ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED | JUNE 10, 1920 | FARMER'S ADVOCATE & HOME MAGAZINE | LONDON
A female farmer who wanted to highlight the importance of farmers to food production and stability wrote the following poem. In particular it focuses on how in 1920 the production of food did not meet the needs of the population. As of 2017, this issue continues to be a problem not only in Canada but worldwide. It is thus necessary to reflect on the important of farmers to human life and strive to correct a continuing problem found in food accessibility and farming jobs.
If Farmers go on Strike
By Mrs. Walter Buchanan, Grey Co, Ontario
“We hear of strife on every hand,
We hear of great unrest;
We hear of strikes to beat the band,
All carried out with zest.
We know the cost of living’s high,
We ne’er have known the like;
But dear, dear friends ‘twill reach the sky
If farmers go on strike.
In Bible times God made the world,
Made all things small and great;
And man, because he fell, was forced
To work for what he ate.
Since then man worked from sun to sun
If he’s put in a day,
And woman’s work was never done,
Though she got little pay.
‘Twas then they labored till the sweat
And the moisture damped the brow,
But Lots who worked for what they ate
Don’t want to do it now.
For nowadays man likes to bluff,
And sometimes feels like sin,
And thinks he’s worked quite long enough
When eight hours are put in.
This eight-hour day our progress blocks,
And has since it begun;
Man easily can change the clocks,
But cannot change the sun;
Man cannot change the sun, by jings,
A mighty good job too,
For if he could there’s other things
That he might try to do.
The world is short of food to-day
And will continue so,
Unless people till the land
And cause the stuff to grow;
And farmers won’t work double time
As servants, if you please,
While others think hard work a crime,
And loll about at ease.
Let those who think that living’s high,
Who write so much abuse,
Let them unto hard draw nigh,
Go to it, and produce;
Because I say you can’t suppose
Whate’re it may be like
If farmers cast their duddy clothes,
Dress up, and go on strike.