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S'THE LIFIT OF THE FARMER.
The various papers discussing this subject are rather
academic than practical, excepting the one Fran the man who Holds
the Plow. Thts paper shows that the writer understands the difficul-
ties and has an intimate living contact with them. The. statement
made by one of the writers that the parcel post and like social
conveniences is destructive to the farm is conspicuously erroneous.
Certainly nothing has done more to the educational up building of the
flral community than the telephone and the rural delivery. (Not
rural free delivery, it is no more free than any other delivery)
Hundreds of well to do farmers are not occupying the fames who,
S without these conveniences would have moved to the town or city.
*':. The fact that the social conditions in the past were better in towns
S has been the most patient factor in causing farmers to move to town,
H avigg been born and raised on the farm in Iowa, the
statement that the West flourished because of the homogenus condi-
S tions of rural life is rather startling to me, Certainly a more
Shetrogenous social and racial condition could not well be imagined.
.he com.nnities flourlshe and then became honaged4as. The article
. ..... .. .
referred to got the catt before the horse.
The trouble with most of these articles as with most
articles on rural life, is that they are academic treaties. The famer
until within the Past two decadesi.'as practically untaught. The edu-
cated countryman of a generation ago, as a rule, found it easier and
more pleasant to provide for himself and family away from the farm.
The farm owner under such conditions, soon finds himself in different
to the most vital que~tion,-social cnndttions on the farm. This is
strikingly illustrated by the fact that the rented farm rarely has
'.well painted buildings, lacks of neat fences, and an inspection of
the house and barns show a corresponding lack of attention. The
country school in a renters district is usually shabby and the church
dilapidated. Not because the farms fail to pay but because their
owners are living in town and have thAir interests and sympathies
drawn away from the farm. All dividends that accrue from the farm
are spent, frequently in vocations that are antifarm in their
The fundamental trouble today is not with the farms but
with tiw farmers. The first and greatest needs is education and then
s ar rallary organization. By education I do not hean the learning
of latin verbs or the reciting of Shakespeare, but I do mean the
full understanding of the farm and its surroundings and the funda-
mental principles of trade economics.
. 5 (, .
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