 4-H sheep shearer is from Watauga County. This time Dudley Norris, 15-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Norris of Sugar Grove, won top honors, becoming the third Norris boy to carry home the honors.
The Jaycees of Mocksville sponsored a calf scramble to stimulate interest in artificial breeding in Davie County and local farmers loaned 25 calves for the 40 boys to catch. Each boy catching a calf was given one.
State 4-H officers, elected during 4-H Congress at State College, are G.K. Davis, Gaston County, president; Nancy Mason, Iredell County, vice president; Mary Froebe, Mecklenburg, secretary-treasurer; and Glenn Woodley, Tyrrell, historian.
Currituck 4-H members have been making money by cutting and polishing cypress knees to be used as lamp stands.
Miss Mary Harris, former Randolph County home demonstration agent and a native of Cleveland County, is the new district agent in charge of the 16-county Eastern Home Demonstration District. Miss Harris replaces Mrs. Esther G. Willis.
Assistant Editor J. Harold Parker joined the Department of Agricultural Information at State College. Parker is assigned to the Extension publications section. He replaces W.L. Carpenter, who is on a study leave at the University of Wisconsin. Parker, a native of Ellijay, Ga., is a graduate in agriculture of the University of Georgia.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Emergency Labor Program Brings Bahamians to N.C. Farms, 1945

From the Wilmington Star, June 25, 1945

Farmers will be pleased to know that Fred Sloan, in charge of emergency labor program for the Extension Service, has arranged for 1,500 Bahamians to arrive in North Carolina between June 20 and July 9 for harvesting beans, peaches, and tobacco.

These workers from the West Indies are being brought in by the War Food Administration, and were placed through the county agents of the Extension Service. Contracts for them have already been made with farmers and no additional Bahamians are expected this season.

The first group of 320 workers are supposed to have reached Candor, Montgomery County, last Wednesday, June 20, for the harvesting of peaches. Another group of 500 will go to a camp at Hendersonville on July 1 and will pick snap beans in that area.

In the tobacco counties, the Bahamians will work as “primers.” They will live in tenant houses with government agencies furnishing cooking stoves, beds, and blankets and the farmers furnishing the other necessary equipment. The number of Bahamians contracted for by growers in various tobacco counties follow: Robeson, 60; Duplin, 51; Wayne, 45; Onslow, 19; Edgecombe, 50; Harnett, 60; Sampson, 22; Pitt, 127; Greene, 49; Lenoir, 74; Johnston, 63; and Nash, 60. The workers were allotted by committees of farmers in the counties to the areas where they were most needed. As they complete their contracts in one area, they will be moved to other sections. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How America Spent Its Money, 1947

The following figures are based on net spendable income of average American family in 1947 after income taxes.

16 cents of every dollar goes for shelter…to pay mortgage payments, taxes, repairs and improvements for the average American home.

32 cents is spent for food. The largest share of the family dollar goes to the merchant for meat, groceries, lunches and entertaining.

12 cents more goes for clothes…suits, dresses, shoes, millinery, cleaning, lifting and lowering hemlines, etc.

11 cents is paid for light and fuel, to provide heat, ice, water, gas, laundry, and other home operating necessities.

12 cents provides fun, educational and medical care, and includes books, magazines, theatre, church, charity, clubs, hobbies, doctors, and dentists.

8 cents of every dollar is saved or invested in live insurance, other investments, real estate, taxes and emergencies.

9 cents of a dollar disappears from the family pocketbook for telephone calls, taxis, gadgets, car, candy, tobacco, gifts, tips, and other mysterious items.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

N.C. Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs Meeting in Jackson, 1947

Published in the Jackson News, April 10, 1947

At least 500 women are expected to attend the Fourteenth District meeting of the North Carolina Federation of Home Demonstration clubs at Jackson school building, Wednesday, April 16. Club women will attend from Northampton, Halifax, Granville, Franklin, Vance and Warren counties.

Mrs. L.M. Butts of Halifax, district chairman, and Mrs. T.T. Stephenson of Garysburg, district secretary, will preside over the meeting.

