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FAVORS FARMERS INSTITUTES.
Dr. Withycombe, of the Oregon agri
cultural college, who Is certainly In
a position to know whereof he speaks,
takes Issue with an "implied criticism"
of farmers' institutes in an article pub
lished a few days ago upon "Teaching
Agriculture at the Farm." He assures
the public, through a letter written in
defense of the farmers' institute, that
there is an appreciable waste of time
in welcoming addresses, responses and
remarks by prominent citizens upon
Farming, as everyone knows", who
knows anything about it, Is an Intense
ly practical vocation. The fragrance
of the new mown hay has been sung
by poets reclining in the shade of the
haycock, but the placing of the haycock
was an intensely practical proceeding,
through all of its preliminary stages up
to the crowning achievement of round-
Ing it out so that it might shed to some
extent the sudden downpour of rain
from a summer's cloud. The golden,
billowy wheat, undulating in the sum
mer air, is a picture fair to look upon,
but the plowing and harrowing and
sowing and rolling which preceded this
stage were intensely practical incidents
of a strenuous pursuit, while further
strenuous labor will be required before
"the golden grain is poured into the
expansive lap of commerce."
To the extent that the farmers' insti
tute, with its high sounding words of
welcome and response relieves the
monotony of the Intensely practical side
of agricultural pursuits, it is a welcome
adjunct to life on the farm. Dr. Withy
combe assures the public further that it
is the very best means that is employed
for introducing reforms in agricultural
practices, undertaken by the agricultur
al college and experiment station. This
is upon his showing, altogether probable
since it brings the farmers of a wide
district in touch with one another, and
through the opportunity afforded for
discussion promotes an exchange of
ideas upon topics in which all are inter
Time was, as many remember, when
it was supposed that farming came nat
urally to a boy born on a farm and that
housework and cooking came to farmers'
girls by Intuition. That presumption,
though outdated by common experience
in life, stil obtains in many rural dis
tricts. Surprise is felt that farmers'
boys do not like farming and are awk
ward and unsuccessful in the attempt
to make things grow and that girls,
starting out to cook and do housework,
concoct strange messes for the table and
are without practical knowledge in tak
ing care of furniture and in other de
tails of modern housewifery. The sug
gestion that these boys and girls have
not been taught is resented as a reflec
tion upon their intelligence and perhaps
upon the home life in which they were
born and reared.
The ambitious lad, well grown and
fairly educated who applied for work in
a wholesale grocery store and was asked
if he had had experience in the work
sought, stated the case simply when he
replied, "No, I was not born with "ex
perience; I am out to try and get some."
Had he applied for farm work, his size
and strength would alone nave been tak
en into consideration and he would have
been set down as a dullard, had he not
been able to take any work that came
to hand and perform it in a creditable
To a considerable extent this condi
tion of affairs has passed away. Farm
ing, in theory at least, has been taken
from the catalogue of plodding drudg
ery and placed in that of a vocation in
which success depends not more upon
industry than upon knowledge. The
farmers' institute is the outgrowth of
this movement —supplemental, as Dr.
Withycombe tells us, of the work of
the agricultural college ana the govern
ment experiment station. This being
true, it Is an institution that has an im
portant place in the evolution of the
science of agriculture and farmer*
should make it a point of conscience,
looking to the advancement of their vo
cation and interests to see that the boys
and girls of their households attend as
well as themselves.
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VI Home Like This
May be duplicated in any of the irrigated any more in the west. Out here we know
districts of the state of Washington or what we are doing when we take soil rich in
throughout the northwest. One firm has a nitrogenic properties, turn on just the right
splendid list of really fine opportunities for amount of water at just the right time, and
the man who wants to quit farming for fun let the forces of nature do the rest. Our firm
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ness proposition. Farming for fun, isn't fun | We have just the farms you want to buy.
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John C. Hayes (& Company
Rooms 522, 523. 524 and 525 Peoples Savings Bank Building
Corner Pike Street and Second Avenue