Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Carolina Farm Comments, Feb. 4, 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in his “Carolina Farm Comment” in the Wilmington Star on Feb. 4, 1946

When it comes to profitable items, E.H. Baker of the Glendale Springs Community in Ashe County says nothing beats a field of well cultivated snapbeans. Mr. Baker sold $1,940 worth of the beans from a field of 3 ½ acres last season. He kept an accurate yield record on one acre and produced 419 bushels that brought him $794. He used 600 pounds of nitrate of soda under the beans at planting time, and then made a side application of 300 pounds of the 5-7-5 fertilizer with 100 pounds of nitrate of soda. He used the Tendergreen variety, planted on May 10, and he picked the field three times. The entire first picking graded U.S. No. 1 on the auction market at West Jefferson.

Pasquotank cabbage growers also have been experimenting this season to find out which varieties can be used in that county to extend the marketing season over a longer period. The growers say it is all right to grow a crop of cabbage, sell them all when they are mature, and pocket the profits, if any. But they have found that by using different varieties, they can stager the marketing season, so to speak, and have cabbage for sale over a longer period.
. . . .
They say, too, that they have found it profitable to provide their livestock with good shelter and plenty of warm bedding and good feed during these past snowy and sleety days. It pays to treat the livestock kindly and to keep well watered, well fed and comfortable. Some new methods of livestock management have been started as a result of this bad weather and that is extremely fortunate for the stock.
We get many calls about how to plan the grounds about a farm home, how to select the site for the home and then how to develop the farmstead so as to have a place of satisfaction and beauty down through the years. So many of our people are planning to build new farm homes or to repair or remodel the old ones that I believe some of you who read this column will want copies of a new booklet dealing with this whole subject. It is beautifully illustrated with pictures and drawings, and was prepared by John Harris, landscape specialist. He secured the aid and advice of Miss Pauline Gordon, home management specialist, so that the plans given might be suitable to the needs of the farm housewife. He also received advice and suggestions from the farm management and farm engineering experts. If you desire a copy, write for Extension Circular No. 285, Homestead Planning.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Raleigh Kiwanis Club Endorses Jeter for Governor of Carolinas Kiwanis District, 1952

Press release by Bill Humphries, Public Relations Committee, Kiwanis Club, Raleigh, dated Feb. 3, 1951, from the F.H. Jeter papers in Special Collections, D.H. Hill Library, N.C. State University

RALEIGH, N.C., Feb. 2 – Frank H. Jeter, agricultural editor of North Carolina State College and former chairman of the Agriculture Committee of Kiwanis International, was endorsed unanimously today by the Raleigh Kiwanis Club for Governor of the Carolinas Kiwanis District for 1952.

Under a rotational plan, the next governor is to come from Eastern North Carolina. The election will be held at the district convention in Raleigh next October.

Jeter, the first announced candidate for the office, is widely known in both North and South Carolina as an agricultural writer and speaker, civic and religious leader, and active Kiwanian for more than 25 years.

A native of Santuck, Union County, S.C., he attended Clemson College, where he received a B.S. in agriculture in 1911, ranking third in his class. His alma mater signally honored him in 1948 by awarding him an honorary Doctor of Science degree—the first to be awarded to any agricultural editor in the United States.
Jeter has gained national prominence for his work as agricultural editor of N.C. State College for more than 35 years. His byline is familiar to readers of every newspaper in North Carolina and every important farm magazine from coast to coast. His daily farm news broadcasts over 50,000-watt station WPTF, Raleigh, are heard by a large audience, and he has appeared on programs for farm, civic, and business groups in every county in the state.

Following a term as president of the Raleigh Kiwanis Club in 1925, Jeter was elected lieutenant governor of the Fifth Division, Carolinas District, in 1926, and was appointed chairman of the Agriculture Committee of Kiwanis International for 1927-28.

Among numerous other honors, he served as president of the American Association of Agricultural Editors, 1919-1920, and chairman of the editorial section, Southern Agricultural Workers, 1937-39. He has been director of the N.C. State College News Service since 1920, chairman of the Board of Student Publications since 1932, and has taught in professional schools for agricultural extension workers at both Cornell University and the University of Arkansas.

In 1946 the North Carolina Farm Bureau presented him with a “certificate for meritorious service to agriculture,” and in 1949 the American Association of Agricultural College Editors cited him for “distinguished journalistic service to farm people for more than a quarter of a century.”

Active in religious affairs, Jeter is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh, has served as president of the church’s Vanguard Bible Class, and has been a trustee of Presbyterian Junior College, Maxton, N.C., since 1943.

He is a member of the Torch Club; Carolina Country Club; Alpha Zeta National Honorary Agricultural Fraternity; Phi Kappa Phi National Scholarship Society; Epsilon Sigma Phi Agricultural Extension Fraternity; Blue Key leadership organization; Alpha Gamma Rho Social Fraternity; and other organizations.
Owner of a 376-acre farm in Union County, S.C., Jeter is married to the former Irene Ann Albert and they have three children—Frank Jr., a member of the editorial staff of the Greensboro Daily News; Vernon, a medical student at Duke University, Durham; and Mrs. Bill Black of Durham. Mr. and Mrs. Jeter reside at 304 Forest Road in Raleigh.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Measles Fatal for One in Every 300 to 500 Cases, 1940

From a report by the U.S. Public Health Service as reported in the February 1940 issue of The Southern Farmer

Perhaps the most contagious, most readily transmitted and positively one of the most dangerous of the communicable diseases of childhood, measles, is a disease which parents are included still to consider too lightly.

While persons of all ages are more or less susceptible, measles occurs most commonly in children, 97 percent of the cases being reported before the age of 15.

It is universally prevalent but not always in epidemic form. Perhaps 90 percent of all people over 20 in the United States have had the disease. Only rarely does one go through life without experiencing an attack.
Measles ordinarily is most prevalent from January through April, and twice as many epidemics occur during the colder months as have been noted during the warmer season of the year.

In a typical case of measles symptoms appear from 10 to 12 days after exposure. Occasionally the incubation period may be shorter or longer.

The disease is ushered in by catarrhal symptoms of the eyes, nose and respiratory tract, and fever. In addition there may be loss of appetite, chilliness, vomiting, diarrhea and nervous irritability. These symptoms are usually proportionate to the height of the fever and the severity of the catarrhal symptoms.

The eyes are characteristically red and swollen and markedly sensitive to light. There may be an irritative discharge from the nose and the patient is further annoyed by frequent attacks of sneezing and a dry, hacking cough.

After a day or so the temperature tends to recede and to remain normal until the rash appears.
About the fourth day, the eruption is seen, first behind the ears and on the neck and forehead. Within 36 hours it may have spread all over the body. The skin itches and burns.

With the appearance of the rash the fever rises again and all other symptoms increase in intensity. When the eruption reaches its height, the fever begins to decline, reaching normal in from 24 to 48 hours. Other constitutional and local symptoms improve as the fever goes down.

The rash fades in the order of its appearance, leaving a slight brownish stain which lasts for one or two weeks. Scaling begins as soon as the rash subsides and is completed in from a week to 10 days.

As the invasion or pre-eruptive stage of measles resembles the onset of other infections, or may in some instances be so mild as to arouse no suspicion, the true nature of the disease may be overlooked. The importance of early diagnosis is emphasized by the fact that the disease is perhaps most infectious during the first few days. The catarrhal symptoms are most marked before the rash appears.

In uncomplicated cases of measles, the fatality rate is low, perhaps one death for every 300 to 500 cases. Death is seldom due to the primary infective agent (virus) but to secondary invading organisms which attack the patient after his resistance has been lowered by measles. Germs of diphtheria and tuberculosis already in the body, or such dangerous newcomers as pneumococcus, streptococcus or staphylococcus may become active, involving eyes, ears, sinuses, lungs and the intestional tract.

Broncho-pneumonia is the most dangerous complication of measles. It develops in about 10 percent of cases and is the chief cause of death.

Mild laryngitis is an early symptom which usually subsides as the rash reaches full development. If laryngitis continues and becomes more aggravated the possibility of a complicating diphtheria must be considered. Otitis, or inflammation of the middle ear, occurs in about 12 percent of cases.