F.H. Jeter, extension service editor of Raleigh, who is well-known in Northampton County and in other counties of the district, will deliver the principal address during the morning session. Mrs. Sallie Calvert Parker of Jackson will speak at the afternoon session.

Mrs. B.T. Tyson of Greenville, Pitt County recreation chairman, will lead the group singing.

Mrs. John W. Price Jr., Northampton home demonstration agent, and Mrs. B.B. Booth, assistant agent, together announced their committee selected for the district meeting has completed plans for the annual convention.  Northampton County home demonstration clubs will be hostesses to the clubwomen of the district and will prepare the food for the meeting. Mrs. Macon Price of Gaston is chairman of the food committee. The Jackson club will be responsible for the decorations and favors.

Among the state officials who will be present are Miss Pauline Smith, district agent; Miss Verna Stanton, acting state agent; and Mrs. Estelle T. Smith, state counselor. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Engineering Helps Farmers Make Up for Labor and Material Shortage, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, as published in the Wilmington Star, April 23, 1945

Somewhat belatedly, it is true, the South is awakening to the fact that farming is also an engineering job. It is interesting to note that almost every day there comes word of some farmer who is beating the labor shortage by working out an engineering short cut or is building some kind of time-saving equipment. There is, for instance, the example of Bradford Hunter of Mecklenburg County, who had to topdressing his small grain with nitrate of soda this spring to produce the feed needed so badly by his dairy cows.

Mr. Hunter took the motor from his own lawn mower, fastened a belt to it and rigged up a homemade contraption to scatter the soda. He said this machine scattered the soda uniformly in a 30-feet spread and that it saved him the labor of four men. That last item is the thing that means so much right now on the farms of North Carolina and despite the fact that the early season and the dry weather has put farmers ahead about three weeks, there still is not enough labor to produce the crops which need to be produced. Men simply must devise new ways and means of doing things.

The actual fact of merely living on the farm calls for engineering skill. David S. Weaver, who handles the farm engineering work of the Agricultural Service, tells me that he has over 396 different building plans or blue prints for buildings, which are in constant demand by farmers of North Carolina.

Among these plans are 56 designs for farm homes, 17 different kinds of general purpose barns, 37 different dairy barns, 10 implement sheds, 15 hog equipment plans, 16 separate plans for poultry houses, 12 milk houses, and so on down the list of blue prints covering plans for almost everything that needs to built on a farm. He says that not a day passes without his getting a request from a county agent or a farmer for one or more of these plans. Of course, there is not so much building as in normal times. However, the man who can cut his own lumber and use old pieces of equipment can go ahead and construct service buildings. Farm agents in 89 North Carolina counties report that last year there were 4,399 buildings constructed, nearly 5,000 dwellings and about 7,000 other farm buildings remodeled in their counties.

The matter of rebuilding and repairing farm buildings is not the only engineering activity of farming people in this state. They are coming to use more machinery and will increase this usage as more machinery become available. In the meantime they have had to do with that on hand and should be kept in mind that farm machinery gets unusually hard wear in North Carolina. This is due to the surface of the land, the nature of the soil and the ridge type of cultivation followed over most the state.

A greater part of the skilled labor which was trained in the use of machinery now is either in manufacturing plants or driving tanks and bull-dozers on far-flung battle fronts. The unskilled labor left does not handle this equipment in the most efficient way and the owner is constantly called upon to do an engineering job in his own shop. Field demonstrations and clinics held in all parts of the state in cooperation with local farm machinery dealers have done much to improve the maintenance practices so that the machines could be operated with less cost to the owners.

In addition to being an engineering expert in handling his farm machinery, the North Carolina farmer must always face the great question of soil conservation and drainage. There are 41 county soil conservation associations in which the farmer members have bought tractor equipment to build terraces at cost so as to save their lands. The entire piedmont section is so organized and while many of these associations did not function last year due to the increased support given to terracing by the Agricultural Adjustment Agency, much terracing was done. For instance, the county unit in Cabarrus County built 443,803 feet of terraces on 1,626 acres of 58 different farms.

