What is the Matter with Farming?

What is the Matter with Farming?


The above question is being asked daily in all directions so let us turn it out to the light and have a look. If the farm occupation or any occupation is in a very poor state we should be able to see the followers of that occupation with shrunken faces and tired, discouraged looks. But such is not the case. Nine farmers out of ten at least look to be well fed, happy and contented.

The salaried man can earn two thousand dollars and not pay a cent of taxes. The farmer may earn less than a thousand dollars and pay one hundred in taxes and many are doing that without a growl. Not much the matter there, is there?

The stork came to five different homes in this vicinity during the winter and the doctor’s charge on this event is now thirty dollars or more instead of five as formerly, and every one of these dads are smiling. Not much the matter there.

Twenty-five years ago a big strong man had a job on King Street, Toronto, handing out bills and soliciting trade for dry goods at two dollars and a half a week and board himself, and hundreds of others would been glad to have had his place, but it never gets as bad as that in the country.

Some tell us that hogs do not pay. Well that is just where we come in. When the time comes that five cents worth of grain is sure to make seven cents worth of pork, men with capital will build pig pens a mile long and feed the pigs with endless chain conveyers and we won’t get a chance at all.

Be thankful, fellow-farmers, that it costs 8 cents to make 6 cents worth of pork as that gives us a chance to rub off that two cents with skim milk and alfalfa. Why sure the farm must be all right considering the farmer can raise a family on an income of five hundred and upwards and provide for his old age, while the man with a salary of two thousand and upwards has to be cuddled up with a superannuation allowance to finish him off.

Sure the farm is all right, else we would all be in the city breathing coal dust from the States and eating 1921 eggs from ditto and competing with a half a million beings for the pleasure of dying with the bunch.

Oh, boy, when you get a little hut of your own, on your own bit of land; when you sit in your own chair with your own wood in your own stove and look out of your own window on your own garden patch, say, say, if I am going to stare this is the place to do it.

John A. Yates
Simcoe County


Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Agriculture