No specific treatment for measles is afforded. Treatment is directed at symptoms and with the thought of preventing complications. All suspected cases should be removed from contact with other children and put to bed if there is fever. A physician should be called immediately.

As the contagious material in measles is principally in discharges from the eyes, nose, throat and ears, linen soiled with secretions from these sources should be washed and sunned, otherwise disinfected or destroyed before other children come in contact with it. Clothing, mattresses and utensils used in the sick room should be thoroughly cleaned and well aired in the sunlight. The virus quickly dies under these conditions.

On the assumption that complications are apt to be less frequent and the outcome less serious as the child increases in age, parents should strive to defer the apparently inevitable attack of measles. Certainly there is no justification for the widely current belief that the earlier the child has the disese, the more easily immunity is acquired.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Farmers Working for Their Share of Economic Sunshine, 1943

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wadesboro Messenger, Feb. 4, 1943

There is definitely growing in North Carolina a farmer consciousness. Apparently the farmers of this state are going to become more and more concerned about their own welfare and will be more willing to work together to secure it. I do not mean this in the sense that a “farm boc” is in the making; but, I do seem to see a slowly developing perception on the part of leading farmers that they must begin to work together to secure for themselves and their families a share of the economic sunlight.

For the past several weeks, I have been going over the state attending a number of meetings having to do with the general mobilization for increasing food production in 1943 and I note that farmers realize their importance in the national emergency. They realize also that they have given up their labor and their sons to the armed forces to possibly a greater degree than any other class of citizens. They further realize that their hours are long and hard and that they do not get time and a half for overtime. Despite some increase in farm prices, farmers have not shared in the present high prices to the same extent that organized labor has. Yet, the farmer’s job is just as important as that of the workman in shop and factory.

North Carolina farmers will not get into any kind of radical mess as has happened in the past nor will they listen to the wily blandishments of John L. Lewis and his United Mine Workers. Mr. Lewis seems to be trying to bolster his waning power by using the farmer for his purpose. He will not get far in North Carolina. But more and more the Grange and the Farmers Federation are growing in power. The Grange is fortunate that it is headed by as progressive and as thoughtful a young man as Harry Caldwell. He is a sound leader and he works day after day for those real benefits which should come to our rural sections. Mr. Caldwell is respected by members of the General Assembly and by all of the trained agricultural workers at State College and the State Department of Agriculture. He has been on numerous occasions to get the trained men of these state institutes and the very practical men of large commercial organizations to work together for some specific benefit that one group could not bring about alone.

Some day Mr. Caldwell should become the head of the National Grange in the United States. He has the ability. Because of his fine work and the high type of farm families that are now connected with the Grange, this farm organization is becoming a real power in the state. The Grange does not go off on any theory but the State Master and his executive committee study a given situation thoroughly; they confer with leading farmers and then invite trained specialists to give them cold facts before they begin to advocate some movement. In this way they have won the respect of all with whom they have come into contact. I do not know the total farm membership of the Grange in North Carolina but it is a good solid membership that is working steadily for the continued improvement of our rural life.

The Farm Federation is an aggressive, business-like farm organization with some 15,000 members found more largely in the eastern section of North Carolina. It has no factional aspect but concerns itself with study of governmental farm programs, prices for farm produce, distribution of commercial fertilization and other cost and profit items in farming.

Not only have many farmers joined this organization but bankers and merchants and other professional men, seeing how the wind blows, have joined also. The organization has several influential members who are in the present General Assembly and these men are first and foremost for the farmers. I have attended one or two executive meetings of the directors of this organization and I find them gentlemanly, pleasant fellows, easy to talk with, ready for a joke, and quick to laugh over some quip by one of their organization.

But the minute something comes up which affects the welfare of the farmer, they are cold, ruthless calculators. Nor do they care who the person may be that is trying to put something over on the farmer. They will tackle anyone form Secretary Wickard on down. I sometimes think they are a bit merciless yet I know that the farmer has too long been lulled with false promises and he must forever be alert from now on or he will be lost completely in the great social and economic changes which are seeping [into the] the United States and the world. There is one thing I like about the Farm Bureau Federation—it knows what it wants. It keeps its goal in sight all the time without regard to any blandishments from this side or that. One of these great goals and, probably, the main one, is economic security for the farmer and his family. Farmers would do well to keep this in mind and remember what the driver said when asked to pick off the hornet’s nest with his wagon whip. “That’s organization,” he commented, and wisely let the nest hang undisturbed.

Farming is a way of life, a beautiful way of life when made profitable, but it must be continue [to be] profitable. I do not mean to imply that the Farmers Federation or the Grange looks entirely on the cash or profit side or else the Federation would not have honored Mrs. Rosalind Redfearn with a certificate of service to Agriculture at its meeting last week in Raleigh.

Mrs. Redfearn has served her people for 30 years in Anson County without considering the cost. She has helped to bring to them some of the beautiful and cultural things of life. So have those whom the Grange has selected to honor from time to time. 

I am trying to say that these two farm organizations both want the North Carolina farm to be a place where girls and boys can be brought to adulthood filled with a love of country, a love of the land, vigorous with good health, strong in mentality and conscious of their important place in the life of the state and nation.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Magazine Encourages Farmers to Organize, 1940

From the editorial page of the Feb. 1940 issue of The Southern Planter

Activities of labor unions are constantly in the news. Because of their powerful organizations, John L. Lewis, C.I.O’s militant president, and William Green, president of the American Federation of Labor, have been able to accomplish miracles for the working man.

Improved working conditions, Social Security legislation, immigration laws, and the 40-hour week, undreamed of a few years ago, owe their very existence to the efforts of organized labor. Whether you approve of labor’s methods or not, you must admit that they working man’s lot has been enormously improved because of the vigorous leadership in the unions.

Contrast labor’s progress, if you please, with that of agriculture. Farmers work under precisely the same conditions as a generation ago. They have no Social Security benefits, save a niggardly old age pension when destitute. If a farmer worked but 40 hours a week, he would starve himself and his family. And strangely enough, the only direct aid agriculture has received from the Federal government—payments and benefits under the Agricultural Adjustment Administration—to offset industry’s tariff and labor’s manifold advantages, has been vigorously opposed by those in high political office from agrarian states, and, indeed, sniped at from some quarters by farm organizations and fair weather friends of the farmer. This sad state of affairs has come to pass because farmers are not united; they cannot act and vote as a unit; their own organizations are relatively small and weak, thus permitting them frequently to be controlled locally for purely political purposes.

Did you know that there are nearly 60 million people living in rural America?

The National Grange, America’s oldest and largest farm organization, has a dues-paying membership of only 800,000.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, whose courageous president, Ed O’Neal, did much to put across the farm adjustment legislation, has a membership of but 400,000.

The C.I.O. has a membership of around 4,000,000, and the American Federation of Labor, excluding the United Textile Workers of America and the International Union of United Automobile Workers, which have just received their charters, has a total membership of 3,800,000. Thus organized, labor boasts a membership of nearly 8 million as against agriculture’s 1.4 million.

Farm organizations cannot be built up from the top down; growth must start from the bottom. There is a job for the Grange or a farm Bureau local in every rural community of the South. There are capable men and women in your community ready to do that job. Won’t you help get them together? As local units become active, worthwhile county and state leadership will develop.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

See America for $90, 1940

From an ad in the Feb. 1940 issue of The Southern Planter

See America for $90
Start from your home town now on a Grand Circle Tour of the United States—east coast, west coast, border to border. Go by one route, return by another, with liberal stopovers—for $90 railroad fare in coaches or $135 in Pullmans (plus $45 for one or two passengers in a lower birth). Get the full facts from your ticket agent about the greatest travel bargain in history!

American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree

I’ve just finished reading a wonderfully well-written and informative book about blight and the loss of American chestnut trees. The disappearance of chestnut trees was a real loss for farmers and rural folk, particularly in the western part of North Carolina. American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree by science journalist Susan Frienkel gives you a complete picture of the problem, from its impact on people to the work done by scientists, dedicated volunteers, and the American Chestnut Foundation to develop a resistant chestnut tree. The book was published by the University of California Press in 2007.

