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About Omaha daily bee. (Omaha [Neb.]) 187?-1922 | View Entire Issue (May 21, 1911)
THE OMAHA SUNDAY BEE: MAT 21, 1911.
I ' M 11 .MJ.J. M.
Secretary of Agriculture Wilson Discusses His New Schemes
ASHINOTON, D. C. (Special Correspond-,
ence of The Bee.) Secretary Wllaoil 1
the mightiest of all the slaves of Uncle
Earn, the modern Aladdin. Our patri
archal uncle rubs the lamp and Mr. Wil
son mores the world to do his bidding.
He waves his wand over the deserts, and ten blades of
graaa spring up where none has grown before. He
pats on his Fortunatus' cap an flies to the Atlas moun
tains, bringing back macaroni wheat which adds bil
lions of loaves to our national bread basket. He scours
the earth for new nuts and fruits, and from China and
Japan brings rice which yields a thousand-fold on the
lowlands of Louisiana and Texas. He shakes his maglo
rod and the nitrogen of the air Is harnessed to bac
teria which make Mother Earth produce as she has not
produced before. He shows the farmers how to
double their corn and the planters how to add millions
to the value of their cotton. He 1b the friend of the
helpful hen and the little red apple, and, In short, the
mightiest genii of all those in the employ of our na
tional ruler, Uncle Sam, Patriarch.
Eighty Thousand Million Dollars.
I first met Secretary Wilson when he had Just taken
his seat as one of the members of President McKln
ley's cabinet. That was fourteen years ago, and ha
has been working wonders ever since. He Is a plain
Scotch farmer, but he deals In sums that would stag
ger a Morgan or a Guggenheim. During the past ten
years the proceeds pf our farms have been more than
ighty billion dollars.
Eighty thousand millions! It means enough to give
tour thousand dollars to every family or eight hun
dred dollars to every man, woman and child in the
whole United States. That sum has come out of the
(arms within ten years and yearly the product In
creases. When the present secretary took charge of
the Department of Agriculture It annually amounted
to about four billions of dollars. In 1910 It was al
most nine billions and when the present scheme of
farm improvement and new crops have been generally
adopted we shall be rich enough to buy Mexico and
Canada and to inaugurate peace movements through
out the world.
Eighty thousand million dollars!
The sum is beyond human conception. It Is ten
millions more than all the wealth of Great Britain and
It Is more than twice the value of all Russia owns,
four times the total wealth of Austria Hungary, and
over fifteen times that of Holland or Spain.
One Year's Farm Crop.
Coming down to the crops of a single year, Secre
tary Wilson tells me that during 1910 our farmers
yanked almost nine billion dollars out of Mother
Earth's pockets. That sum would come within 10 per
cent of the government revenues of every country on
earth, and It would pay nine-tenths of all the salaries
of those governments, Including their armies and
navies, and every other employe, from the kings who
sit the thrones to the women who scrub the palaces
and public offices.
Nine thousand millions of money a year means just
bout thirty millions fof every Working day. It
means more than a million dollars for every hour,
twenty-thousand dollars for every , minute and over
three hundred and thirty-three dollars for every
second. . Take out your watch and look at its face.
Follow the second hand as It measure the minutes.
Every time It goes around its little dial our farmers
are adding $20,000 to our national wealth. Now put
It to your ear and listen to the ticking. Every tick
means more'i than three hundred . dollars, and that
three hundred Is addedwith every tick, day and night,
Week In and week out, all the year through.
It la the man who has had imuch to do with making
this wealth that you talk with today. J am merely
the phonograph, and through me the secretary of Ag
riculture Is speaking to you. We are sitting in Mr.
Wilson's office and the secretary is talking of Uncle -Earn,
Ten Year With the Farmer.
"It is the duty of the government to take care of
very citizen, and it should study bis comfort In every
possible way. It should show him how to husband his
wealth, and to develop his property for himself and the
nation. These are some of the things we are trying
to do and I must also say some of these we are doing."
