Page 3 of 7 Jun 1917 Issue of Des Moines Iowa Homestead in Des-Moines, Iowa

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Des Moines Iowa Homestead (Newspaper) - June 7, 1917, Des Moines, IowaOwa Homestead Des Moines Iowa thursday june 7, 1917. The farm boy and the army. I am in receipt of Many letters asking for in formation in regard to tie new army draft Law particularly As to the possible exemption of Farmers. It May not be amiss to discuss tins mat Ter Here among ourselves to the end that All May be posted. J am assuming that every Man of the farm who has passed his Twenty first birthday and has not yet reached his thirty first birthday registered under the new Law on tuesday of this week. That was his duty if he failed to do it he is liable to imprisonment for not less than one year. But the Mere fact that he is registered does not necessarily mean that he will be drafted. Let me explain according to the Best available figures there Are something like Young men Between the Ages of Twenty one and thirty one in the United states. One million of this number live Here in the Grain Belt. From the total number in the nation about names will be drawn within the next few weeks for possible service under the colors. About of this number will be from the Grain Belt. These names will probably be drawn from a closed receptacle somewhat similar to that from which names Are taken for jury service. From the million names drawn an army of is to be secured. In each county there will be an exemption Board consisting of the sheriff the county auditor and a physician. Men whose names have been drawn and who claim exemption must go before this Board and make their plea. Men who Are physically deficient Are sure to be excused. Men who Are morally deficient will likewise be exempted. Men who belong to the Quaker or friends Church or otherwise have honest conscientious scruples against War will be excused. The Law provides that men engaged in industries in cludi4g agriculture found to be necessary to the of the military establishment or the effective operation of the military forces or the maintenance of National interest during the Emer gency shall be exempt. This May be taken to exempt practically All Young men actively and Actu ally engaged in farming for nothing is More important this year than that we shall have bumper crops and that every Man trained to the plow shall stay by the plow. Moreover the Law will exempt those who have someone absolutely dependent upon them whether this be wife child or other relative. Let us assume that John Smith a farm boy of Twenty five desires to be exempted from service a the army. He has registered As the Law says he shall. The thing for him to do is to present himself before the county exemption Board. He May claim exemption on several grounds that he is a proficient efficient farm worker and cannot be spared that he is Flat footed or has poor eyesight that he has a wife or a child dependent upon him and so on and on. The first selection of names is to be twice the number actually desired for service if More than a million names Are needed before an army of is finally secured they will be drawn As was the first lot and so on and on until by september it is hoped to have an army ready. This army will be trained in sixteen Camps scattered throughout the country trained there for a half year at least before any Active service either at Home or abroad becomes imminent. There is Little likelihood therefore of any farm boy being snatched away from his Home his folks and his work and being launched unto the trenches of Europe before another year at least has passed. I find that some of my correspondents think the parting is Likely to occur almost any Day now. They Are wrong in this As i have endeavoured to set Forth Here. Even should exemption be refused by the local county Board there still remains the right of Appeal to a state Board and finally to the president himself. As i have repeatedly said i consider farm serv ice fully As important and patriotic As army service the farm boy is needed on the farm this year More than in the Trench and dugout. Should he want to enlist however he should be allowed to for his country and his Flag need him. The army might far better however be made up of the non product ing boys and men of our towns and cities. The boy on the farm can do his patriotic bit As he plows the Corn feeds the Stock harvests the wheat or performs any other necessary farm work. He is doing just As much toward bringing the War to an end Over in Europe As though he were firing a Bullet straight at the heart of the enemy. I Hope my readers will continue to write and ask me for information on this All important subject. I shall give it to the Best of my ability. When i cannot answer the questions myself i shall Call on army friends to help me. In this crisis we must All serve As Best we can. Education and the War. A few weeks ago i attempted to give a Defi Nite idea of what constitutes education arguing that a College training is not an absolute essential to Success in any line be it far Ning or anything else. Some of you May re All that i said that a Good education in a general Way May be defined As anything which we know and which we use to make ourselves better in our chosen line of work and More useful to our fellow 3 am indebted to a subscriber or. J. F. Beeman for a letter in which he gives a definition of Educa Tion so far Superior to mine that i pass it along to you with the greatest pleasure and without any delay whatever. Let me quote or. Beeman s letter somewhat at length As follows made sad Many times when i knew then lives in the com to Send their sons and Daugh a higher education obtained filled them with egotistical emf sol them look Down with disdain upon tellers of the soil. I have no doubt about this i education being one of the principal the farm to the cities. F self evident being noticed by so Many up and 8iven else to the slogan Book learning is very import no cannot make arrangements too child Begrin in a careful Way f five Eara old this beginning May be made at Home if no other facility presents itself. Hear j make a speech after his a the world. In speaking of the Educa Tion of americans he said that no person had a Complete education until he had Learned to pro Duce this statement coming from such a prominent Man is of great importance. By the severest test that was Ever placed upon civilized countries. Providence has visited the great nations of the world with the greatest plague that the world Ever knew bringing All classes of men Back to the plow to get Relief from the impending danger of starvation. However the american nation has been looking ahead for several years to