A Womans View of Farming
AUGUST 01, 1958 by MRS. H. L. WITMER
We in this room, with the exception of our guests, are actively engaged in farming. We know what the world looks like just before sunrise, and we know what it is to sit on a bale of straw through a long cold night to help save the life of a little calf or of a litter of pigs. We know the feel of soil in our hands before it has become warm in the spring, and we know what the hot July sun feels like beating down on the back of a working person.
Most of the tractors on our farms are lady broke. We know what is being planted in the northeast 40 this spring, and we know whether or not the new alfalfa seeding came through the winter.
We know what it is to be tired and discouraged and the next thing to broke, but we also know the thrill of being close to nature, of working with live animals, of producing with our own hands and the help of God, the food that is necessary to the world. And we know what it is occasionally to hit the market when it is up and get more for a product than we had anticipated.
We believe in farming as a family operation, and we wish that every young person who wants to make agriculture his career could have the opportunity to do so.
Of course, we are concerned about farm income, but we are even more interested in the future we are bequeathing to our sons and daughters and to their sons and daughters.
Are we going to pass on to them a business hamstrung by ineffective controls and regulations?
Will the freedom of farmers to farm at their best disappear as so many of our freedoms have disappeared, almost unnoticed?
Will they have the opportunity to live in a great democracy as we have, the right to work and play, to win and lose, the right to plan their own future according to their individual desires and abilities?
Things are happening in
It has become the great American pastime to gripe, and we find ourselves criticizing as well as praising our government.
Most of us are not educated in economics, but we do not believe that it takes an expert to know that none of us can go on year after year spending more than we earn, and that when certain members of the family keep demanding more than the budget will bear, either something has to give or those members will have to get busy and figure out how to get what they want for themselves, or do without. We know we must constantly cut corners and manage better.
We are not half as afraid of
How often have you heard these statements:
"The government must build more roads."
"We must set up trade barriers to keep out competitive foreign goods."
"We have to have federal aid to education. We can’t educate our kids ourselves."
And the latest: “
Our tremendous inflationary spiral has slowed up. We are in trouble.
We are being out-propagandized by
We are, because the American people pick up and echo in mournful voices the latest claims.
We are smart enough to know that you who represent us can give us nothing which we have not first given you and that in the transfer from us to you and back again we lose a lot; and we know that if you furnish the money, you will want to help us make decisions, and we will thus lose a bit more of our freedoms.
If we are real honest with ourselves, we know that so long as we have the large sums of money we spend on cosmetics, cigarettes, soft drinks, liquor, and the like, we should be able to finance our schools.
We know that every bureau that is set up, even on the temporary basis, is likely here to stay and make big government even bigger.
We want you to know that we will do all we can to help you represent us in a way that will at least check the loss of our freedoms.
We believe that you want to keep
We believe in
Agriculture is our business and farming is our future. With adjustments and changes brought on by a rapidly changing world, we believe that the family type farm is here to stay.
And we believe that there’s life in the old girl yet, if we take away the sedatives and tranquilizers and give her the stimulus of freedom to decide, competitive markets, and foreign trade.
This is the future we hope to bequeath to our children, and we will help you in any way we can to accomplish this goal.
Get the Government Out!
Questionnaire returns from 2,016 readers of Farm and Ranch magazine, reported in their July 1958 issue, show the following results:
72.2% said: Cooperatives should be taxed, nationally and locally, on same basis as corporations.
63.2% said: Postal rates should be raised (including rates on magazines) to enable the Post Office Dept. to break even.
73.1% said: Government should not guarantee support prices at 90 to 100 per cent of parity and control production on major crops.
87.5% said: Farming should return to a free supply-and-demand system, as soon as possible, with minimum government control.
85.0% said: Public utilities should be developed and operated by private companies instead of by the government.
80.9% said: States should run their own schools without interference from federal government, and federal aid to schools should be stopped.
75.3% said: Federal aid to states means extravagance, high taxes, waste, and federal control. It should be stopped.