Since it was organized in 1941, this Cabarrus unit has been used by farmers to construct nearly 3 million feet of terraces on about 9,000 acres of land in the county. Along with this engineering work with terraces, other good soil saving practices such as contour plowing has been followed.

As with terracing, so has interest in farm drainage increased in the last few years. Eastern Carolina farmers say that it is almost impossible now to maintain the old-style open ditches due to a lack of labor available for this type of work. As a consequence, they are turning to tile drainage and this, in turn, is really an engineering problem.

Also, as the summers continue to be dry, many farmers are installing irrigation systems. They say that controlled distribution of water has proven profitable almost everywhere it has been given a trial, and there are instances of truck growers who have become well-to-do, if not actually wealthy by installing such systems.

The coming of electrical current to the farms of the state is setting up additional engineering problems. Farmers plan to expand their use of the current when the war is over. Feed mills, freezer units, hay driers, water systems, electrical milkers and hundreds of other labor-saving devices will be installed on the farms of this state. Those sons and brothers now in the armed services are learning about machinery and it is predicted that they never again will be content to do farming the hard way when they know there is an easier and a more profitable way. They are looking to engineering to make rural life really worth living and so it seems now that farming has joined the ranks of the engineering profession in which the quite pastoral scene of another day will gradually disappear forever.

Importance of Negro Farmers in North Carolina, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Wilmington Star, April 16, 1945

Few people realize the importance of the Negro in North Carolina farming. About one-half of all Negroes in the state are in rural sections where they operate 57,428 farms. These farms contain 2,728,997 acres of cultivated land with a property valuation of $106,392 and having nearly four million dollars worth of machinery and farm implements on them. 

Negroes also won outright 13,93? [number cut off] farms and are part owners of 4,337 others. These farms contain 882,274 acres with a valuation of nearly $31 million. The 39,134 Negro tenants in North Carolina operate 1,963,870 acres with a property valuation of nearly $82 million. Finally, out of all the 57,428 Negro farm operators in the state, 44,909 of them live and work in the 43 counties now served with Negro farm and home agents employed by the Agricultural Extension Service.

The first and main job of these Negro Extension agents is to teach their people how to live. This has always been the fundamental idea back of this service since it was started in 1912. The white county agents, of course, work with Negro farmers as they do with all rural dwellers and they try to bring to them the latest facts about agriculture and home life, as well as the latest in governmental rulings and regulations. However, the Negro agent concerns himself primarily with making the people of his race as independent of time prices and of “furnishing” as he possibly can. 

It is a fact also that most of the food crops produced by North Carolina Negro farmers are consumed on the farms where raised. Last year, 1944, the agents assisted 27,464 different families in improving the food supply on their farms by the simple expedient of suggesting desirable changes in production methods. The Negro agents have been giving special attention to the production of gardens, fruits, meats, milk, poultry and eggs. Because of the new emphasis on livestock growing in the state, considerable time has, of necessity, been given to the growing of feed crops, including corn, wheat, legumes and pastures.

R.E. Jones, with headquarters at the A&T College at Greensboro, heads up this Extension work with Negroes and is a progressive and far-seeing young leader. He knows that the Negro farm family must be brought along slowly and carefully with great emphasis on the first fundamentals of good farming and rural home life. That is why he and his agents are spending so much of their time on food production. Two-thirds of the 43 Negro agents are located in the old cotton-growing counties and it has been doubly hard to make the farmers in these counties see the importance of growing cash crops as a surplus above the needs of food and feed on the home farm.

Last year, a great effort was made to get more milk in the diet. Many of these rejections by the Army on account of physical handicaps was among the young men of his race. He wants them to have a better diet, especially more milk and other such protective foods. For that reason, he began a campaign to place more milk cows among the Negro families of eastern Carolina last year. As a result, he and his associates placed 2,176 heifers and cows. He also had placed 164 purebred breeding sires. He found that 873 of the cows and heifers went to the farms of Negro tenants and 43 per cent of the total when on farms where there had never been a milk cow before. During the last two years, the Negro Extension workers have placed 31 carloads of dairy cows with Negro farmers and no one values these animals any higher than do the new owners.