"Can you give me an Idea of your work for the
"We are not working for the farmers alone," was
the reply. "This department is for all the people. It
affects every man, woman and child In the country,
and Its sphere is Increasing each year. We are now
spending 115,000,000 per annum, and the whole of
this is used for investigations and operations which
tend to the increase of our national and individual
wealth. We have more than 12,000 employes, and we
have trebled our force within the past ten years."
"Can you tell me some of the things you are doing,
"I could mention a hundred, and the work of each
would give you the material for a very good letter.
You will have to visit the bureaus and I will see that
everything is thrown open to you. Thls'ls a great ex
periment station, consisting of an army of practical
scientists who are working along all sorts of lines. If
you want to know about aerial navigation I will turn
you over to Prof. Moore and he will tell you the re
sult of the latest Investigations of the upper air. If
you would know about our forests I can send you to
the chief of that service. He has 8,000 men under
him. and he takes care of 190,000,000 acres of woods.
"Would you like to know shout coo king T We have
themists who are studying foods and who will put
till 7 , h
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7&5 bojleind refused a house Jyy-hiS fafher cultivated. JuStaere
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you In a glass case and feed you there, telling you
Just how much of each bite goes to make muscle and
how much Is pure waste.
"I have recently tested the matter of cheese. I
have always had the Idea that green cheese is not good
for the stomach and that old and sharp cheese Is
better. YCe fed a man upon the different kinds "and
tested it, and now we know which is right" ' '
Fighting The Bugs. ' '
"Are you inters ted in bugs? We have a depart
ment devoted to them which Is Btudying all sorts of
Insects for the good of the people. With other things
It is working on the gypsy moth and the browntail
moth, which are now ravaging the trees of a large part
of New England. TheBe moths were brought iu from
abroad by a scientist for the purpose of study. He
allowed -a-pair or so to get loose, and the result is,
they have multiplied by millions and are destroying
trees over an area of 10,000 square miles. We beard
that there were parasites which would exterminate
th(s pest, and Dr. L. O. Howard, the chief of the bu
reau of entomology, has been sent to Europe three
times to find them. One of his trips was to th
Crimea, and It was there he discovered the moth's
greatest enemy. We have imported it. Congress has
given us an appropriation to wipe out that pest.
"Another Interesting investigation," continued Sec
retary Wilson, "relates to the fever tick which has
ruined the cattle In parts of the south to the extent of
somehing like forty million dollars a year. We looked
everywhere to get something to fight it, but failed. 'At
last we discovered that the tick bred on the ground
and that the young fastened themselves to the plants
and crawling up them were able to get on such cattle
as fed In the pastures. We found that they had to
reach the cattle very soon or they died. With this
knowledge we got the farmers to divide their fields in
the middle and put the stock on one side. In a short
time the ticks which had crawled up the grass died
of starvation. We now had all the cattle dipped In a
bath which destroyed the ticks on them, and moved
them across to the other-side of the field. Within a
few days all the ticks In the now vacant pasture had
died the same way, and that land was clear. By these
means we have already driven this petout of be
tween ninety and one hundred million acres of pasture
lands. The total area Is about 145.000 sauare miles
raisers of the United States. They are numbered by
the tens of thousands. The movement began in the
great corn patch of the Mississippi valley, and at the
St. Louis exposition there were about 8,000 separate
exhibits of corn raised in the older corn regions by as
many thousand individual boys. These boys had each
one acre of land, which he planted and cultivated
after the rules laid down by this department.' Prizes
were glvenln each district to the boy who produced
the most and best corn, and tho results were a yield
which was double, treble, and In some cases even live
or six times that which was gotten before.
Corn Versus Cotton.
"That was some years ago," continued the secretary.
"It was before the 'boll weevil had begun to bite deep
into the cotton crop of the south. As you know, cot
ton has long been the one crop of that section. The
planters have raised almost nothing else. They have
Imported their hogs and their hominy, have bought
mules and other live stock of the north and have even
brought in the stuff to feed them. We wanted to make
the south self-supporting, to diversify the crops and
to show what corn would do for the land. This has
been accomplished largely through the boys. We shall
soon have 100,000 boy fanners who will each have
an acre or more to oultlvate after our methods. We
had more than 40,000 last year, and we have already
doubled that number. We have thousands of southern
farmers who are experimenting with corn and thou
sands who are already raising It for the money they
can make from the crop. As a result of a few years
work we, have Increased the corn there until the south
Is now producing one-third of all raised in the Union,
and its crop will Boon equal that of the great corn
patch of the central Mississippi valley. The south is
' bound to be as much a land of corn as it has been and
Is a land of cotton."
