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the farmer is going to think less of his taxes and more of his schools; he is going to be one of an army of country men united to secure conservation of the soil through longer leases, conservation of the child through better educational facilities; conservation of the wife through the relaxation of meeting with those of her own sex, and shall I not add: conservation of the few hard-earned dollars in the purse by parcels post? The farmer's wife, in order to conserve to the fullest extent the best interests of the farm, must be filled with the conviction that farming is the most honorable of any pursuit for a man and is a career worthy of his best endeavors and not merely a makeshift until something better offers. Such a woman will impress upon her children the thought that no calling or profession is so worthy of their best efforts; she will see to it that the books and papers that come into the family are those that treat farming and the farmer with respect. No one thing probably has had a more invidious influence in creating a desire among farm boys to. leave the farm than the funny papers and cartoons which make the farmer the butt of their jokes, portraying him as the victim of the gold brick agent and picturing him with the vacant look and gaping mouth of an imbecile.
Cato, the Censor, lived at a time when Rome was at its height as a military power. He had held nearly all of the great offices under the Roman republic, yet in his old age he left this record, that: “No occupation was so worthy of the dignity of a man as that of farming,” holding that: “Farming makes the bravest men, and thoughts.” The farmer's wife should use her influence to see that this kind of literature is kept before her children in the farm home, in the curriculum of the school, and in the school library.
In the time at my disposal I have been able to only hint at a few of the very many and diverse problems, as well as opportunities which belong to our women of the farm. I have tried to view them as a wife and mother of the soil, where, indeed, my life is cast, and my energies have been engrossed. I have endeavored to advance no fine spun theories, but to suggest a solution which can be and is being worked out today in many localities. That these and similar organizations are bound to come in abundance and that they will work untold good to the cause of conservation I fully believe. Once the farm wives of our country are adequately organized there is no divining the power for good that they may wield. There is an old saying: “Unless a man's mother ordains him for the ministry, he won't make a good preacher.” When a boy's mother ordains him for the farm there will be no lack of good farmers. (Applause)
Chairman VEssey—I now have the pleasure of introducing to you Mrs. Matthew T. Scott, President General of the Daughters of the American Revolution, who will talk to you in regard to the “Farmer's Wife.” (Applause)
Mrs. SCOTT–I have crossed the continent to be present today because of my interest in the farm and the farmer's wife—the class to which I am proud to belong.
We have considered here every interest of conservation in creation —vegetable, animal and mineral, and now come to conservation of the farmer's wife, the greatest issue before this Congress.
In the consideration of that problem which so far has baffled the masculine intelligence, i. e., that of keeping the younger generation on the farm, the key to the situation unquestionably is held by the farmer's wife.
The call of the country rings out from garden, from forest and stream, from acres of golden grain, and tonics pure from Nature's own laboratory. Back of all of this is the farmer's wife, who by making the farm home attractive and interesting is the magnet which draws the boy and girl back to the farm, from the allurements and disappointments of city life. The farmer's wife is no longer the isolated being of years ago—but with her free rural delivery, and the country's network of trolleys for her convenience—good roads, and with the use of modern machinery, a large degree of leisure to give to her social life, music and books, are now at her command. If she succeeds in making life on the farm attractive, if she is able to add the distinctively feminine touch of home charm to the freedom and zest of country life, who can doubt that this great problem of retaining the farmer boys on the farm will be solved 2
It is the farmer's wife also, and she chiefly, who can enforce the only education that is worth while—that is real and true, that education which builds character, which educates not the intellect, alone, but at the same time the conscience and the will; an education that means justice and truth and purity in this selfish work-a-day world. Moreover, few farmers succeed whose wives do not do their part to see to it that both ends meet. It is the wife of the farmer who sees where the waste and loss are eating into the profits of the farm. It is the housewife as a rule who has ideas of thrift in farm management and who, if she has the chance, will contribute more than is often realized to make the farm a business success.
Upon the farmer's wife largely rests this great responsibility, and in this great work, with the help of the noble army of quiet, intelligent, capable farmers' wives, we hope to develop the most splendid crop known on this fertile continent—the boys and girls, the youth of the land. Largely is this work the prerogative of the farmer's wife amid the stress and strain which absorb the energies of modern masculine business life.