While Negro farmers, in the main, are learning the fundamentals of better farming, they are not forgetting that land must be kept at a high state of fertility to make farms profitable. Jones had records to show that 11,281 of his cooperating farmers carried on commendable efforts in trying to build up land and keep it from washing away. His agents taught them about terraces, crop rotations, the use of sod crops and other sound conservation practices.

The home agents, under the direction of Mrs. Dazelle Foster Lowe, state leader charge of home demonstration work with Negro women, report that these women canned 4,377,053 quarts of fruits and vegetables; they dried 214,062 pounds of these; and stored meats, potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables to the amount of nearly 3 million pounds. They also did excellent work with clothing and improved housekeeping methods as taught by the home agents.

Negroes also have their 4-H clubs and they are all doing good. As a matter of fact, there are 28,861 young Negro boys and girls now enrolled in 536 organized clubs.

More than 7,000 voluntary community or neighborhood leaders are helping the home and farm agents in their work with the rural people and the whole effort is resulting in better farming. 

When it is realized that the first Negro county agent was appointed in 1912 somewhat as an experiment with only 24 being appointed up until 1924, it can be seen how quickly and effectively the Negro farmers have come to use the services of these workers. The first Negro home agent was appointed in 1922. Now there are 82 farm and home agents at work. They are a part of the Agricultural Extension Service at State College with their headquarters unit at the A&T College at Greensboro. The white agents also work with the Negro farmers as needed and, on the whole, this entire demonstration effort, as is the case of other relations between the two races, is progressing in a satisfactory and efficient way for the good of the state.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Montgomery and Richmond County Farmers Turning to Sweet Potatoes, 1949

Published in the August 1949 issue of The Southern Planter 

Sweet potatoes are becoming an important cash crop in the Sandhills. In some cases peach growers have been discouraged because so many of their trees have died from armalaria, root knot, nematode, and other causes. As a result, they are turning to sweet potatoes for commercial production.

In Richmond County, farmers in the vicinity of Hoffman have formed a sweet potato growers association under the leadership of D.M. Bryant, local vocational teacher. Bryant is growing certified seed this year for distribution to other growers in the community next year. One of the growers, Claude F. Smith of Hoffman, is building a storage house which will take care of the 2,750 bushels.

Montgomery County will add more than 100 acres of commercial sweets this year. Most of them are being grown in the vicinity of Candor. Growers include Mack Clark, who is growing 10 acres of certified seed; Pat Harmon, who has three acres of certified seed and six to eight acres for table stock; D.C. Ewing, four to five acres; Cajino Brothers, and Otis Poole. 

The Southern Planter, 1949

The Southern Planter

Established 1840

The Oldest Agricultural Journal in America

Richmond 9, Virginia

Devoted to practical and progressive agriculture, horticulture, trucking, livestock and fireside

More farm families in this area read The Southern Planter than any other farm paper. [map shows Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina]

Paul E. Spivey, president; B. Morgan Shepherd, vice-president; Paul D. Sanders, editor; Mavis M. Gibbs, homemaking editor; and M.W. Beville, treasurer.  

Subscriptions 50 cents for two years or $1.00 for 5 years in the United States and Island possessions and Mexico.

'A Farmer With Livestock Is Always Better Off than His Neighbors Without Any,' 1940

Published in the Hickory newspaper in 1940.

Livestock the Key
Farmers of the Hickory areas have been urged many times to increase their livestock production but never more logically than by Frank Jeter, agricultural extension service editor, in an address before the Conover Men’s Club Tuesday night.

Emphasizing the fact that this state could become the leading producer of livestock in the nation if farmers generally would take advantage of their opportunities, Mr. Jeter made a plea for progressive farmers to take the lead in changing the established agricultural methods in this state which all intelligent persons know should be abandoned for soil-building programs and practices, designed to yield far greater returns.

