Page 3 of 22 Feb 1917 Issue of Des Moines Iowa Homestead in Des-Moines, Iowa

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Des Moines Iowa Homestead (Newspaper) - February 22, 1917, Des Moines, IowaSmestead Des Moines Iowa february 22, 1917. George Washington Farmer. I sometimes wonder if we realize How old Are the ideas which appear the newest to us they simply come to us in new form and we do not recognize them for a while. This is As True of agricultural matters As of any other. Take the matter of crop rotation and soil fertilization for instance. Many of us Are inclined to dismiss it with the remark that our fathers were mighty Good Farmers and they did t pay much at Tention to we seem to think that it is a sort of new gospel which is being tried out on us and of which our fathers and our fathers fathers knew nothing. Let us look into this matter briefly. George Washington s birthday occurring this week i took Down a volume dealing with his life and work the other evening and was soon deeply engrossed therein. It was not Long before i found that Washington was several decades ahead of his time As an agriculturist and that he had preached fertilization crop rotation deep cultivation and the other new with which you and i Are Strug gling something like a Century and a half ago which simply shows that our new ideas Are not new at All. Take the matter of crop rotation to begin with. Here is George Washington s description of one crop farming As it was practice in Virginia when he was alive a piece of land is Cut Down and kept under constant cultivation first in tobacco and then in Indian Corn two very exhausting plants until it will scarcely yield anything a second piece is cleared and treated in the same manner then a third and so on until probably there is but Little More to Clear. When this happens the owner finds himself reduced to the Choice of one of three things either to recover the land which he has ruined to accomplish which he has perhaps neither the skill the Industry nor the Means or to retire beyond the mountains or to substitute Quantity for Quality in order to raise anything. Was it any wonder in View of such conditions that Washington constantly preached crop Rota Tion not perhaps the Corn Corn Oats Clover Rota Tion which you and i practice and preach but one which was far ahead of the agricultural practices of his Day it simply shows that those of us who Are inclined to scoff at the teachings of the Day As being newfangled and unknown to our fathers ways Are Good enough for read a Little history now and then and see How old Are the new things of today. Looking for a new overseer once George Washington said the Man must be above All Midas like one who can convert everything he touches into manure As the first transmutation toward Gold in a word one who can bring Vorn out and bullied lands into Good tilth in the shortest was he not thereby advocating live Stock farming and the conservation of the elements of soil Fertil Ity just As our leading Farmers Are today George Washington was a great Man but we Are inclined to forget that he was a great Farmer As Well As president and Soldier. We owe an immense debt to him for his part in the work of freeing the country from the domination of the tyrant but let us not forget that we owe an equally great debt to him for leading us unto bigger and better things agriculturally. I think with you that the life of a. Husbandman of All others is the most select he wrote to a Friend adding it is Honor Able it is amusing and with judicious manage ment it is profitable. To see plants Rise from the Earth and flourish by the Superior skill and Beauty of the labourer fills a contemplative mind with ideas which Are More easy to be conceived than sex do not these words of George washing ton compare most favourably with those of Abraham Lincoln which i quoted last week no other human occupation opens so wide a Field for the profitable and agreeable combination of labor with cultivated thought As agriculture. Our greatest americans have been loudest in Praise of farming. They have been the quickest to see that on the farm is the real genuine life and thought of the country. We do Well to recall these facts when Lincoln s and Washington s birth Days annually recur. Farm loan Banks ready soon. I am advised by a member of the Federal farm loan Board that the twelve land Banks the one for Iowa and states. Will be located at Omaha will be organized by the first of March. My informant adds officially shortly thereafter these Banks will be ready to Issue Charters to applying farm loan associations and then proceed with the business of lending Money on first mortgages secured by farm land. This should make it possible for Iowa farm ers. Who have done the preliminary work of organizing associations and securing their necessary Legal articles to borrow Money on their farm land by the time cropping operations open in Earnest in the Spring i regret that there should have been a Little delay for i have been confidently expecting the Banks to be open and ready for business by this time but it is hard and slow work inaugurating a new system As extensive and As fax reaching As this one by which Farmer borrowers Are to be enabled to borrow Money at a Low rate of interest and for a Long period of years. As to the rate of interest that is not yet decided. I still believe that it will be about 5y2 per cent to Start with and pos Sibly As Low As 5 per cent later on. Understand there is no commission in addition to this and but Little expense for abstract and other Legal papers if the borrowers who form the necessary loan association will co operate and have one abstracted and lawyer draw up the papers for All. The farm loan Board has sent me some general information in answer to inquiries and i will re print a portion As i believe you will find it of in Terest what constitutes an actual an actual. Farmer is one who conducts the farm directs us entire operation cultivating the same with his own hands or by Means of hired labor an owner to borrow under the farm loan act must be in every Way financially and otherwise for the cultivation of his lend. What is the meaning of equipment consists of the implements needed in to facilitate in its operation and Ike arts cafes As Well As machinery tools what is the meaning of anything m the form of beneficial Structure or and useful permanent physical change tending to in crease productive value such As Clearing tiling draining fencing building Etc. Tiling what