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The Florida State Food Prepared ess Commission was organized
tin April 00, 1917, at Tallahassee, pursuant to-a call from His Excel-
lency, Governor Sidney J. Catts, by telegram on *pril 25th, The
work of organization was taken up immediately in accordance with
this call. The session was continued 1i the forenoon of May 1st.
The telegram of Governor CAtts to the different members read
uYou are hereby appointed a mem; er of the Cormmision
to meet at Tallahassee, Fla., on April 50th at 3:00
P.1i. to consider the matter of agricultural preparea-
ness. You will meet to formulate such plrfis for
organizing the various agricultural and allied in-
rlustries t at the State may produce aud conserve all
the food and forage possible."
War hW.d becn declared on April and this left consid-
erable time between the declaration of war and the meeting of the
Commission. In the meantime it hd become increasingly apparent
that the State of Florida must make extraordinary -efforts in the di-
rection of food production to enable the State to prepare a reasonable
amount of food for her people. The central idea before the Com-
mission at th,_ first wasthat of production and conservation of food,-
feed aid forage. Various co mittees were appointed and an organi-
zation effected, with which you are all familiar. As ti M went on
obher conditions arose -n the State which seemed to require concerted
and constar effort It seemed that no other organizations were
being formed for handling these matter. The Council of Nptional
Defense had been organized for a considerable length of time. T'is
w-s a body ol volunteer workers who had accomplished a--aret=ammant
I have L-ppointed the members of -the Florida Bood
Commission to act as the Council of Defense. All
communications should be addressed to T. H. Rolfes,
Chairman, Gainesville, Fla."
These two telegrams by the Governor centralized the work
of food -prparedness a44 council of defense in one commission. Im,
mediately upqn the 'ood Preparedness Commission being organized,.
steps were taken to organize th4 various Counties of the State with
the viww of increasing' food production in the various areas. The -
first work placed before the various County Commissions was that of
.the ood .Card Campaign. In this work Mrs. Jennings took a most active
and conspicuous part. Several of the Counties, notably Putnam and
Marion, made careful and extended food surveys. Many.otl'er Counties
took up the same piece of work and prepared excellent-food surveys
of the various bounties. The work of this food survey was done en-
tirely by volunteers, headed mainly the Countu Cooperative Demonstra-
i. ': .
of work in the direction of preparing for war, in case such should
I.XAEMIAK&aX -occur. Among other important pieces of work by the
Council of National Defense and its subsidiary committees, was that
of determining definitely and statistically where various manufactur-
ing'establishments were located in the State of Florida. Two of the/
Professors 4v 2e .A ow. 4tEm o dS
PIUBSKU of the Uniyersityf n-d 1-4-or this purpose
- -, ...- 1 -,. and .sot accurate- data on machine shops, foundries,
and other ganufacturin)r establishments within a day's driye of Gaines-
On June 23rd,.His Excellency, Governor Sidney J. Catts tele-
graphed to .the Council of National Defense, at Washington, b.C., as -
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M:. A.4iLts and the Home Demonstration agents. -
DIIISIOJ O WORK
S.: aince the meeting of -the Food Preparedness Comnission in Tal-
lahassee on April 30th, and May lat, tremendous progress has been -Wle
S in the direction of food preparediess, food .coriertvaion. and Sta-t lI1
defense work.. The task undertakien haMS been a tr elienidou one an"
much progress has been made in the direction of formulating and work- -
ing out plans. The national government has needed assistance from
S -time to time. The national organization has fIfIhEd been sup-
plemented and aided wherever strength and time would*permitst the
,- development of the work furingr the past nine months it has naturally
-" fallen into Mixee distinct lines of development. -
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The work of the State Food Preparedness Commission and State
SCouncil of .efense falls naturally into three groups. These groups
although fairly distinct in the ain, overlap at various places
Taken collectively it makes a. fairly complete unit of work and there-'
fore desirable from many Points of-view. The work, h-wever,-ii so-
largely increased in volume that it is impossible to hakidle it with- .
out a greatly added number of workers who are willing to sacrifice -
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their personal interests and convenience for the protection of the'
:State, %and the Nation, which in the ultimate analysis is self-protection.