If farmers will remain unsatisfied with conditions as they are and become intrigued with the unbeaten paths which require experimentation, there is no question but that the status of their industry will be rapidly advanced.

Catawba County is far ahead of the average North Carolina section as a consequence of what has already been accomplished through diversification and livestock. However, our people have only scratched the surface of the possibilities in this direction.

Just as Mr. Jeter pointed out, it is obvious to any intelligent observer that the farmer with livestock is always better off than his neighbors without any. That proves that farms whose operators branch out along progressive lines, manifest the effects of added revenues which follow a well-rounded program.

Assuredly, although livestock farming will not solve all the agricultural ills, it will go a long way towards supplying the key.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

While Tobacco Remains King, N.C. Farmers Diversify, 1949

‘King’ Tobacco and Need for Diversification on Farms, published in July 1949 issue of The Southern Planter 

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, State College, Raleigh

Howard R. Garriss was too much of a gentleman to say “I told you so.” But he had good reason, perhaps to pitch this time-worn chestnut towards those tobacco growers of North Carolina who scurried so frantically over the state in May hunting for almost any kind of plants that they could lay hands on.

All during those early days of the season when the young tobacco plants were beginning to form leaves, Plant Pathologist Garriss had used every legitimate means at his command to acquaint growers with the possibility of an outbreak of blue mold. He told exactly how to spray or dust the beds to protect them from this deadly disease which causes so much trouble each year as the growers seek to transplant a uniform set of plants.

Mr. Garriss had the full and unstinted support of every county farm agent and every special assistant agent for tobacco, as well as those agronomists who concern themselves with tobacco. Not only that, but every commercial organization and cooperative association interested in tobacco likewise called attention to the danger form blue mold and how the disease might best be controlled.

Blue Mold Takes a Toll
All the time the growers had the best plants they had ever grown. The plants grew too well during the mild weather of late winter. They were too big anyway, the growers reasoned, so they figured that a little blue mold wouldn’t hurt much. They never reckoned on the severity of the attack that did come…. Those who did had plants enough to set double their allotted acreage. Those who didn’t had to call on neighbors for supply; and from one end of North Carolina to the other, growers whose plants were destroyed in the bed scurried in the hunt for more fortunate growers.

It was no unusual thing to run across trucks in the dead of night along the main highways hauling plants form a hundred miles away. North Carolina had never experienced a situation just like it and it is not likely that such a thing will ever happen again. The lesson has been learned by costly experience.

Lesson from Alert Growers
Another lesson being studied this spring in North Carolina is the way in which tobacco supplies the main farm income of some counties. Wilson County growers did not suffer from a plant shortage this spring because they had twice or three times the amount needed even for the large tobacco acreage grown there. J.O. Anthony, farm agent, says that not in ten years has there been a shortage and he attributes this excellent record to the alert way in which Wilson tobacco farmers look after the details of growing the crop.

But Wilson plants only 18 to 20 percent of its cleared land in tobacco; yet this crop supplies 85 percent of the cash farm income of the country. Suppose something should happen to the tobacco crop one year! Wilson farmers, therefore, have been taking stock of the situation and, along with the various commercial and civic bosses at the county seat, are trying to work out a way in which the other 80 percent of the open land will pay a desirable income.

The folks of Rockingham County, likewise, have been studying this lesson of farm income. County agent J.E. Foil says a group of farmers, industrial and business groups, along with the agricultural leadership, have found that the 4,221 farms in the county contain 104,796 acres of land. Figures secured from the Agricultural Census of 1945 show that the total farm income amounted to $7,317,129 and that out of this total income, the sum of $6,764,000 was contributed by the tobacco crop alone.

In other words, 92 percent of the farm income of Rockingham County came from tobacco in that year. This tobacco was grown on 16,000 acres. The income from the crop jumped to over $9 million dollars in 1948 but the percentage remained about the same. This means, therefore, that only eight percent of the farm income came from crops other than tobacco and that 85 percent of the land was not being used to best advantage.