See The American Chestnut Foundation’s web site,, for more recent information. I found two 2011 articles on resistant American chestnuts from North Carolina newspapers:
“Tree Planting Near Asheville Part of Hope for American Chestnut,” from the Asheville Citizen-Times:
“New Hope for a Vanished Giant” from the Charlotte Observer:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'Frank Farmer Says' February 1940 column

“Frank Farmer Says” by A.B. Bryan in the February 1940 issue of The Southern Planter magazine

Cooperation in 1940 will help solve many farm problems, but it is no substitute for old-fashioned thrift and industry.
A good farmer is known by the number of those who follow in this train.
Furrows through the field of progress are made only by driving forward.
My experience with poultry bears out the research workers, that sunshine is the best laying tonic for hens.
Spring preparation thought: It is more important to plant when the land is right than when the moon is right.
Another good form of farm relief may be had in fuller use of the publications and other information from agricultural colleges.
A bottle of milk in the refrigerator is worth two bottles of medicine in the cabinet.
Over 800,000 Southern farm families have no vitamin factories in the form of vegetable gardens.
The farmer’s batting average in the farming game is indicated by the records he keeps which show the hits and errors made in his business.
For the livestock man, forage in the fields means profit in the pocket.
“No man has the right to destroy soil even if he does own it in fee simple.” –H.A. Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Showing Livestock in Kinston, 1944

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Feb. 1, 1944, issue of in the Wilmington Star

As you entered the building, you ran into a confused but orderly bustle. Boys and girls were clipping fine fat animals; there was the bawling of dissatisfied calves; pigs yelled in uncontrolled abandon at the unaccustomed surroundings and there was the unmistakable odor of cattle and hay.

Interested looking farm folk walked up and down the rows of animals and wisely made selections of the blue ribbon winners or weighed the chances of the entries made by their children. Serious-minded gentlemen with the inevitable walking canes that seemed to go with the fat stock business discussed the show in low tones and wondered audibly why some breeder was not there.

County agents studied the whole situation and almost always knew by the time the judging had started exactly how the animals would be placed.

Always present also is the versatile representative of the local chamber of commerce who is responsible for the show and is interested to see the number of visitors that have been attracted to town for the event.

This is not an event in the mid-west cattle country of the United States. It is one of the annual events staged down in North Carolina’s coastal plain—in the heart of tobaccoland, in the one-crop country of shiftless tenants, in the section of the share-cropper—where, if one believed only the small part of the propaganda about it, would never dream that such a show could be held.

Well, it can be held and has been for several years. The one at Rocky Mount is the older of three shows and is well established. The one at Lumberton is the youngest of the three and is just finding itself. The third is at Kinston and is now in its fourth year. I attended the Kinston show this year just to see if eastern North Carolina did have a livestock industry. The show was open to all counties east of a line running approximately along the main line of the Seaboard Railroad through Raleigh.

This show proved that North Carolina has some fine beef cattle herds because most of the animals exhibited were purchased form herds grown within the state. There were 73 of as fine beef steers as one would find at any small sectional show of this kind whether in Texas, Iowa, Illinois or Indiana. Some of the animals were not fed out and finished as well as usual this year because of the difficult feed situation but most of them were in tiptop shape.  The judging was extremely troublesome because everyone knew those who had animals entered, and there was keen competition in all classes. Most of the 73 animals at halter were entered by 4-H Club members having baby beef projects. There was, however, a second group of animals entered in pens of three by adult farmers. In most cases, these could not compare in quality with those exhibited by the young people.

Just before the judging started, a young man in the uniform of Uncle Sam’s Navy rushed in and claimed his animal. He was 19-year-old J.C. Johnson of Naval Training Station at Sampson, N.Y. His father, Caleb Johnson of Four Oaks, Route 3, in Johnston County, and his sister, Blanche, had brought Johnny’s calf to the show, not knowing that the son would get there. John said he showed his commanding officer a picture of the blue ribbon calf that he had entered two years ago and told the officer that he had entered another and better calf this year. Then he requested permission to attend the show. Since he had finished his boot training and was to be shipped out in a few days, his request for a furlough was granted and he came to Kinston before he went home. It was a fitting reward that he won the grand champion prize and later sold his calf at the record price of 56 cents a pound. His sister, Blanche, won the reserve champion or second place, and a cousin, Ivan Lassiter, of the same Four Oaks community, won the third grand prize. The two Johnsons exhibited Herefords while the cousin showed a Shorthorn. Blanche sold her entry for 42 cents a pound.

The 73 haltered animals weighed 55,982 pounds and sold for a total of $13,285.34, or an average of $23.73 per hundredweight.

The 119 finished hogs exhibited were of the same fine quality as were the baby beeves. W.D. Cobb of Langrance, Greene County, exhibited the grand champion pen, while a 16-year-old girl, Josie Galloway of Waltonsburg, showed the champion individual. Josie is a member of the Greene County 4-H clubs.
Another important part of this show was the test of showmanship by the boys and girls who had entered animals. It was a delight to see how the young folks knew how to handle their animals in the ring. The steers were made to pass exactly right and to keep looking at the judges at all times. Sullivan Fisher of Red Oak in Nash County proved to be the best showman in the group and was given an appropriate prize consisting of halters and other livestock-handling material.

What happened in the big tobacco warehouse at Kinston also happened at Rocky Mount and at Lumberton. The fact is that North Carolina is beginning to be livestock-minded. These young farm boys and girls are coming more and more to select some phase of animal husbandry for their 4-H projects. When they finish the animals, they are as good as those grown anywhere and the roasts and steaks produced are just a tender and just as succulent and as nutritious.

This livestock is following hay crops, seeded pasture, alfalfa, lespedeza and the hundreds of other such feed crops which can be grown so successfully in the state. The man who thinks that the North Carolina farmer is continuing to sell all of his fine feedstuffs so that the Midwest farmer can use them to finish cattle and build fertility into their soils is mistaken. We have the cotton for cottonseed meal, the soybeans, the peanuts, and all the other feeds along with some foundation stock that has been bred in the purple. Why then, should we ask odds of any other farming section on earth?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Carolina Farm Notes, February 1940

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in The Southern Planter, February, 1940

The early bird lays the high priced eggs. Progressive poultrymen know this; so they are making plans now to hatch out pullets to lay these high priced eggs next fall and winter. To remind all poultry growers of this important matter, H.C. Gauger of the State College poultry department, says the heavy breeds, such as the Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires or Barred Rocks, should be hatched between February first and March first. The light breeds, such as the Leghorns, should be hatched between March first and April first.

The recent promotion of Dr. R.Y. Winters, formerly director of the North Carolina Experiment Station and now assistant director of research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has had a favorable reaction in North Carolina where Dr. Winters served as plant breeder and agronomist before becoming director of the Station in 1925. He left for Washington in 1937; and in addition to becoming assistant director of research in the Federal organization, he has recently been placed in charge of coordinating the research programs of the four regional laboratories to develop new uses for farm commodities.

Two thousand farm women sold $350,000 worth of surplus garden, pantry and home supplies at the 44 home demonstration curb markets operated in North Carolina in 1939. Mrs. Cornelia C. Morris said the stimulus for growing, conserving and preparing this material for the markets was a desire on the part of the women to improve their rural homes. The money was used for better housing, comfortable furnishings, more efficient home equipment, health protection, and the like. The markets also stimulated attention to finance, farm management and to the budgeting of time and funds.

“As a result of their market sales each week, we have many women knowing for the first time how much money they are receiving and how much they are spending for living expenses,” Mrs. Morris said.

Joe Sanderson, a 16-year-old member of the Grantham 4-H Club in Wayne County, has been named the champion 4-H meat producer in North Carolina and has received an inscribed gold watch as a prize. In his three years of club work, Sanderson has handled 101 hogs, taken part in four judging and four showmanship contests, and has exhibited corn and swine at local, county, and state shows to win $181 in cash prizes. His total returns from his swine work amounted to $1,620.09 and from his corn has amounted to $273. He lives on his father’s farm, Route 1, Four Oaks.

One day T.M. Mayfield, assistant county agent of Union county, visited R.P. Stegall, farmer of the Marshville section. “How can I make $1,000?” Stegall asked half jokingly.

“By growing turkeys,” Mayfield shot back.