:- We Thould be thankf tul to the Lord every day of ommr Lives tat we have
been permitted to live at this day and ae,r and espe Thaly to live
.n the most favor d nation of the nrld. And we ia Florida are fa-
vored above al the other Statemakes of airlye Union. In the of wore populous
Easte n States whel e manufacturing is the principal industry almost
Sfourmountdesable difficulties many have beof i encountered, these have called
for a large enrpenditure oflume private ait is ell as public fto hnds a direct
-prote tion against erhe achintions of un,or thpies, inocendiarie of th,-
andWe ould despicable acts. The very fact that we are to greatly
favored both as a nation and as a state has caused us to be inactive
when we should have been militant belligerants.
Z' F-ood Prepargednese
voted As this was the primary object of the organization alpopulous
His Excellencys, Governor Siuaney J uaatts, the-principal attention a was
:--insurmountable, difficultes have been encountered These have calle
fagiven to this, a nation and the work carried forward mot vigorous t bey in this
direction. What has been dmilne in this ell connection is probably well
S. Food Pre -ar en esI -
'given owto thlo- mys, and the work carrie want forward most vigorously however thatis
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never in the history of the State of Florida have we produce* so large
an amount of food, forage and feed for the maintenance of our popula-
tion. The great organization known as the Cooperative Demonstra-
tion Work, of which I am director, was thrown vigorously into this
work. The results accomplished far exceeded expectation. Coopera-
tion in this work was willingly given in all quarters. In this con-
nection must be mentioned the splendid work done by the state papers,
both-daily and weekly papers giving almost unlimited apace to. the
furtherance of this project. The newspaprms of the State manifested
the same unselfish devotion to the ideals that the employves of the
M-oin showed. Scarcely arny in the whole organization re-
ce ved any personal credit. T'e results Of this united effort were
far beyond expectation.
The United States Department of Agriculture bent every energy
in the direction- of unselfish cooperation. The vigorous young men
connected with thfs organization attacked problems that in former
years 'would have been beyond their imagination. Selfishness was
eliminated and personal sacrifice and devotion to the nation were
the dominant motives of action. Cooperation with the State forces
and helpful assistance was everywhere the key-note for action.
Food Conacrvatiop. -
The food conservation drive was MEZ inaugurated before the
organization of the Food Preparedness Commission. A large amount
of work had been don? in this direction through the County Coopera-
tlve Demonstration A-ents and the Home Demonstration Agents. Food
conse-vation was aken up most largely and carried out most vigorously
through the Home Demonstration work. Before the declaration of war
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^-it became apparent that -ia would be the most important work for -X
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in the Council for developing-this work --s Mrs. W. S. Jennings,
Chairman-of the Committee on Economy a id Utilization, working through
the Federation of Womlen's Club s, and Be. L. Hamer, Vice President, act-on
ing through the Seaboard Air Line Railway. As a result of this
drie Statore- dihable fruit s andionegetables weredried this year thanken
toever occurred in the history ofin the State. The County ome Daemon-
B t ion Agents through t eir organization alone put up a million
and a half of cans. '-:
Last spring wheri active work began in theq State it was faound-
S.* that tin cans were absolutely unavailable, all of the stock, having
been bought up and placed uner contract before Florida has been sup-
plied.. Through the kindly offices of'the U. S. L. ii. we succeeded,
however, in having a large number of contracts cancelled nid a supply
m iae available to.the State of Florida. The cans had to be ordered
in car-lots, sent to central points, and from there distributed by
our own organization. It was even necessary at times for Miss Harris,
or her assistants bo break up-the car lots, parcel them out to indi-
v duals or have then crated and re-shipped. It was a_ I Z task for
which no one of you would be anxious, to volunteer- Spuandid coop-
eration was secured from the bankers to finance these shipments of
cans. Canning factories in the state gladly placed their stocks
at our disposal. Dealers in cans in the State willingly sacrificed-
Sheir profits. Such splendid cooperation had never been witnessed
I -in the State before.