Stories of Boy Farmers. .
"Tell me more about the boys," Mr. Secretary.
"I could talk all day about that," replied the gray- .
haired chief of Hhe Agricultural department. "We
had eleven of the little fellows here last fall. We
gave them diplomas- and a free trip to Washington as
competitive prizes for raising the most and best corn
on one acre. They took land in states that have been
producing on the average from fifteen to twenty bush-
and besides, he was about as mean as they make
them. His boy had asked for the use of an acre, and
the father refused, Celling him he would not have
anything to do with such foolishness. The boy per
sisted, however, and the father finally pointed to a
rough hillside overgrown with brush and spotted with
Btumps and stones, and told him if he would grub
that acre and move off the stones he could have it.
The boy vent to work, and finally cleared It. Then
the old man said: 'That acre is too good for me to
lose. I think I will plant it myself.' The boy cried,
and the father finally said: 'Well, if you will clear
another acre beside that I won't take it from you, and
you may plant it and do what ybu please.' There
upon the boy again went to work and cleared the sec
ond acre. He planted it to corn alter our directions,
and as a result he made eighty-eight bushels. At
the same time his father planted and cultivated the
acre adjoining, using the old way. He made Just
eighteen. Since then the old man has been converted
It is equal to three and one-half states the size of els Pr acr and farmed it. They worked under our to our way of farming. He goes with his hoy to the
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Teaching the Boys to Farm.
"Tell me something about the work you are doing
for the farmers' boys. Mr. Secretary," I said.
"That is a big story," replied Mr. Wilson. "With
the assistance of the states we are establishing schools
for the teaching of farming, and improved agriculture
is being taught In the public schools. We are also
doing a great deal of practical work with the boys on
"You may have heard something of the boy corn
direction and the result is they have raised up to as
high as 228 bushels per acre, and one of them has
produced 119 buBhels on an acre at a cost of 8 cents
a bushel. We have thousands of boys who have har
. vested from the ono acre they farmed double as much
as their fathers grew on any acre adjoining, and some
who have produced five times as much.
The Meanest Mian in the South.
"Take, for Instance, the case of one bright southern
boy," the secretary of agriculture continued. "His
father had no faith in what he called book farming,
Modern Taste for Scented Tobacco
HAT the fragrance of pure tobacco is to
many smokers a mere memory, and that
nauseating foreign flavors, including oils,
glycerine, formaldehyde and other preser
vatives are added to, tobacco, are among
the claims set forth by tne London Lancet in an
article calling attention to the changing tastes of
smokers and the modern demand for scented tobacco.
"We are quite prepared to be told," said the
Lancet, "that the public like, or even prefer, a scented
tobacco, and the trade must be ready to meet
the peculiarities of its customers. If that Is the case
the palate of the public, for some reason or other,
must have gone astray, which Is a pity, since a vitiated
taste quickly invites bad trade practices. It Is pretty
certain, at any rate, that It the real demand of the
smoker is in favor of a highly scented tobacco' It
matters very Utile what the quality cf the tobacco la.
He does not seek the pleasing qualities of the tobacco
Itself, unadulterated, unolled, unscented; he is satis
fied with an added scent which is not due to tobacco
at all. To him tobacco merely serves the role of a
smouldering vehicle, his choice of a brand being based
upon a scent which is foreign and artificial.