Another duty which devolves upon the farmer's wife is to exert her influence and teaching to train her boys so that they will see to it when they are voters that in these days of political chicanery and corruption that only honest men and true are sent to Legislatures, to Congress, and the United States Government, to make the laws that are to govern this, the greatest Nation on the face of the earth. Sociologists and agricultural professors can aid the farmer's wife in her work, but, after all, it is upon her shoulders that the responsibility of success of failure in this great task must ultimately rest. Today the great difficulty is that the farmer's wife is trying heroically to fulfill the double functions—that of assistant economic producer and of housewife, mother and the organizer and inspirer of the happier and higher activities and diversions of country life. To free the wife from the burden of money making and educate her in the more difficult and equally important task of home-making and the development of the finer and more humane and more enjoyable aspects of country life, these are the problems we must help her solve and . she will do the rest. An old Frenchman once said that farming was the only profession in which a man works in a relationship of direct partnership with God. The ministry might object to the words “only profession,” but the fact is certainly patent that in more than any ordinary occupation of life, do we cooperate day and night with the sun, and the wind and the rain, and all the other forces of Nature and of Nature's God, and I believe that for women today there is no profession more alluring, healthful, or lucrative than that of scientific agriculture. If I had my life to live over I would enter as a student one of our great agricultural universities. I would familiarize myself with the work of experiment stations, learn to test soils, know the elements best suited to and most needed by the different stratas of earth. I would master the secrets of fertilization, which have for a thousand years made sections of the old world productive without exhaustion. I would inform myself as to the value and methods of rotation of crops, the value of dairy and cattle raising on the farm. I would also inform myself of the comparative cost of nitrogen drawn from the air in the form of leguminous crops, which imprison the nitrogen in the soil, and the cost of commercial nitrogen, and their comparative values. I would learn the need of phosphate or potassium as applied to different soils and the comparative value of tested fertilizers. We have already an aristocracy of herds—cattle, horses and swine, but I would undertake the breeding of an aristocracy of seed corn and oats and alfalfa. Oh! they are great the possibilities of woman on the farm—if she would only take advantage of them. (Applause)
Chairman WALLACE—We will now proceed with the call of the states, and these organizations who wish to report.
Delegate C. J. DILLON of Manhattan, Kan.—Can't we give five minutes more to discussion by the ladies? We have a lady here I wish to
propose, who has been working in this same line for years, and I would like to have you hear from her.
Chairman VESSEY-Send her up to the platform, please.
Mr. DILLON.—I am glad to introduce to you Miss Frances Brown of Kansas, who has been in active work along the lines of organization of farmers' wives. (Applause)
A DELEGATE–Have her come down on the front platform.
President WALLACE—She has a pretty good voice, and I think if you will be quiet you can hear her.
Miss BrowN–The first speaker on this subject this afternoon out
lined so ably and so well the needs of the farmer's wife that it will be my pleasure in just a very few minutes to tell you how we at the Agricultural College in Kansas have tried to meet these needs of the farmers' wives. We have looked over the field as well as we could, and we saw that in the very first instance the first thing for us to do was to correct, as far as possible, the errors of those who had gone before us. And so while it is only morning yet in Kansas, and the department as organized is only two years old, we went out into the organization that had asteady existed in Kansas and began to do work on these subjects that pertained to the commonest things of life, the very household, taking up for our very first work a sort of reformatory movement on the subject of bread and bread making. Then we spread that same movement before the Farmers' Institutes, and by visiting every one of the institutes and meetings that we could, we saw that the cause of dissatisfaction on the farm lay largely in the fact that there are not the conveniences in the farm home that we find in the town, and that was the cause of the exodus from the farm to the town. So we have begun a campaign for the country homes, and our women in the institutes are so anxious that they ask us to help them effect an organization which we call an Auxiliary to the Farmers' Institutes. Of these during the last year we have twenty organizations, with a membership of 500, whose women have been studying the cost of putting in plants for heating and lighting and bringing water into the homes, and taking care of the waste from the home. Now we are getting letters every day from farm homes where they are actually making use of some one of these various systems.
The next step was to take care of the younger members of the farm home, and so we had to get something ready that could be used in the public schools, as well as in the home itself. We have what you may be more or less familiar with under the title of the Girls' Home Economic Clubs, by which we reach the girls through the printed page. These printed papers are gotten up so that girls from ten to fifteen years of age can master them perfectly. They are on the subjects that
1. Girford Pinchot, Executive Committee, 1911-12. 2. George C. Pandez, Executive Committee, 1910-11-12. 3. Henry D. Hardtner, Vice President, 1909-1912. 4. Mrs. Philip N. Moone, Executive Committee, 1909-12. 5. Walter H. Page, Executive Committee, 1910-12. 6. D. Austin Larchaw, Treasurer. 7. Thomas R. Shirr, Executive Secretary. 8. James C. Girr, Recording