the improve ment of the agricultural interests. The advocacy for better farming and for More men to follow the occupation of farming has been the agitation for a number of years. However notwithstanding this Call by Federal and state governments farm journals agricultural schools and some very prominent men Only a comparatively few of the american people realized the importance of this advice till the crisis was right at our doors. This panic for bread in Good schooling for the Rich As Well As for the masses of the people it is very sad to think that the Earth had to be purged from its dross by the flow of Rivers of blood but these experiences Learned by this great world War Are the greatest incentives for better farming and better living in All civilized nations. I take off my hat to or. Bryan in his Defini Tion of an education. Certainly no person has had a Complete education until he has Learned to pro Duce something. And when i see the cigarette smoking College boys loafing around our City Pool Halls producing nothing but laziness and obscenity immorality and vice i wonder if the College of hard knocks producing men and women who can support themselves and fill the Mouths and clothe the bodies of the dependent world is not a much better educator in the Way of producing some than Many of our colleges with their High brow degrees. Send your boys and girls to High school and to College if you can but do not despair if you cannot for they have an Edu cation open to them in the Fields even on the City pavements an education which May produce some thing really Worth while in the years to come. Or. Beeman gives us another splendid thought in what he has to say of the moral lessons of the great War. Perhaps the world is being purged All for its own Good of much of its dross and selfishness its extravagance and intemperance by the Rivers of blood the blood of boys As Bright and As full of Promise a s yours and mine. The world has advanced Century by Century through suffering and bloodshed history May be repeating itself even now in the titanic struggle across the seas. Not a nation in arms but has Learned to know the corrupting evils of intemperance and extravagance since the War began. We bid fair to learn the same lessons Here in America before the War shall end. Many and Many a Man will go to his death before All our drones learn to do their share in the Harvest Field but Good May come of it All As or. Beeman so feelingly puts it. There is Consolation in the thought let us hug it to our breasts and take Solace from it even in the midst of alarms and grief and sorrow. Come Back to the farm. Many a farm Home into which my words go has sent a boy or a girl to answer the Call of town or City. Now the Call is for that boy and that girl to come to the farm which stands sorely in need of them. Never was there a time in my opinion when it was so important that the prodigal son and the prodigal Daugh Ter should return to the farm and help father and Mother in the work which must be done if we As a people and we As a nation Are to live up to the full measure of our duty and our responsibility. I wish that i might climb the Dingy winding stairs and Knock at the Dingy door behind which sit All too Many of the boys and the girls who have quit the farm for the City Only to find their dreams of Bright lights and unending pleasures rudely shattered before Many Days had passed. The big men and women of our land have come from the farms and Small towns i will admit that. No one knows this to be the Case better than i for i have investigated the subject thoroughly and written on it often. But for every farm boy and farm girl who succeeds in the outside world there Are literally a score of thousands who find no greater Opportunity in the City than they would have found on the farm who go through life merely As the background useful to be True but not dramatic or inspiring As were the or girlhood dreams against which stand Forth the few notable figures of exceptional Success. For every paean of Praise sounded for the farm boy and the farm girl who win Fame and Fortune there Are a million heartaches for those who do not win Fame and Fortune who go through life wishing they had never left the old Home and the farm folks yearning for the sight of growing things the fragrant smell of the Fields in Early Spring the sound of the cattle and the horses and the hogs in the feed lot or pasture. To All those who have made the mistake of going from the farm to the City even to those who have won Fame and Fortune sufficient to offset the heart aches and the loneliness and the selfishness of the City i recommend these verses which i clip from the saturday evening Post entitled the Call of the read them every word is True Long have you worked in the Grimy Mills Long have you toiled in store arid shop going the gait that blights and kills with never an hour to stay or Stop. Son of the farm come Back to her now a Brush smoke odor is in the air the redbreast follows behind the plow and Sweet the savor of country fare. Don t you remember the Cedar Lane. And hedge where the Brown Thrush built her nest come and visit these haunts attain of come and loaf in the Shade and rest come let the pallor and bleach of town turn in the Sun to wholesome Tan. Once More Hearty and Hale and Brown feel and look like a countryman. A bed in the farmhouse Waits you now there s an extra horse in the stable too and in the barn is an extra plow and we have happiest work to do. Not one of us Here is very poor not one has splendor Ami wealth and Prole and every Home has an open door and honest friendliness inside. The folks will be glad to Shako your hand and glad to hear what you have to Tell about the people in cities and the wondrous things that there befell. We miss you More than you know my lad and after supper when work is Lone e sit and wish for you awful Hail come Back come Back to the farm my son. America has need of every farm boy of every farm girl this year. There Are Battles to be fought in the Cornfield in the wheat Field and the feed lot Over the hot Range in the Kitchen of Many a farm Home m Canning season upon which the Fate of the world and of civilization depends fully As much As the Battles fought along the Somme or even along the Rhine. Come Back to the farm you wan Dering boys and girls of the Countryside do your bit. Here Gladden the heart of father and Mother put the stars and stripes triumphant Over the Black Eagle of tyranny and oppression and make the whole wide world better and brighter because you undid a mistake before it was too late. This is the Call of the hour a Call which i Hope will not fall on a hearing ears

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