… Some improvement has been noted during the last two or three years as man after man has added cows, poultry and hogs. These livestock units were based on new pastures and many landowners have begun to work out suitable contracts with their tenants. This is important because one-half of the farms, or 50.2 percent to be exact, are worked by tenants.

Bertie County Takes Stock
Bertie is another county which is fearlessly facing the situation. Bertie lost 3,000 acres when the tobacco acreage was cut 27 percent. It has lost another 10,000 acres of peanuts when the allotment for this crop went into effect in 1949. This means 13,000 acres of cash crops are out of production. As the folks studied what would be done, they learned that 96 percent of their farm income came from cash crops and only four percent from livestock. They said it took about two-thirds of the income received from livestock to pay for the feed which had to get purchased.

A county-wide meeting was held in Windsor to consider the situation. Everyone present knew that something had to be done. So a program for farm improvement has been drafted. It reads like a declaration of independence and that’s about what it is. Supply merchant, banker, civic leader, farmer, agricultural worker, and every other type of citizen interested in the progress of Bertie attended the meeting to draw up the plan. Farm Agent B.E. Grant says it will begin to be put into operation immediately. The first thing being attempted, of course, is to produce more food and feed because they figured that one-third of the present income from cash crops is being spent to buy these necessities.

This idea of “taking stock” of the situation is not peculiar to Bertie and Rockingham counties. North Carolina farmers are well aware of the fact that they perhaps are staking too much of their economic independence on their main cash crops. That’s why there is such a swing to pastures, hay crops, small fruits, sweet potatoes, hogs, chickens, turkeys, dairy cows and beef cattle.

Anson Growing Sweet Potatoes
Down on the river plantations of Anson County, the sweet potato is being planted by tenant farmers this year. They will grow and cure the sweets for sale at local food stores. They gave the idea a trial in 1948 and found it sound, so the acreage to sweets has been increased in 1949. H.M. Covington, extension horticulturist, says the acreage is being increased over North Carolina by 30 percent and most of this increase is in the commercial crop.

Martin County business leaders are offering valuable prizes for the highest production of marketable sweets per acre this year. New market outlets are being established and these outlets are helping to promote the production of a quality product.

One of the newcomers to the field of agricultural promotion are the Junior Chambers of Commerce. In Cabarrus County, they have formed an endless chain Guernsey calf club; in Durham County they have organized a calf and pasture club among the young folks. In every county they are taking an intelligent interest in the welfare and prosperity of the rural people.

Ruritan clubs are also redoubling their efforts in the eastern part of the state where they have several active clubs. They are fostering swine and corn growing in Currituck by awarding the animals and production prizes in the small neighborhoods of that peninsula.

Dare County Grows Gardens
In Dare County, whose outer banks have for so long been a mysterious and intriguing part of North Carolina, one-time fishermen are finding that long leaf pine and red cedar seedlings will grow when properly set and tended. They form windbreaks behind which vegetable gardens can be grown on the beach sand. A lesson from the Indians is being adapted here also as the new gardeners grow fresh, tasty vegetables right in the sand with the aid of unedible fish and applications of commercial fertilizer.

D.A. Midgett of Waves has one of the best gardens on the Outer Banks. It is grown on sand, which is sometimes covered by the tidewater form salty Pamlico sound. Gardens and seedling trees are likewise being grown in the Rodanthe, Avon, Buxton and Kitty Hawk neighborhoods.

The idea of agricultural balance is found not only in the isolated or entirely rural section, but also in more heavily populated, industrial portions of the state. Excellent gardens, pastures and orchards are to be found in industrial Gaston where one is never far away from the hum of a textile spindle. Temporary and permanent pastures are being seeded there and the milk so produced is sold readily in nearby consuming centers.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rosalind Redfearn, Anson County Agent, Retires after 35 Years of Service, 1949

Published in the April 1949 issue of The Southern Planter magazine, page 31

After 35 years of service to the people of Anson County, N.C., Mrs. Rosalind A. Redfearn retired on Jan. 1, 1949, and was succeeded by Mrs. George Robinson. Mrs. Redfearn began work with the tomato canning club girls of Anson County in 1913 at a munificent salary of $50 a year. 