That called for more talk and on May 15, Mr. Stegall placed 1,100 turkey poults under four electrical brooders. The poults at 40 cents each plus the cost of the brooder house, the four brooders, and of the feed made an expense of $1,482.70. He lost 80 of the 1,100 poults started, and sold the mature birds for $2,513.76. His profit above feed cost was $1,161.06.

So Mr. Stegall made his $1,000 and still has the equipment which he says is just about as good as new.

Twenty-eight Iredell 4-H calf club members decided that if they were going into this dairy business on a sound basis, they had better get one of the best bulls that could be bought.

Therefore, they formed the Iredell 4-H Jersey Bull Association, prepared a constitution and by-laws, and set up a governing body consisting of a board of five directors with a president, vice-president, secretary-treasurer and two additional membes elected by the 28 stockholders.

Edgar Troutman, Statesville, Route 3, was elected president, and James Vanstory, Statesville, Route 4, vice president. Charles Tomlin, Statesville, Route 4, and L.T. Brawley, Mooresville, Route 2, are the two additional directors. The 28 members each took shares of stock in proportion to the number of heifers they have to breed. Each share entitles the stockholder to one service free and 50 shares were sold to finance the purchase.

The Association secured a 14-month-old animal, Morrocroft Designer, from former Governor Cameron Morrison of Mecklenburg County.

One disease control practice expanding from nothing six years ago to where cotton growers treated the seed planted on 600,000 acres in 1939 has been worth $11,830,000 during the past four years.

Howard R. Garriss, extension specialist in the plant disease department, said treating cotton seed before planting was first tried in North Carolina in 1943 when enough seed to plant about 2,000 acres were treated. In 1936, definite demonstrations were begun and these demonstrations indicated that the average increase per acre in the value of the seed and lint amounted to $9.82.

Garriss sums it up this way:
   --24,000 acres were planted to treated seed in 1936, worth $300,000;
   --200,000 acres were treated in 1937, worth $2,200,000;
   --450,000 acres were treated in 1938, worth $43,438,000; and
   --600,000 acres were planted to treated seed in 1939 with the increased yield worth $5,892,000.

In the many field demonstrations conducted during the four-year period, an average of 431 plants emerged per 100 feet of row where the seed was treated, as compared with 305 plants per 100 feet where the seed was not treated. The plants growing form the treated seed were more halthy and vigorous and produced an average of 1,248 pounds of seed cotton per acre as compared with 1,023 ponds where the seed were not treated. The treatment consisted of dusting the seed with a 2 or 5 percent ethyl mercury chloride powder (Cerasan).

Boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 21 years in 20 Piedmont counties served by the milk routes of a large commercial milk processing company (Carnation) may now join in a newly organized Piedmont Dairy Cow Production Club.

The milk company is cooperating with farm agents in the territory to teach the club members good dairy practices and to develop a sense of ownership among the young people. Prizes will be offered for the best production record over a 300-day period. Entries will close on April 30, 1940.

Club members will be aided to obtain one or more cows with the understanding that all milk from the animals so secured will be sold to the company. This milk will be tested and weighed separately from any other milk that might come from the same family and the company will keep books on the project, paying the club member on the first and 15th of each month. One of the checks must be used to pay for the cow obtained under the agreement. The company will also lend club members the necessary cans and strainers free of cost.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

County Agents Need Our Support and Understanding, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star, Feb. 28, 1945

When Dr. Seamon A. Knapp first envisioned the teaching of new agricultural practices by actual demonstrations in the field, the work of a “demonstration” agent was a comparatively simple thing.

If, for instance, the Experimental Station had discovered that a certain variety of a crop did better in that particular area, the agent could secure seeds of the crop and get some enterprising farmer to test them out in comparison with the leading local variety which had been planned in the community for years. Or, should it be that the most successful farmers in the section had found that a new method of fertilizing or cultivating had given larger crop yields than some of the older methods commonly followed, the agent could again demonstrate the use of these better methods. He could get out and prune one fruit tree in an orchard to show the others needed to be handled; or, he could cull one flock of hens in the presence of many flock owners that they might see how the job should be done to save feed and get more eggs.

He was a demonstration agent. He demonstrated the best practices as they were developed by the agricultural college, the Experiment Stations, and good practical farmers. But he soon found that he could make only so much progress with the old fellows. He then began to teach young boys how to grow an acre of corn, and many of them doubled the yields of their farmers. Then came other projects with pigs, chickens, beef cattle, dairy calves, tobacco, sweet potatoes, cotton and the like.

Organized 4-H Clubs were formed and while the boys learned how to do better farming, they also learned how to handle themselves in public meetings and to study the needs of the local community. They did much community work.

The Act of Congress setting up Extension work under the direction of the State College was passed in May 1914 and, since that time, the county agent system has proven its worth and has grown steadily all over the United States. There is at present in North Carolina a county agent in each of its 100 counties, a home agent in 9? {can’t read second number}, an assistant agent in many of the larger counties, a Negro farm and home agent in each of those counties with large Negro populations, and a special poultry or dairy agent in certain counties where these two lines of work are especially adaptable. These agents have back of them the combined information of the United States Department of Agriculture, the State College of Agriculture and its Experiment Station and Extension specialists. If the agent does not know exactly the answer to a given problem, he does know exactly where he can find the answers. No representative in any line of work has a better organization supporting him than the county agent.

But life for the agent has become more complex. At first, as I said, he was supposed to teach by demonstration and to train groups of persons at one time. He was never supposed to do any personal service for any one person or group of persons. Pruning one tree in an orchard to show how it should be done is one thing; but pruning all the trees in a man’s orchard is another thing altogether. Culling one poultry flock or enough of the flock to show how it is done is an agent’s job; but to go from farm to farm culling poultry is not his job.

It was hard at first for some of those in a county to learn this distinction. Back in the old days, before the veterinarians began to raise objections, the agent was almost required to vaccinate all of the hogs in a herd as a control against cholera. Petitions were signed by disgruntled hog owners if the agent failed to vaccinate their hogs.

Fortunately, that day passed and the agent could again do the job as outlined for him in the Smith-Lever Act. But not for long. There came the Agricultural Adjustment Act and it was found that no one could make the thing work but the county agent. He not only knew the farmers of his county better than anyone else but he knew a great deal about how the land had been used or cropped or, at least, he knew those men of the community better than anyone else but he knew a great deal about how the land had been used or handled. The agent was therefore required to begin the AAA and to make it work. He did and it did.

But he made enemies. The agent had to handle the job as government laws required, and sometimes the law is a “jackass” as some caustic commentator has said. The agent not only had to handle the AAA but with the Soil Conservation Service, the Farm Credit, the Farm Security, and the dozen other government agencies operating in a county, it became necessary that someone should coordinate these activities and help them to operate where they should work and be applied where they should be.

Gradually the agent began to be missing in his personal contacts with farmers on their farms. He saw them less and less. The matter became worse when farm labor and army deferments had to be handled. The agent was fast becoming an administrator of governmental laws and regulations, some of which to say the least were not always popular or understood by the farming public.

Where the agent has been a capable assistant and is himself an able administrator, patient and diplomatic, he has been able to meet these new demands. But he has come a long ways from the leisurely days when he was a field demonstrator. There is more activity and more news in the county agent’s office than in any other office in the county. He is dealing with those who produce our daily bread and who must produce it under increasingly heavy difficulties. He needs the careful support of his local county board of commissioners and of the good, upstanding and thoughtful farmers in every county. Altogether, they might work out the questionable problems to a successful conclusion. However, we should always keep this one thought in mind, the county agent is not at fault for everything that exasperates and injures the farmer. One the other hand, the county agent will always be on the farmer’s side and will do all that he humanly can to serve him best.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

What a Difference Fertilizer Makes on Morris Farm, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star, Feb. 19, 1945

Mecklenburg County furnishes a typical example of modern farm management in Watson Morris, who has come to learn about limestone and phosphate. When he started in 1936 to demonstrate the use of these two fertilizing elements, his acre yield of alfalfa hay was less than 3 ½ tons per acre.