is the basis for appraising lands the appraisement of a farm should represent the Best judgment of the members of the loan commute As to the. Value of the land in question the Factor being the productivity of the land when used for agricultural purposes but taking also into consideration the scalability of the land and prevailing land prices in that Community. Pit Diunte May one Man by owning two pieces of land be Cestos the kilo associations and borrow in sex he May become a member of two associations but the total amount of his Loans May not exceed the new Banks will open with capital which Means each for the twelve. This seems Small when we Stop to consider that Al ready the farms of Iowa Are mortgaged for the last available census figures but we must Bear in mind that the Bank s working capital will be constantly replenished. Every Farmer Borrower will subscribe for 5 per cent of his loan and Bonds will be issued Over and Over again As soon As the capital bids fair to be so that the loaning fund will be practically inexhaustible. The Bonds will be Good investments too so i look for no difficulty along this line of having sufficient Money to meet the needs of every Farmer in Iowa and this part of the country who wishes to take advantage of the new Law. More Good books to read. The Winter is drawing to a close and already there begin to appear faint preliminary signs of Spring still the subject of Winter Reading interests Many of my correspondents and causes a sheaf of letters to reach my desk. Valu Able lists of books Are being sent to me and by the time we close the discussion i believe we will be Able to make up a selection of a dozen or More works which will interest every member of the farm household and be instructive and entertaining to. All. One of the largest and most comprehensive of All the lists sent to me comes from Maybelle Blunt of West Union Iowa and is As follows by Lew the Baule by Jacob Riis he Helen girls am women by Wacon the world i live by Helen Keller Brushwood by Rudyard Kipling our Friend by Maeterlinck Ben Hur by Lew by Walter Scott of the non to Short of by j. R. Green americans he i by phonies the winning of the West by Theodore Roosevelt life of by Nicola y and arabian by Lang treasure Island by r. L. Stevenson Cadet by Charles miss Blunt names several books which Are prime favourites with me and while her list May possibly be accused of being to heavy with fiction still it appeals to me. Personally i have always relished Reading Kipling s Brushwood Stevenson s treasure and London s the Call of the i would add to her list As Long As she mentions one Book by Maeterlinck another one by the belgian author which i think even better than the one she mentions and that is his splendid work on the Bee. This is not a technical work but a philosophical essay most Delight unto read drawing a splendid lesson from the life and toil of the Bee. It is a classic in my opinion. Green s history of the English people should be read by All while Thackeray Dickens and Scott will Al ways be Standard books for people of All walks and callings. I Hope you will continue to Send me your lists i shall publish the Best of them every Little while. I am reminded of the importance of the subject we Are discussing by a. Prayer which i saw printed m one of our Grain Belt newspapers r gently it runs As follows lord let me never slight the meaning nor the moral of anything i read. Make me respect my mind so much that i dare not read what has no meaning nor moral help me to choose with equal care my mends and my books because they Are both for life How me that As in a River so in Reading the Depths hold More of strength and Beauty than the shallows. Teach me to value Art without being Blind to thought. Keep me from caring More for much Reading than for careful Reading for books than the Book give me an Ideal that will let me read Only the Best and when that is done Stop me. Repay me with Power to teach others and then help me to Sav from a disciplined mind a grateful amen. In my opinion nothing is More important thaa that we should have the Best and the most elevating of Reading matter for Young and old. If i can assist any of my readers in making a Good Choice i shall consider myself amply repaid for the time and space i have devoted to this subject Here in this weekly talk of mine. Songs of our states. Numerous letters of thanks for the song slips of which i gladly furnish free of charge to All my readers who request continue to come to me. This one from or g Tipton r. F. D. 4, Oakland Iowa is dear or. Am in receipt of the free conies of America which you so kindly sent and i ask Vou the members of our the same. Through some mistake Jou Ivere asked for copies by. The president of our club also so we Are passing part of the copies along be progressive Farmers club North of us. E All thank you very much. Or. Tipton enclosed with his letter a copy of major s. H. M. Byers splendid song Iowa tis suggesting that it be Sung by Farmers clubs of his state in conjunction with have the pleasure and Honor of knowing major Byers personally and i would be glad indeed to hear the Farmers of Iowa sing his song in recognition of the greatness of their state. Some of you May know How the song goes. Here is the first stanza Tou ask what land i love the Best Iowa tis Iowa. The fairest state of All the West Iowa o Iowa. From yonder Mississippi s Stream to where Missouri s Waters gleam of fair it is As poet s dream Iowa in Iowa. I believe it. Would be a splendid thing if we could have a song for every one of our states. Have any of my readers any suggestion to go with this song for Iowa which is Sung to the tune of Maryland my have we an equally Good state song for Missouri Kansas and our other Grain Belt states you let me hear from you with information and suggestions this is a very interesting matter to me. There is not a mail nowadays but brings menu serous requests for the song slips of America and letters of thanks from Farmers to whom i have Al ready sent them. With the International crisis As grave As it is today it seems to me most desirable and opportune that we All unite in singing our National hymn. Most of us i fancy know the first stanza but How few there Are among us who know All the stanzas. If you will let me Send these song slips to you there will no longer be any excuse for All of us not joining in the singing for the tune is easy to carry and the words Are surely inspiring

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