The Business of Agriculture During the War and After by David Franklin Houston

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David Franklin Houston
Forgotten Books
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The Business of Agriculture During the War and After

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Book review

Excerpt from The Business of Agriculture During the War and After

I Am Glad of this opportunity to express the Nation's appreciation of the patriotism and efficiency of the farmers of Iowa and of the whole country. The efforts and achievements of the millions of farm men and women have been noble and remarkable. The farmers have occupied the first-line First-line trenches of the food army. They and the agencies assisting them, the Federal Department, the State colleges and departments of agriculture, were prepared when we entered the war and had been for years, and I venture the assertion that no section of our people and no agencies have done a better job. But they are not spectacular performers - they never are. They do not furnish sensations and headlines. They have no fixed labor day. They work in season and out of season - from early morning till dusk; but they do not work in the limelight. They are not in the view of people living in cities, the centers of intense publicity.

Urban dwellers ordinarily devote very little thought to rural districts an to sources of food supply. Heretofore they have not had to think much about food. If it is abundant, as it usually is, they take it for granted. If it becomes scarce, they develop hysteria and an amazing capacity for making suggestions. Within the last year, city people have manifested an intense interest in food, and, not knowing their Government, some of them have developed the highly interesting proposal that some Government agency should be created to give attention to production. They have seen windows placarded and papers filled with pleas for conservation, for investments in Liberty Bonds, and for subscriptions to the Red Cross. They have wondered why they have not seen similar evidence of activity in the field of production. They do not know of the thousands of men and women quietly working in every rural community of the Nation and the millions of bulletins and circulars dealing with the problems from hundreds of angles. They forget that the field of work lies outside the city. They do not recognize that both the problem and the method are different.

It is one thing to ask a man to save. It is one thing to ask a man to invest in Liberty Bonds. These things tremendously aid the Nation; but they are also a certain benefit to the individual.

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