Now he gets more than 5 tons an acre. He has brought into profitable production 40 acres of land which was unsuitable for cultivation and he has been able to greatly increase his livestock numbers. Where he had 30 cows, he now milks 81 and every cow produces more milk than any one of the 30 he formerly owned. He has increased his total hay production by 75 percent and J.A. Warren, the assistant farm agent in Mecklenburg, says the whole Morris family has been able to live better. The farm is 40 percent more productive; the owner has spent from $100 to $200 each year on making the home more attractive, and he has added about $2,800 worth of barns for his cattle.

This Mecklenburg farmer is fast learning to be a better farmer. He has increased the value and fertility of his land and he has built two new tenant houses so that he can have more satisfied labor. He has found that where his land is kept in a high state of tilth and fertility that it will pay him for his labor. He has also found that he can do better farming by studying his problems.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Braswell Family in Union County Example of Farmers In National Emergency, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star, Feb. 19, 1945

Occasionally there comes to light such an amazing record of hard work by a farm family that the story should be told. When I was in Union county the other week, I was told about the S.B. Braswell family that lives on a medium-sized farm on Rural Route 3 near Monroe. What the Braswell family did last year is probably not more than what was accomplished by many other self-sacrificing family on other farms in various parts of the state, but this Union County family does furnish a sterling example of good management, determined spirit and patriotic effort to aid the nation in producing the food and other farm supplies needed in this national emergency.

Tom Broom, Union farm agent, furnished me with the definite figures showing how this family overcame difficulties and worked long, hard hours to secure an unusual production. There are only 110 acres of open or crop land on the Braswell Farm. Mr. Braswell is 49 years of age and his good wife is 47. They have one son in the army and three younger children at home. Of the three children, the oldest is a girl 14 years old and two boys who are 10 and 7 respectively. During 1944 there was one tenant on the place but he was called into the army last fall leaving only Mr. Braswell, his wife and the three small children to handle the place. These three children, it should be noted, attend school nine months of the year.

With this small force, Mr. Braswell last year grew 17 acres of wheat that yielded 408 bushels; 20 acres of oats that produced 800 bushels; 7 acres of mixed grain that produced 200 bushels; 5 acres of barley, 125 bushels; and 7 ½ acres of cotton that produced 11 bales with an average weight of 515 pounds each. In addition, he grew 3 acres of alfalfa, 9 acres of red clover, and 65 acres of lespedeza. From this lespedeza acreage, he harvested 5 acres for hay and produced 19,000 pounds of good seed from the remaining 60 acres.

The only outside help the Braswells had was furnished by the tenant who aided with the grain and the lespedeza hay. But he was able to help only few days because he also had 6 acres of cotton and 10 acres of corn.

In addition to these crops, says Mr. Broom, Mrs. Braswell kept 450 laying hens form which flock she sold $2,669 worth of eggs and $302 worth of hen and broilers for market. She now has 500 hens which she will keep throughout this season and more pullets will be grown to replace the older hens next winter. Not only did she look after these hens but she did all of her own housework, the cooking, laundry and other essential jobs about the farm home.

The Braswells kept four cows and last April they began to send milk to the receiving plant at Albemarle. From that time until the first of January of this year, they sold 10,900 pounds of milk. Some of the younger cows are coming in “fresh” now and they expect to provide more milk for the market this year. They also sold $408 worth of beef cattle and $93 worth of pork.

Mr. and Mrs. Braswell did all of this work themselves with what help they could get from the children. Not only did Mr. Braswell and his children pick the 11 bales of cotton produced on his farm but they also helped a neighbor by picking 2,400 pounds for him. With the aid of his 10-year-old son, he harvested 19,000 pounds of lespedeza seed alone. They have this same farm situation facing them for 1945, and Mr. Braswell says that he and the children will again take care of every acre of crop land and have it producing something of value to the nation.

Mr. Braswell is one of many North Carolina farmers who apparently do not know the limits of their endurance. He has learned to make his labor count for more, to budget his time, and to secure better returns from a given amount of work. Other farm agents say that many of the men who work with them now are using fertilizers more efficiently, are handling their equipment and machinery with greater skill, and have begun to give serious study to modern farm management plans. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Tenant Hunt Program to Deal With Farm Labor Shortage, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the January 5, 1945, issue of the Wilmington Morning Star

Pender County has organized a unique movement to help out in the farm labor situation this season. It appears now that the labor supply for 1945 in North Carolina will be from 25 to 30 per cent under that which was available for 1944, and many young men between the ages of 26 and 37 are much worried about whether it will be wise for them to start a crop this year. They reason that if they are to be inducted into the armed services after they have made all plans for a crop, their work will have gone for nothing because there would be no one left at home to carry on the farming operations.

In Pender County, the farm labor assistant has tried to meet this situation by organizing what he designates as a “Tenant Hunt Program.” There are so many farms which will likely lie idle in the county this season that the hunt is becoming increasingly important. The idea is to find tenants who are not needed where they are and to place them where they are more vitally needed.

Some tenants have their own teams, others have no equipment at all; some want to be near town, others are perfectly satisfied where they are; and so on down the list of the several differences. It is hard, says the county agent’s labor assistant, to fit the tenant to the farm. Yet, if North Carolina is to meet its production of food, feed, and fiber for this year every available person must be used to the greatest advantage. L.P. Weeks of Duplin County says there are just not enough tenants to go around in this county and some families have moved as many as four times since harvesting last season’s crops. To make matters worse, some landlords are bidding against each other for the available tenants. Much of this is due, in eastern Carolina, to the need of labor for growing tobacco. J.E. Dodson of Brunswick County says the farmers of his county are more interested in growing tobacco than in all other crops combined.

Along with other county agents in the flue-cured areas, Mr. Dodson says many farmers will plant more tobacco than they can get harvested, especially if the labor situation gets worse than it is now and he says, “It looks decidedly as if that will be the case. In Wilson County, where 70 million pounds of bright leaf tobacco was sold last season for over $30 million, the labor situation is especially tight. The cotton crop of 1944 is still not completely picked with some fields not even touched. Farmers are offering one-half the crop for picking without any one apparently interested. In Hoke County, despairing growers have been using cottonseed forks to harvest seed cotton growing on low stalks heavily fruited. They say that the gins have been doing a good job in cleaning out the burrs and stems and that the lint is selling for only one cent a pound less than the price for hand-picked cotton.

It is interesting to note that a new factor has come into the farm labor situation this year. Heretofore, farmers have been concerned about the effects of the draft or the pull of high wages in war production factories. Now the factor of gasoline rationing must be considered. Tenants who are not allowed extra gas for their cars want to move nearer to town so that their “A” card will do for trips for supplies and other necessary items. Those owners who have farms farthest from town have, in some counties, been unable to interest anyone in farming for them. It is true that the OPA ration boards have been looking at this situation with careful consideration but some of the boards in the larger towns seem to know only the book of regulations rather than the more adequate guidance of commonsense.

The situation, however, is not entirely hopeless on the labor front. For instance, reports indicate that farm machinery, generally, has been put into good repair during the idle days of winter and is more nearly ready for spring work than in many a year. Farmers also have been taking stock of the situation in each local community and they know what extent they can exchange labor in emergency periods and how small growers may exchange hand labor for machinery aid. The neighborhood leaders have taken an active part in this appraisal of local conditions and have been encouraging everyone in each neighborhood to rely upon his own initiative this year. There is no extra help available from the next neighborhood, from the next community, or from the next county. Each farm must look after itself with what help it can secure on an exchange basis. There will be some German prisoners available and probably some transient labor, in the main centers of emergency need, but the rank and file of farmers will just have to look after themselves.

They are preparing to do this. Last year, Cleveland County increased its milk supply by 16 per cent despite the reduction in labor.