She and J.W. Cameron, farm agent, have worked together as a team since then to carry on an unparalleled period of service in the nation.

On Friday, December 31, 1948, the people of Anson gathered in the county courthouse in Wadesboro to honor the retiring home agent. It was “Rosalind Redfearn Day” in the county. More than 400 friends representing every official and organized group in Anson joined in the praises heaped upon this modest and unselfish person. She was given a beautiful silver service by her friends in the county and state. Mrs. Redfearn told them that she would always be grateful for the fine way in which they had worked with her over the 35 years and that she would continue to work as a neighborhood leader in her community.

Frank H. Jeter, Writer, Editor and Director of the Communications Department, N.C. State

Frank H. Jeter, the first agricultural editor at N.C. State, wrote many of the articles you will find on this site. During his 40-plus years at N.C. State, he worked with the Extension Service and Agricultural Research Service to encourage better lives for farm and rural families. He was director of communications at the time of his death on Sept. 16, 1955, and the photo here is from the files of his communications department.

The following is from USDA, a newsletter distributed to Extension Service employees, published July 5, 1948, is about one of the many honors he received during his long career:

Dr. Jeter
The board of trustees of Clemson College has voted to confer upon Frank Jeter, extension editor since time immemorial, the degree of doctor of science. As far as we are aware, this is the first time an extension editor has been so honored, and we certainly cannot think of any information specialist who came near it, until after he left information work! Fortunately, if anyone in this field of endeavor was to have been so honored, Frank Jeter is the man to have been elected. It is absurd to say that his friends rejoice, for that means everybody; he has no enemies.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Women Proudly Pay Off Roanoke Rapids Curb Market Debt, 1945

Written by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, North Carolina State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Morning Star, July 30, 1945

Back in February, 1931, Mrs. Hazel Ervin Wheeler, then home agent in Halifax County, helped the home demonstration club women of that county to establish a curb market in an old store building in Roanoke Rapids. The other day Mrs. R.B. Robinson, acting for the Woman’s Market Board, presented to the County Commissioners at their regular monthly meeting in Halifax a check in final payment of all indebtedness on the 
new curb market building which they began to establish in 1937.

Miss Florence Cox, new home agent in Halifax County, says that along with Mrs. Robinson were Mrs. W.E. Powell, president of the Woman’s Board, and Mrs. Van Dortch.

This Roanoke Rapids Curb Market was opened in February, 1931, in an old store building which was obtained rent free for the rural women by William Manning, superintendent of Rosemary Manufacturing Company. Mr. Manning’s fine mother, Mrs. Fannie Manning, had much to do with the early success of the market and the rural women called her the mother of their market. She encouraged the women to carry on in despite of all difficulties and tried to make the way easier for them.

In January, 1937, the women were compelled to find another site for their market. They failed in all their efforts to secure another building so in March, 1937, they moved out on the street and, in actuality, became a curb market. Mrs. Robinson relates how they used card tables and old counters from the store building for display purposes. The perishable food was kept in the cars away from the flies until it could be sold. There was no protection from sun, wind, dust, or rain.

William Harris saw the plight of the women and rented to them, for a small sum, a part of a building that he was using for storage in downtown Roanoke Rapids. But the women had been busy since early in the year trying to determine what they could do towards getting a permanent location. A committee of rural women went before the county commissioners and presented the needs for a building and asked for financial aid in securing a market place. The commissioners were interested and finally bought a lot on which to erect such a building. Then they said that if the women would raise $2,000 with which to start the building, the commissioners would finance it with the understanding that the women would repay the balance in small monthly payments.

