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Ranche and range. (North Yakima, Wash.) 1897-1902, June 26, 1902, Image 4

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2007252185/1902-06-26/ed-1/seq-4/

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FARM LABOR.
By Hon. F. W. Hodson.
I.ivi- Slock Commissioner Of Canada.
Unquestionably there is nothing con
nected with the business of farming
which gives us as much annoyance,
or which is as difficult to get on a
satisfactory basis, as farm labor.
There are various causes which tend
lo bring about this state of things,
and perhaps none more so than the
unreasonableness of employers. Social
ists tell us that the world could pro
duce enough for its needs if every man
worked but half the number of hours
that is now considered a working day;
but unfortunately on our Canadian
farms it seems necessary for the far
mer and his men to put in each day
a solid day's work all the year round,
and even then it is difficult to hold
one's own among the keen competition.
In these days when the competition
between capital and labor have become
so tense that a little extra strain at
any time may bring about the most
serious results, it is a matter of no
small importance for farmers to con
sider whether something more cannot
he done to put the labor question, as
it affects the farm, on a better basis.
lii an ideal condition of affairs, the
employer would never ask or expect
his men to do more work than was
right or reasonable, and when hiring
would in all cases he willing to give
a fair and just remuneration for ser
vices to In 1 performed, and would en
deavor to carry out a system of farm
ing that would give employment to his
men in the slack part of the year.
The employed also would not take un
due advantage of the employer be
cause of a temporary scarcity of la
bor, would never shirk his work, hut
would he faithful in doing his duty,
whether his employer were with him
or not, and would in all cases he ready
to put forth an extra effort at a busy
time.
It is scarcely to be expected, how
ever, that such a Utopian state of
affairs will ever exist, while frail hu
man nature remains as it is, but by
the exercise of a little thoughtfulness
and mutual forbearance, the relations
between employer and employed may
be much improved. In considering the
question of farm labor, as it affects
Ihe operations and profits of the farm,
and the home life of the dwellers
there, morally and socially, it will
generally be found on large and mod
erately large farms, that the employ
ment of married men boarding them
selves is altogether preferable to
boarding men in the house. Outside
the question of profits there is the
all important consideration of home
life; the home life cannot by any pos
sibility be what home life ought to
be, when the farm house is nothing
but a boarding house. It is not too
much to say that the future life of
many a bright boy or girl in this
country has been a failure through too
little attention having been paid to
their yearning for home comforts. One
of the first things to be aimed at in
operating a farm in this way is to
employ none but good men, and then
to do everything in reason to make
their lives comfortable. Farmers have
no right even if they have the power
to make the men work from early
morning until after dark at night,
and looked at from no standpoint than
i bat of personal gain, it is a very de
cided mistake. Incidentally it may not
be amiss to say that the farmer ought
HOt to ask his sons to do what no
reasonable man would expect his hired
man to do. Many a good boy has
been driven from home by that sort
of treatment.
Then, again, it is a matter of the
first importance that the men serving
shall be well treated. Their houses,
if not largo, should at least be made
comfortable. The gardens attached
should be large enough to enable them
to grow vegetables for their own use,
but not so large as to take up too
much of their time, and if a few ap
ples and small fruits can be grown
on the ground, they would be more
appreciated than by those who can
afford to buy them. A cow is almost
B necessity to a family on the farm,
and an arrangement should be made
to have it pastured, but on no account
wintered by the farmer. It is too
severe a trial of human nature to al
low a hired man to feed his cow
from his employer's meal box, and is
almost sure to cause trouble.
The faculty of getting on well with
hired men on the farm is well worth
cultivating. My own experience leads
me to know that if you engage good
men, there is little trouble in keeping
them, if we, as employers, do our
part. It is our duty to try to make
them comfortable as circumstances
will permit. If we do so we may
expect faithful service, and from good
men we will get it. Let the rules
be strictly laid down and adhered to
and on no consideration keep a man
after his time is out, if he has at
any time given a word of imperti
nence.
However, owing to the condition in