Burke County grew one of its best crops. This county is a good example of what people can do when they come face to face with a serious problem. This little county harvested 287,500 bushels of corn on 12,500 acres of land; saved 6,000 tons of hay from 6,500 acres; combined 75,000 bushels of wheat from 6,000 acres; sold 1,000 bales of cotton from 1,400 acres for about $100,000; produced 160,000 bushels of sweet and Irish potatoes on 1,500 acres; harvested $300,000 worth of garden and vegetable crops from 3,000 acres; and filled about a million jars of food from these same acres. The farmers brooded 200,000 chicks from which they saved 60,000 laying hens; produced 1,500,000 pounds of milk from 4,000 cows; cured about $1,600,000 pounds of meat from 6,000 hogs and supplied over $700,000 worth of timber products from their farms. Like farm owners in all the other 99 counties of North Carolina they did it with less of everything and in spite of storms, dry weather and the varying vicissitudes of weather and climate. They will do so again this year.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Farmer Burdened With High Interest Rates, 1916

From the February 1916 issue of The Southern Planter magazine

Farmers and Usurious Rates
The Comptroller of the Treasury has brought to the attention of the committee of the Congress the fact that many of the national banks are charging usurious rates on loans, some charging 12 to 24 per cent, others 30 to 100 per cent., and others again 1,000 to 2,000 per cent. He is constrained to suggest a drastic law making usury of national banks a prison offense.

In his testimony before the committee, the Comptroller referred to a case, which is best described in his own words:

“We had a report of a farmer who had borrowed $300 or $400 some years ago and continued to pay excessive rates of interest on the account. Finally the bank foreclosed, taking everything this farmer had, including his cow. With all he had gone through, this farmer tried to get a new start by cutting timber. He was poorly clothed and practically barefoot, because he had practically nothing to spend for clothes, so he caught pneumonia. He left six children. Now these children cannot sue the bank that ruined their father by usury, but if the law were changed, the department of justice could proceed against such an institution.”

We have no sympathy nor hold no brief for usurers; men who belong to a predatory class, that live upon the necessities of their fellow citizens, are severely to be condemned. Unfortunately, laws against usury seldom attain their purpose. As a rule they but add to the misery of those who are preyed pon. There are so many subterfuges, of brokerage, and commissions that can be aren are resotred to, that the effect of these laws is either to deprive those in necessity of securing money at all, or cause them to pay higher rates of interest, because of the risk involved to the lender.

Far better had the Comptroller sought by dealing with the cause rather than the condition to have improved the system under which farmers must borrow.

Had the Comptroller urged upon the Congress the inauguration of a system of rural credits, such as obtains in Germany, the Raffheisen system for short-term loans on personal property and the Landschaften system for long-term loan on land, he would have gone to the root of the evil.

With a national rural credit system in effect, the unfortunate farmer would neither have paid excessive rates of interest, nor would his mortgage have been foreclosed. The payment of a low rate of interest and a small yearly reduction of the principal of the loan would have enabled him with ordinary thrift to have prospered; would have provided for his children at his death that opportunity which should be the chief end of democratic government.

Later day reformers are too prone to address themselves to unfortunate conditions, without having due regard to the effects that produce them; remedial rather than punitive measures, in such cases, best bring relief.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Home Demonstration Club Women's Reading Certificates, 1940

From the February 1940 issue of The Southern Planter

By Ruth Current, State Home Economics Leader, N.C. State College, Raleigh, NC

Marjorie Beal, director of the N.C. State Library Commission, said recently, “I certainly am delighted over the increased number of women who are receiving reading certificates. Why it is an epidemic! Home demonstration club women are to be commended and congratulated.”

Yes, indeed, they should, for during 1938 only 61 certificates were awarded and during the past year 398 were awarded. It has not been such an easy task for a farm woman to complete the requirements, for she must first secure a copy of the book, find time to read it and then give a review before her club meeting. A woman must have read and reviewed at least three books to be eligible for a certificate.

On the recommended list of books are such ones a Madame Curie, Good-bye Mr. Chips, The Yearling, Gone With the Wind, Perslane, Life with Roosevelt, Good Earth, Backwoods America, and Life With Father.

We are recommending several hundred books under the following headings: People and Places; Of Interest to Many People; Plays; Stories, Light and Worthwhile; For Better Living; A Varied Diet; People Worth Knowing; and Home and Abroad.

A survey soon will be made to find out how many books have been purchased by home demonstration club women. It was Cicero who said, “To add a library to a house is to give that house a soul.”  That is what we are hoping will come of this reading or library project.

Oh! Lord or Heavenly Father, as we begin our work for another year, that of makers, help jus to realize just how important our work is that in our homes today are the men and women of tomorrow. Lord help us to be better Mothers, better homemakers, better neighbors. Help us to be not so slow to see the needs of others less fortunate than ourselves. Lord, give us patience, give us wisdom, give us faith, give us courage to fight for that which is right. For it is written in Thy Blessed Word, ask and you shall receive, so we pray thee, Lord, that Thou will guide us in the right way to make our homes a more ideal place for those whom you have entrusted into our care. No sweeter privilege was given to mankind. And so we pray that our children will grow up to call us Blessed, for no greater reward would Mother ask than the love and respect of her children. And Oh! Lord, let us not forget to pray. This we ask in Thy Name, Amen.
--By Mrs. W.C. Moore, President, Cool Springs Home Demonstration Club, Plymouth, N.C.

Take one-half cup of Friendship, add one cup of Thoughtfulness, cream together with a pinch of powdered Tenderness, very lightly beaten in a bowl of Loyalty with one cup of Faith, one of Hope and one of Charity. Be sure to add a spoonful each of gaiety that sings and the ability to laugh at little things. Moisten with sudden tears of heartfelt sympathy and bake in a good-natured pan. Serve repeatedly.
--By Mrs. Walter Lassiter, P.O. Box 12, Kelford, N.C.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The County Agent, a 1940 Poem

From the Feb 1940 issue of The Southern Planter magazine

The County Agent
He is a useful critter,
   Who only used to toil;
To show us poor dumb farmers,
   How to till the soil.

His job was once quite easy,
   No more is this a fact.
Now it is quite complicated,
   By the Conservation Act.

Some of them are getting bald,
   Others are turning gray,
All of this “monkey business,”
   Without any extra pay.

Here’s to the County Agent
   His lot is sad to tell,
He’s a princely good fellow,
   But sure is catching -----.
--P.C. Turner

[P.C. Turner was president of the Maryland Farm Bureau Federation and himself a farmer. He debuted this poem at the annual meeting of his state’s county farm agents in Baltimore, Md.]

1940 View of Automobile’s Contribution to Agriculture and Rural Life

From the February 1940 issue of The Southern Planter

The Automobile’s Contribution to Agriculture and Rural Life

Millions of motor vehicles shuttling back and forth through city and town, touching every farm and serving every community, are weaving anew and stronger social order.

Their contributions to this country’s living standard during the 40-year span since the motor industry started, has paralleled the regeneration of the highway and the creation of an integrated system of public roads supported by the moving stream of traffic which it carries.

This dual development has liberated the farmer from isolation, eased arduous toil, offered new markets, and in general, has broadened the business and cultural opportunities of the entire agricultural community.

Within the memory of the present generation, distance—meaning traveling time—has shrunk from one-third to one-fifth through the combination of motor vehicles and better highways. Thus, without abandoning the farm, the agrarian population can now avail itself of the cultural advantages of modern city life; while the once hemmed-in city dweller can obtain ready access to the natural, healthful environment of the countryside which has long been one of the farmer’s greatest heritages.

In this broad picture, the dollars and cents feature stands out sharply. Even the farmer who does not own a motor vehicle (four out of five do, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture) has access to truck lines which carry his produce to  many markets more rapidly and cheaply than ever before. It has been estimated that well over a million trucks or better than one-fourth of the total number used in the United States today, are engaged in hauling farm products.

Moreover the farmer has a second less direct but greatly important financial stake in the automobile. During the generation in which it attained the position of a major industry, the automobile industry has paid out more than 82 billion dollars in wages to working men, to be spent, in turn, for the things the worker buys, such as food and clothes. This has been a substantial market for the farm. But the employment, and hence purchasing power, created by the automobile industry is not limited to the motor factory.

In automobile, body and parts factories there was a total employment of 380,000 workers, estimated at September 30th last. Rubber manufacturing and petroleum refining account for nearly as many more wage earners.

At least three times as many people are employed in selling and servicing automobiles as are directly engaged in manufacturing them. Something like three-quarter million men are employed in driving cars, trucks and buses.

There is no absolute accounting of the number of people employed in highway construction, supervision, materials, but nearly 268,000 men are employed on Federal and state highways alone and one recent estimate places the grand total at a million and a half.