So they all went to work. They canvassed everyone who could possibly be expected to help. After much hard work they secured $1,000 in cash which they turned over to the Board of Commissioners. Then began a struggle for the other $1,000. It was raised in many ways. Four big barbecue dinners were served to the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke Rapids, to the Lion’s Club of Littleton, and to the general public. These were held at Hardware School, the county fair grounds, the home of Mr. and Mrs. L.T. Barbour, and the home of Mr. and Mrs. R.B. Robinson.

The several home demonstration clubs all over Halifax County gave suppers and donated all profits to the curb market. In fact, Mrs. Robinson says, there was no end to the suppers, and to the selling of sandwiches, ice cream, lunches, and produce at the market to raise more money. In each case the food was donated by the women and entire proceeds given to the building fund. Money secured as premiums at fairs also was added to the fund.

Finally, in November, 1937, the building was opened with a big turkey dinner and this helped to produce the last dollar needed for obtaining the second $1,000. Since that time the small monthly payments have been met and now the women own the building clear of all debt. Since 1942, when Mrs. Wheeler retired from home agent work on account of her health, Florence Cox and Mrs. Estelle Edwards Garner, the assistant home agent, have helped the women to carry on and Mrs. Robinson says, “They greatly aided us to make the final payment on the Farm Woman’s Curb Market Building.”

The value of this market is hard to estimate but rural people all over Halifax County could tell interesting stories of how the sales of surplus produce has been responsible for the addition of many comforts and necessities to the farm homes out in the county. In the first year of its existence, that is in 1931, the women sold products in the amount of $8,299.16. Last year, 1944, the sales amounted to $20,437.43. The total cash value of all sales made since 1931, according to records kept by the market, amount to $194,430.36. This means that nearly $200,000 has been distributed among the rural families largely for small amounts of produce that was not needed on the home farm.

Similar stories could be told in the markets in Charlotte, in Wilmington, Rocky Mount, and other towns where the home demonstration club women have definitely established high standards of quality for the farm produce which they offer for sale. The Rocky Mount market, for instance, has become the measuring rod for such institutions all over the United States. The same is true of the one at Wilson. Visitors from other states and from foreign countries have been advised by governmental officials to visit these markets when studying similar set-ups for their people. A number of markets for Negro farmers also have been established and these have had the effect of doubling home production of food stuffs on those farms where the owners supply material for the market counters. Now that certain kinds of food are scarce on the shelves of the regular retail stores, these markets are more important than ever and are being patronized to the point where they have won a permanent place after the war and its resulting food shortage is over.

Beaman Farm, Greene County, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Service Editor, North Carolina State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, June 25, 1945

Some good farming is being done in Greene [County] by the Beaman brothers who live about four miles from Snow Hill. We had time to visit only two of the brothers and found C.J. Beaman busy in his large garden. He was bemoaning the loss of some excellent strawberry plants, cabbage, and other vegetables which were growing in that part of his garden next to the tobacco barn that was struck by lightning the week before.

The barn was completely destroyed in the resulting fire, and Mr. Beaman said if the wind had been blowing towards his home, the whole farmstead would have been wiped out. Neighbors came to his rescue, however, and a bucket brigade, aided by tin roofs on some of the adjacent buildings, helped to save the property.

Mr. Beaman has a typical eastern Carolina farm. He owns 354 acres of land in his total farm holdings and grows about 30 acres of cotton, 75 acres of corn, 50 acres of tobacco, and 20 acres of hay. He also plants wheat and oats for winter growth to be followed by lespedeza or soybeans.

The Beamans have a lovely home, well shaded, and with flowers and shrubs arranged in the yards.

He grows his own meat supply and has a smoke house full of shoulders, side meat and hams. The chicken yard and garden also supply their share of quality food.

It was interesting to see the fine collards now growing in Green gardens. Jack Harrell said this is common to the county, although over most of North Carolina collards are planted later in the season.

Attesting to the fact that Greene is one of North Carolina’s best crop counties is the significant situation existing there in regard to farm lands. There is none for sale. One look at the crops growing there this year and the reason can easily be understood.