which most farmers are placed, the
larger number of farm hands are un
married men who are boarded in the
house, and this is most likely the
state of affairs that will continue for
some time to come. It is a difficult
Question to deal with, and as far as
THE RANCH.
both employer and employed are con
cerned, it is a most unsatisfactory
state, largely arising from the fact
that in many sections there is com
paratively little employment for one
half the year; and just so long as the
farmer has to look out for new men
every spring, and good men find them
selves discharged at the first sign of
winter or before, it will remain so,
and no amount of philosophizing will
put it right. The rapid extension of
winter dairying during the past few
steady employment the year round,
years has done a good deal to ensure
but conditions are still unsatisfactory
in many districts.
In conclusion, it may be said that,
as a general thing, the best men are
the cheapest. Try to get good men
and where conditions will permit of
it, have profitable employment the
year round, and use them as you
would like (o be used if you were in
their circumstances.
The boy who look the best sheep-
J. W. CLISE.
skin at the state agricultural college
is so homely that he would shoo a
sage-hen off a mud fence. His mental
crib is bursting with knowledge be
cause he is so ugly the girls did not
bother him during the educational
period. Good looking boys never learn
anything from books when the girls
get after them. —Field and Farm
Rowland, Lichty & Harrison hand
ed the following letter received by
them to the editor of the Sunnyside
Sun last week:
My Dear Sirs I saw an advertisement
of yours asking if you would like a
home of my own yes I would I am a
poor man be working at anything I
can get to do if you will give me a
nice home I will be very much please
, 111., June 1902.
J. W. CLISE.
The Ranch presents on this page
the very excellent likeness of Mr. J. W.
Clise. Many of our readers know of
Mr. Clise through his connection with
Central Washington irrigation enter
prises; but the fact is the building of
ditches is only a sort of side line with
him. Mr. Clise is one of the group of
men who have been with Seattle dur
ing the last decade and a half, stood
by it through the ups and downs of
its career and made a city of it. Prob
ably no one individual has contrib
uted more to the development of the
city. He has enlisted many hundreds
of thousands of dollars in building of
some of the finest brick blocks. His
connection with public organizations
such as the chamber of commerce, etc.,
has been very prominent. He was the
man who raised the subsidy of $100,
--000, enabling Moran Bros, to take the
contract for building the battleship
Nebraska.
He actively promoted the commer
cial interests of the city, by conduct
ing excursions of the business men to
the outlying sections of the state, and
making them acquainted with their
tributary resources, etc. Then follow
ed the construction of the Moxee ca
nal, which opened up several thous
and acres of highly productive land in
the Yakima valley. He has now com
menced active work on a canal in the
Wenatchee valley which will also
water a large tract of fine land, and
thus materially enrich that section.
He believed Seattle able to engage in
the world-trade and turned his atten
tion to the organization of a great
transportation company, which is
building its own ships, right at the
suburb of Ballard, and as fast as they
are completed are being pressed into
service. Twelve sailing vessels in all
will compose the fleet when completed,
besides a number of steamers, and
these will ply from here to every part
of the globe. Not having his hands
full, he looked around for something
else upon which to work off a little
spare time. He thought the gas com
pany in Seattle charged the consumer
too much. He organized a new com
pany, has put in a great plant, and
within a few weeks will be supplying
the citizens with gas at a material re
duction. His various enterprises em
ploy an army of men, and large sums
of money are being spent thereon. All
these things are undoubtedly profit
able to Mr. Clise; as a matter-of-fact
they are vastly more beneficial to the
community at large. The Ranch likes
to see a man of this sort, and to in
troduce him to its readers, so that
they may get acquainted with him.
He is of that distinctive type of men
who are the life and soul of the City
of Seattle.
Some Hubbardisms.
We do not know what we can do till
we try.
The only way to help yourself is to
do something for somebody.
It takes a good many men to make
the ideal man.
A fool prepares to die —a wise man
prepares to live.
I doubt the wisdom of being too
wise and I can see much wisdom in
some folly.
Aim high ai»d belifve yourself capn
blc of great things.
Farmers are not half so stupid **
some people think they are, and city
folk are not half M smart as th«J
think they are.

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