All told, the employment of more than 6 million persons can be attributed directly to the automobile. This is distributed throughout all the states. In many, automobile employment roughly corresponds to the number of motor vehicles registered.

In addition to the consumption of farm products by those employed directly and indirectly in the automobile industry, the industry itself is a direct consumer of substantial amounts of agricultural products. For instance in 1938, according to the Automobile Manufacturers Association, the industry used 619,434 bales of cotton, or 10.5 percent of the total United States consumption. It also utilized 15,422,000 pounds of wool, 6,300,000 pounds of mohair, 1,115,000 bushels of corn, 4,828,200 pounds of turpentine, 680,000 bushels of soybeans, 590,000 tons of sugar cane, and 174,700 bushels of flaxseed, to mention only some of the more important items. This is a market for the farmer of no mean proportions. A recent study conducted by the works Progress Administration indicates that agricultural materials employed in the production of motor vehicles involves roughly the expenditure of from 20 to 25 million man-hours of farm employment each year.

Still another way in which the automobile industry has served the farmer is in the development of a type of motor suitable for adaptation to tractors and for stationary power plants, such as are used on many farms in pumping water, generating electricity, grinding feed, sorting fruit, and also for driving machinery in local packing plants and for many other agricultural uses.

Uses of cars, trucks and gasoline-driven machinery is apparently increasing even more rapidly in agricultural areas than in industrial and commercial centers. A recent sample study of farm living conditions, made by the Bureau of the Census, indicated an increase of 10 percent in cars owned on farms between 1930 and 1938. This compares with a 9 ½ percent gain for the country as a whole. The same study, which also revealed a 100 percent increase in farm tractors in the period, showed a 50 percent gain in trucks on farms. Total United States truck registrations increased 21 percent during the same period.

The sample study included some 3,000 farms in selected counties of 40 states, and was part of the preliminary work in connection with this year’s Census of Agriculture. It reflects the nature of the growth in farmers’ use of motor vehicles, rather than the entire story of progress, as some sections have advanced further than others. In six states comprising the “Top of the South,” for example, passenger car registrations gained 15 ½ percent from 1930 to 1938 while truck registrations increased over 26 percent.

As the farmer’s utilization of the motor vehicle increases, he becomes more vitally concerned with the social and economic adjustment through which highway transportation is still passing. Not only farms but more than 48,000 communities in the United States are wholly dependent upon motor transportation. This makes the adjustment vitally important to a very large segment of the public.

A factor in this development is the lack of uniformity in state laws, which is, in many instances, a serious handicap to motor vehicle use, since state lines often intervene between producing areas and their natural markets. Many barriers, as prohibitive in their effects as national boundaries, have been erected between adjoining states. Some of these are effective bans against certain classes of commodities; others prevent the free movement of trucks.

A second feature of highway evolution is the drive for greater traffic safety. Almost everyone can think of several points on frequently traveled roads where sharp turns, obscure intersections, steep hills, narrow lanes or improper grading constitute danger points. Even when accidents are few, such points often slow traffic needlessly and cause congestion.

Both accidents and traffic delays caused by bottlenecks must be eliminated as rapidly as possible in the interest of all. Such improvements entail heavy expenditures, and it is often difficult to distinguish between wise investment in improvements and extravagance. Therefore, an informed and forward-looking attitude is needed for a proper solution of all such questions, entailing especially well-organized study, planning and supervision of highway improvement. The farmer’s help is needed in support of good government and sound administration in all these matters.

Financing of road improvement highlights another phase of the evolution of the highway.  A century ago the theory of land use was widely held and most roads were built by taxing the owners of adjoining property. Only since the advent of the automobile has the theory of traffic taxation been evolved and put into use, in what is very largely a tax upon consumption. This principle is applied directly in the gasoline tax.

But not all the motorists’ special tax contributions are utilized for highways. The taxing privilege often is abused through diversion of motor taxes to non-highway uses. On the theory that the coast of the road should come out of the benefit derived from its use, all special motor taxes should be devoted to highway construction and maintenance, but the practice varies in different states. Thirty-seven in the aggregate divert to other uses about 13.4 percent of the motorists’ tax contributions. Diversion is not only unjust, but it makes more difficult the financing of highway betterments which are needed for freer movement of traffic, because it means raising more money for the roads, to replace that already collected but spent for other purposes.

With the highway system an integral part of the everyday life of the average citizen, its free use becomes a part of the basic rights of the population. Hinder traffic or impair its freedom of movement in any way, and man’s inalienable right to go where and when he pleases and to move his personal property according to his free choice is impaired. Help traffic, by eliminating physical and legal obstacles and the public welfare is advanced.

Over a period of 40 years, the automobile industry has employed its resources in building improvements into the automobile. While the limitations of the draft animal were rather quickly reached, the improvement of the automobile is continuing and capable of being extended indefinitely into the visible future. The result has been a long succession of better cars costing less to buy and to maintain. However, it is a significant fact that the improvement in automobile has been accelerated by the general betterment in roads. The industry is constantly adapting its new design to the prevailing conditions of use, as reflected in the demands of the public.

The motor manufacturers plan to continue improving their product, introducing more features for comfort, safety, durability and economy, as rapidly as these can be perfected. The freedom and improvement of the highway, however, only an enlightened public sentiment can protect and ensure.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How a Widow Can Handle the Family Farm, 1942

A letter to the editor from the February 1942 issue of The Farmer’s Wife

When a farm woman becomes a widow, it is customary for the children to whirl in and bundle their mother off to their own home or some other friendly, cozy place and dismantle the house, two days after the funeral. Believe me, however, it is a dangerous business to let kindly, well-meaning relatives decide your future 48 hours after someone has died and left you.

Don’t do it! At least don’t do it suddenly. It is a matter more vital to you than to anyone else, so try to get hold of yourself even in the hour of deep grief, and assert your rights. Give yourself days, weeks and even months before you do a signal thing toward disposing of home, possessions or anything. Sit down calmly and let the children weep if they will, but keep your home.

But what can a lone person do? Why, a large variety of things! Arrangements can be made with a neighbor to lend a growing boy or girl to do chores and stay nights, and owner can get along quite well in daylight. Or perhaps there is an elderly relative who will be glad to make a visit of several months until things can be thought through. One bewildered woman held on, and slept nights at the home of a neighbor. Often a part of the house can be set aside for a tenant without children.

If after a year the farm owner thinks breaking up is the only course to pursue, there is still time to go into that plan. The chances are 99 out of 100 though, that she will decide to stay on as long as health will permit.
--Hilda Richmond, Ohio

Dr. Graham Urges Farm Women to Support Health Measures, 1945

Published in the News and Observer, Raleigh, sometime in 1945

Declaring that “good roads, good schools and good health make the good life of a great commonwealth,” Dr. Frank P. Graham, president of the Greater University of North Carolina, yesterday urged the members of the State Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs to support the recommendations of the N.C. Commission on Hospitals and Medical Care.

“North Carolina has moved ahead of most of the Southern states in the schools and roads she provides for her citizens, and she must go ahead also with health services,” Dr. Graham declared.

In addressing the 25th anniversary meeting of the State Federation at the State College YMCA yesterday, Dr. Graham quoted from the findings of the Medical Care Commission on the health and medical care facilities of the state.

“Approximately 73 per cent of the people of the state live in rural areas and in towns of less than 2,500 population, however, only 31 per cent of the doctors of the state serve them,” Dr. Graham pointed out, and said that there are only 4,870 approved hospital beds in North Carolina, 42 per cent of which are located in six urban centers of the state.

“Furthermore,” he said, “North Carolina ranks 41st in the nation in the number of mothers who die in childbirth, and 39th in the number of children who die soon after birth.”

Turning to the hospital facilities provided, he declared that North Carolina is 42nd in the number of hospital beds in proportion to her population and 45th in the number of doctors in proportion to the total number of people.

The recommendations of the Medical Care Commission were designed to correct some of these inadequacies, he said, and he listed the points stressed by that group.

“First,” he said, “the state should provide $500,000 out of any surplus funds it has for the care of indigent patients. This recommendation was passed by the last Legislature.”

The second point, Dr. Graham said, provided for a loan fund to finance the education of North Carolina students who wish to study medicine. By the terms of the provisions passed by the Legislature, these young men commit themselves to practice medicine for at least four years in the rural areas of the state.

