ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED | JUNE 21, 1924 | CANADIAN COUNTRYMAN
The Countryman is a welcome weekly visitor with us, and is very instructive and interesting. The page, “Practical Discussions by Practical Farmers,” always gives first-hand experiences of farmers in different lines of farming, and in various localities. We may argue with some views, and not with others, but all have beneficial ideas.
How are we going to keep the boys, especially the farm-born boys, on the farm?
The majority of farmers are not making bank interest on their investments. By the time you live and keep up needed repairs there are not many hundred dollars of a net profit for your year’s work.
The farm boy, no matter how interested in farming he may be, does not like working just for the good of his health. At present you hear many farmers grouching about farming not paying and about the prices of necessaries being robbery. When a farmer’s son hears this six days a week and twice on Sunday do you wonder at him hunting for a different occupation, which is generally in the city.
The farm boy should always be given responsibilities and be made a partner in the business. He should be allowed to work out things according to his own views. The young farmer always wants to try new and up-to-date methods. He is often told, however, that the old way is the best, though in a lot of cases the old method is not as practical as the newer ways of farming. To be a success in most cases farming has got to be carried on by cooperation and by improved ways, with quality instead of quantity as a profitable basis.
It is generally the better educated man who makes cooperation a success on a larger scale, but the uneducated farmer can also make cooperation a success at home with his boys and hired help by listening to asking their views on different farm operations.
Cooperation enterprises on a larger scale, such as clubs and farmers’ elevators, function better if the heads or managers have had higher education and can express their views in public intelligently. Sometimes higher education will tempt boys to some other job and away from the farm, but if good stock and No. 1 grades of fruit, grains, and farm produce are raised to command the top marketplace, they will be found a great help in keeping the boy interested profitably. Poor grades and varieties of farm stock and produce take as much work and expense to produce and bring only a small profit, which is poor encouragement to a young farmer.
So cooperate with your son and helpers and let them study markets and cost of production. Show them how to keep down overhead expenses and how to invest intelligently and so keep all interested, as the interested boy and the practical boy makes the most successful farmer.