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With the organization of a aod Adjministratan and the appoint- .
: nt of Hon. Braxton Beacham,, as State Pood Administrator, for Florida,
a splendid amount of conservation wotk has been carried on. All
of the work I have mentioned abore occurred before Mr. Beacham was -
appointed-to his office. Our whole organization of Home Demonstra-
tion work has actively cooperated' with Mr _Beacham in every way possi-
ble, to make his work tih fullest pocsfble s-coess.- The County -o-
operative Demonstration Agents are also lending their help wherever
:'The most difficult and time consuming task of your Chairman
has been that of receiving and r*.plying to teletrar s, letters, ques-
tionaires, and other commanications from the Council of N.ational De-
fense. The Council of N.-tional Defense in organized to the
: most populous and highly developed- States in the Union as will as to
:* ar the conditions of the United States as a whole. The work is so
- tremendous and so Impertant that the National Council cannot neggre-
gg. ate and classify information to suit the needs of particular States.
Even if tha time and force were at hand it would probably be less suc-
cessful in handling these questions than the State Council would be.
The function -of the--ouncil of National Defense is two-fold;
f irst, to stand suarely back of every iSiitFA&&it that makes for
t tional defense. Second to-inaugurate and carry out lines of.
national defense that are not already being covered by any other or-
ganized force. Por example, up to the time when the food adminis-
tratlon law became effective, the Council of National Defense was most
active in arousing a national patriotism for food conservation.
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This is a splendid body of American citizens, working with-
out compensation or hope of receiving reward. They are working for
y u, they a e working for me, they are working for the government of
the United States. Their reward will be in the consciousness of _
having done the ri-ht piece of work at the right time. They realize
fully that the nation is passing through a serious crisis; that it
is necessary for the citizens of the United States to act as one man
for national and state defense; that we must sacrifice personal advan-
tage and comfort in order that we may continue to enjoy our liber-
ties as American people. Ladied and Gentlemen, in sp:te of all -
that has been dune and said the people of Florida do not realize the
critical situation of our national life. I know that I am speaking
the truth in this matter. I know with what reluctance many of our
Council take up a difficult piece of work and many more wait for
someone to tell them what to do. This is true in spite of the fact
tiat never in the history of the world have so many people of ability,
so many people of-wealth, so many people of influence, given all of
their time and talent to the preservation of the nation, to the pre-
servation of the State and to the preservation of the community.
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In concluding my address I want to point out clearly what
mutt be done by the Council of State Defense. This must be done im-
mediately. If we fail to do the work that is before us it will be
necessary for the Governor to dissolve the present Council of Defence
and constitute another body of men into a Council of Defense. Action
by this body is imperative and ix that action must be taken.now.
(1) A small committee of broad minded self-sacri facing
men and women must be ppmktst to outline the policy of the Council
of State Defense. If it is thought wise in the minds of this com-
mittee that the present council disband and a,new Council be organized
then they should have the courage to report this to our Council and
recommend the same. They should also outline the/pilicy for the
==aw Council of Defense. 4y j
(2) A small committee composed preferably of editors and
publicity men of the State who are broad-minded and who are fully
aware of the great needs and the imminent crisis of the nation, who
willooutline and provide for publicity matters-in the State enafdZ
th._ L-te. No one man can do all of this work nor should any one
man be expected to personally bear hhe expense of getting this pub-
licity matter out. He needs the guidance and- advice of the best
talent in the States as well as financial support.
(0) A committee of finance should be constituted who will
make themselves personally responsible for raising the finances neces-
work of secretary for #arw
sary to carry on ths/executivs/weeot-f the Council. wVis will re-
quire the entire time of one man. Such a man could probably be ob-
(a) A committee should. be selected to
nominate one or more men for chairman, who can
and will perform such duties. Nomination
should also be made for a secretary.
trained for $2000 a year. It will tkke at least another $1000 to pro-
vide minor travelling expenses, office equipment, stationery and postage.