The Legislature did not pass the third recommendation, he said, by which a fund would be set up to build rural hospitals, clinics and diagnostic laboratories, and which was designed, he said, to encourage young doctors to begin their practice in the rural areas where they are so needed.

The fourth recommendation, which was approved by the Legislature with no provision of funds for it, was that the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina would be expanded into a four-year medical school.

He praised the medical facilities offered by the Duke School of Medicine and by Bowman Gray Medical School, but he pointed out that these schools could not provide all the doctors needed by the people of the state and urged that women get behind the four recommendations and see them through to fulfillment.
Other speakers heard by the Federation women in their final day’s meeting, which closed at noon yesterday, were State Home Demonstration Agent Ruth Current, who outlined the main points of the Home Demonstration program for 1946.

Health programs will be stressed in all these programs, she said, and second in importance will be the raising of the standards of rural living.

Following Miss Current’s talk, Mrs. T. Palmer Jerman, Raleigh clubwoman, was introduced. She urged the women to support the amendment to the State Constitution which will be brought next year. The amendment is designed to remove certain basic discriminations against women.

Julian Mann, state director of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation of the USDA spoke briefly on the subject, “What Crop Insurance Means to the Farm Women of North Carolina.”

He urged them to consider how crop insurance would contribute to a better standard of living by all farm families, and showed them the benefits to be derived from such a system.

At the conclusion of the addresses, the following resolutions were unanimously adopted:
--An endorsement of the policy of improving rural health by requesting the State Medical Care Commission to investigate the possibility of establishing a health insurance plan on a voluntary basis;
--A recommendation to the State Board of Education to give consideration to the employment of school attendance officers;
--An opposition to the enactment of peacetime conscription;
--A request for legislative support to the school lunch bill HR-3370;
--A pledge to support the amendment to the Constitution removing discrimination against women;
--A plan to establish a health care plan, to be entitled the Estelle T. Smith Health Fund; and
--A request to Governor Cherry not to increase the speed limit above 45 miles per hour.

The resolutions were presented by Mrs. Annie Godwin, chairman of the resolutions committee.

At the conclusion of the session Mrs. A.W. Pierce of Wayne County was installed as president of the federation along with: first vice-president, Mrs. Glenn Duncan of Chatham County; second vice-president, Mrs. George Apperson of Davie County; third vice-president, Mrs. P.P. Gregory of Camden County; recording secretary, Mrs. Loy Howard of Lincoln County; corresponding secretary, Mrs. J.S. Gray of Macon County; treasurer, Mrs. Eva U. Person of Franklin County; chairman of the Jane S. McKimmon Loan Fund Committee, Mrs. H.M. Johnson of Lenoir County; and counselor, Mrs. Estelle T. Smith of State College.

Friday, February 10, 2012

North Carolina Praised in Southern Planters' Editorials, February 1945

Editorials in the February 1945 issue of The Southern Planter

The North Carolina legislature, now in session at Raleigh, has an opportunity to make history for the southern states by (1) enacting a rural health and medical care program in keeping with the magnitude of the problem on farms of North Carolina, as revealed by the report of the Governor’s Commission on Hospital and Medical Care, and (2) defining a State’s responsibility in equalizing health and medical care services for its citizens. We believe that Governor Cherry and leaders in both branches of the legislature will not let this opportunity “knock unbidden”.

No informed person will deny that modern medicine and public health services have not penetrated the rural South. Rural health studies for North Carolina and Virginia establish this fact beyond a shadow of doubt. There is ample evidence to prove that the farm is the most hazardous place to live from the standpoint of health. And, as W. Kerr Scott, Commissioner of Agriculture for North Carolina, said in his able address before the Ruritan National Convention in Richmond, January 16, “As part of our postwar agriculture policy must come a strong rural health program. A healthy farm worker is more desirable than an educated one with a diseased body and mind. Much of the inefficiency on Southern farms is due directly to poor health. A good health program is like a good roads program—you pay for it whether you have it or not. Farm people with poor medical care, where social diseases run uncontrolled, are now paying more than the cost of a good health program.”

Self-preservation is the first attribute of a politician. That is why the “machine” politicians in Virginia are fanatically fighting repeal of the poll tax as a voting requirement. The have found in the poll tax their most useful tool for perpetuating their term of office. By disfranchising the vast majority of people and permitting only a pitiful minority to vote, a handful of officeholders in every county, through the influence of their “sisters and their cousins and their aunts,” can swing almost any election. This is a vicious sort of thing in a democratic society.

The very fact that politicians are fighting poll tax repeal is ample evidence that they are afraid to face an unhampered electorate. None of them will admit this, however. Instead, they give as their excuse for opposing poll tax repeal, such bunk as “revenue from the poll tax goes to support the public schools;” “the poll tax keeps the riff-raff from voting;” “it disfranchise the Negro and guarantees white supremacy;” “it insures a sound fiscal policy for Virginia.”Anyone remotely familiar with the problem knows that all of these arguments are bogus.

Divorce the poll tax from the right to vote, universally assess and collect it, and the tax will yield three times its present revenue for the schools. The so-called “riff-raff,” if they be defined as those who permit their poll taxes to be paid in a block by politicians and voted accordingly, can already vote under the present system, while many of our best citizens are being disqualified. The racial issue is pure demagoguery. Of the 10,000,000 Americans who are unable to vote because of poll taxes, at least 6,000,000 are white citizens. Less than a fourth of Virginia’s total population is colored. North Carolina, with a much larger Negro population than Virginia, abolished the poll tax as a prerequisite to voting 25 years ago and that state is a shining example of the South of everything good in government for the common man, of both colors. And as far as sound fiscal policy is concerned, is there anyone who sincerely believes that Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas, the poll tax states that polled a total of 3,113,082 votes in the presidential election last fall, are operating under a sounder financial policy than the other 40 states in the Union that polled 44,856,706 votes, or 94 percent of the total? The question is as ridiculous as the argument that prompts it.

The whole argument in favor of the poll tax is a foil, a smokescreen to hide the fact that the politicians, now in power, want a small electorate that can be controlled by the officeholders. The poll tax as a voting requirement in Virginia is doomed just as surely as day follows darkness. And the quicker it passes, the better it will be for all the people.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Worst Accident, 1945

North Carolina winners from a farm safety contest that judged letter submitted by readers entitled “Our Worst Accident.” Prize-winning letters were published in the February 1945 issue of The Southern Planter magazine. Winners each received $2.

The worst accident I our home happened one night when I went to sleep and left the kerosene lamp burning. The lamp exploded and set the house on fire. Common sense and safety say, “Never go to bed or leave the house while an oil lamp is still burning. And don’t turn it down too low at any time.”
--Miss M.C., N.C.
A family on our farm left their two boys, age 9 and 7, to care for their 2 ½-year old brother while the parents were away from the house. The older boys were playing with their father’s shotgun when it accidentally fired, killing the baby instant. Prevention: Never leave a loaded gun where children can get their hand on it.
--Mrs. M.C.B., N.C.
An automobile accident on the highway near my home at 3 o’clock in the morning just before Christmas killed 9 boys and 3 girls, and seriously injured another girl and a man. Coming back from a dance, the cars stopped at a filling station. One of the cars drove on, returning a few minutes later, looking for the other when the two cars, traveling at a terrific speed, collided. Automobile sin the hands of young people late at night are dangerous to a degree that parents, youth and authorities must cooperate actively to avoid death, destruction and suffering.
--Mrs. C.W.M., N.C.
Last summer I was driving a tractor on our farm with a sleigh hooked on behind. My 5-year old nephew was riding, standing up, on the sleigh, when it hit a rock. He was thrown off with his arm under the sleigh and dragged some distance before I saw him. He had to be taken to the hospital. The injury could have been avoided had the boy be sitting on the sleigh, or better, on the tractor with me.
--C.W., N.C.
Slick-soled shoes caused the most serious accident in this section. My neighbor was walking down steps wearing a pair of new shoes when her feet slipped from under her. She fell and broke a leg. Had she sandpapered or scuffed the new soles before wearing the shoes, the fall would have been avoided.
--Mrs. W.F., N.C.