"Depraved taste may be traced, we think, to the
action In the trade in the first instance," and to the
meek and weak attitude of its patrons. The matter
is one of some importance, because a consideration
of it naturally suggests the possibility of foreign ma
terials In tobacco which may give additional risks to
the smoking habit. The word adulteration may be
objected to, but it is difficult to avoid Its use In view
of the fact fhat large quantities of foreign scents,
besides oils, glycerine, formaldehyde or other pre
servatives are added to tobacco. Our view Is that It
wonld be better If the tobacco manufacturer kept no
account with the drysalter and chemist."
agricultural fairs and tells about the eighty-eight
bushels of corn they raised on an acre, saying: 'That
is what me and my boy done.'
Farming With Goats.
"In another Instance," continued the secretary, "an
Arkansas farmer would not give his boy a horse to
cultivate his acre. The boy paid to have the land
plowed, and after that he did all his cultivating with
a common, everyday goat. Notwithstanding that he
raised fifty bushels of corn. Another boy bad not
even a goat and he harnessed' the calves, and made
seventy-five bushels of corn to the acre. The depart
ment Is full of such stories."
"That is the kind of work that makes men, Mr. Sec
retary," said I.
"That is what I told the boys who won the prize
trips to Washington. The corn clubs of the south
are making men, and the boys who belong to them will
be among the best men of the future. When a boy
learns how to manage an acre and to count every cent
that goes in and all that comes out, as well as to make
It produce, as those boys are doing, he comes mighty
near to learning bow to manage a farm. He learns
how to work and how to save. Take the boys who
came down to Washington. Every one of them ap
preciated the value of the cent and the dime. One
had been given $160 to pay his expenses to the capital
and bark, and he was to have all that was left. He
came from beyond the Mississippi river. When he
reached here he looked rather tired. One of our men
asked him what kind of a trip he had and whether he
had slept well on the cars. He replied: 'not very
well.' And upon further questioning said that be had
sat up all the way. Said he: 'A sleeping car would
have cost me $5 and that Is a lot of money to me.'
He .was asked as to his meals, and he said he had
gone into the diner, but that they wanted to charge
him a dollar for dinner, and so he waited until he
got to Memphis, and there got some apples, popcorn
and bread, and that was enough until he reached
Washington. Another boy went to Pittsburg, and In
the restaurant at the depot was asked to pay 10 cents
for a cup of coffee. He was horrified, and that Is
the last coffee he drank during the trip.
Joe Stone of Georgia, who is only twelve years of
age, had to pay one-third of Els crop to the landlord
of whom his father rented the farm. He raised 102
bushels at a cost of 2 9 cents.
Another boy named Henry, who came from Louis
iana, raised almost 140 bushels at a cost of 13 cents,
and he sold his crop at f 3 a bushel for seed. That boy
has put in five acres this year, and he expects to get
600 bushels of corn from them. He Is going to ths
high school, and the thousand dollars he thinks this
year's crop will net him is to be used to pay for his
Bashful Ira and President Taft. 1
"Speaking of the making men of the boys," contin
ued the secretary. "I can think of nothing more edu
cational. This work develops their self-reliance and
encourages them to think and act for themselves.
"Take another of the prize winners, little Ira Smith
of Arkansas. He was bo bashful when the demonstra
tor of the Agricultural department visited bis father
that he would not speak to him. He could not be per
suaded to talk and ran out of the house. Nevertheless
the boy, after raising 119 bushels on his acre at a
cost of '8 cents a bushel, talked with President Taft
here at Washington and was not afraid. When the
boys called at the White house the president tackled
Ira Smith first, saying:
" 'Now tell me the truth, my boy, didn't you pick
out the best acre on your father's place for that earn?'
" 'No,' replied little Ira. 'My acre was Just like the
" 'And do you expect to try It again,' said the presi
dent. " 'Yes, I do. I have already selected my acre and
I hope to raise more corn next year than I raised this.'
"But it Is not the effect that the work has on the
boys alone that should be considered," said the secre
tary. "Every one of the thousands of boys who are
working that way represents a family and its neigh
bors, and In this movement we are educating whole
communities and whole states. We are revolutionis
ing the work of the farmer of the south, and the
changes now going on will make that section one of
the richest and most stable parts of the country. The
south is just at the edge of Its beginning and Its
growth in wealth from now on will be surprising to all
the other parts of the union."
FRANK O. CARPENTER.
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