(4) A-o-himon- and eerotary n -hodbe-etected. The chairman should
be able to give much of his time toward durecting the energies of an
executive secretary. He should be able to pay his own travelling ex-
penses though these not be a large amount, but there are national, sec-
tional and state meetings which he must attend. He must be centrally
located so that he is in direct communication with the various portions
of the State. He must have a wide acquaintance and an intimate knowl-
edge of his acquaintances. He has to recommend the appointment of Wly many
people to the National Council. The task before the Chairman of the Coun-
cil of State Defense is such that the present incumbent must herewith pre-
sent his resignation. It would be manttestly unwise and certainly un-
patriotic, on his part to neglect or shirk any duty especially at this
time. The duties devolving on him in the work of crop production and
the work of food conservation are so arduous that it requires all of
his time and then cannot,be reasonably well done. For your information
I will say that absolutely no time has been taken for vacation, no holi-
days enjoyed, and part of nearly all Sundays spent at the desk. Such a
pace cannot be kept up indefinitely. I can assure you that my heart
is in the work and that every effort both physical and mental will continue
to be made for the welfare of the State a&d of the Nation. We cannot
sacrifice, yes, die, for a better cause. By serving best our State and
our Nation we are serving best the Creator who made ut.
P. H. Rolfs,
Chairman, COuncil State Defease
In concluding my address I want to point out clearly what
must be done by the Council of State Defense. This must be done
immediately. If we fail to do the work that is before us it will
be necessary for the Governor to dissolve the present Council of
Defense and constitute another body of men into a Council of De-
fense. Action by this body is imperative and that action must
be taken now.
(1) A small committee of broad minded self-sacrificing
man and women must be AI a to outline the policy of the Council
of 6tate Defense. If it is thought wise in the minds of this com-
mittee that the present council disband and a new Council be organ-
ized then they should have the courage to report this to our Council
and recommend the same. They should also-outline the future policy
for the Council of Defense.
(2) A small committeeAcomposed preferably of editors and
publicity men of the State who are broad-minded and who are fully
aware of the great needs and the imminent crisis of the Nation, who
will outline and provide for publicity matters in the State. no
one man can do all of this work nor shnld any one man be expected
to personally bear the expense of getting this publicity matter out.
He needs the guidance and advise of the best talent in the States
well as financial support.
(3) A committee of finance should be constituted who will
make themselves personally responsible for raising the finances
necessary to carry on the work of executive secretary for the Coun-
oil, M will require the entire time of one man, Such a man
could probably be obtained for $2000 a year. It will take at least
another $1000 to provide minor travelling expenses, office equipment,
stationery and postage.
(4) A committee should be selected to nominate one or more
men for chairman, who can and will perform such duties. nomination
should also be made for a secretary* The chairman should be able
to give much of his time toward directing the energies of an execu-
tive secretary, He should be able to pay his own travelling ex-
penses though these not be a large amouait, but there are national,
sectional and state meetings which he must attend, He must be
centrally located so that he is in direct communication with the
various portions of the State. He must have a ide acquaintance
and an intimate knowledge of his acquaintances. He has to recommend
the appointment of many people to the ratinal Council. The task
before the Chairman of the Council of State Defense is such that the
present incumbent must herewith present his resignation. It would
be manifestly unwise and certainly unpatriotic, "on his part to ne-
glect or shirk any duty especially at this time. The duties devolv-
ing on him in the work of crop production and the work of food con-
servation are so arduous that it requires all of his time and then
cannot be reasonably well done. For your information I will say
that absolutely no time haa been taken for vacation, no holidays
enjoyed, and paIrt of nearly all Sundays spent at the desk. i2uoh a
pace cannot be kept up indefinitely. I can assure you that my hear
is in the work and that every effort both physical and mental will
continue to be made for the welfare of the State and of .the liition.
We cannot sacrifice, yes, die, for a better cause. By serving best
" r State and our Nation we are serving best the Creator who made
P. H. Rolfs,
Chairman, Counoil State Defense*
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