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A Fair Break in Taxes CONSIDERATION IS BEING given in Congress to proposals for changes in tax regulations that would give farmers and ranchers some kinds of tax relief now en joyed by certain other groups. . Under one proposal, farmers would be permitted to carry forward, as net losses, unused personal exemptions and deprecia tion from lean to prosperous years. Under this plan, farmers who have little or no taxable income in a year of crop failure would be able to scale down their taxes in the following year or years. Another suggestion being considered is that farmers be allowed to deduct hospital and medical service insurance premiums as a business expense. It is argued that this would put them in the same position as employes of corporations who receive free, or partly free, medical insurance from em ployers as a fringe benefit. Consideration is also being given to changing regulations so that heirs of farm ers or ranchers would be allowed to pay Lighting a Fire Under Youth ► THERE HAS BEEN much discussion Many statéments by educational author ities and expressions of citizen's organiza tions have indicated the answer Ifes largely in developing better teachers and building better schools. There can be no question as to the very about ways and means of improving our educational system, since the appearance of the Russian Sputniks. Agreement is quite general that something must be done to strengthen education, particularly in science and mathematics. There is rather con vincing evidence that young people in Rus sia are receiving more solid training along these lines than is American youth. great importance of improving the quality of teaching. Too much teaching in our schools and colleges is done by instructors who have only a perfunctory knowledge of the subjects they teach and little talent in passing that knowledge along to the young sters in an intriguing way. It takes an intel ligent and imaginative teacher to hold the interest of today's students. Facilities, too, are highly important, particularly in scientific and engineering Unless the latest equipment and courses. materials are used in the laboratories, young people are too likely to be trained for the past rather than for the future. In this fast moving age today's scientific mar vels mayJ)ecome obsolete tomorrow. So better teaching, and better schools and facilities, are highly important in bring ing our educational system up to fully modern standards. If these improvements are made to an adequate degree, our educa tional institutions are going to cost a lot more in the future than they have in the past. And we as taxpayers might just as well get used to that fact. But there is more to better education than better teachers and better schools. Many good teachers have expressed deep the attitude of the students concern over themselves. Too many of them show little interest in science and mathematics, or in any other difficult subject. inheritance taxes in installments over a period of years. Many farmers have a relatively small amount of cash or liquid assets in proportion to total investment. This makes it quite difficult for them to pay inheritance taxes in a lump sum. It is unlikely that these tax adjustment proposals will receive congressional ap proval quickly. One difficulty is that num erous other individuals and groups are laboring under similar tax disadvantages. If such changes in regulations were made available to farm and ranch people, they should also be extended to other groups and individuals with similar problems. Many congressmen are reluctant to make any broad changes in tax regulations that would reduce federal revenues in this pe riod of mounting defense costs. If some of these tax regulations have been particularly burdensome to you, it will do no harm to write your congressman about them. Some of these changes in tax laws as applied to farmers and ranchers, and certain other groups, are long overdue. The majority of youngsters today pre fer to take the softest classes they can find, declares one veteran physics teacher. We've got to find some way to light a fire under these kids." This teacher says his school now has only about half as many physics students as it had ten years ago. The elective system has reached the point where students can choose almost any thing they want," remarks a mathematics teacher. "We have had classes in which students who were doing fine in algebra suddenly discovered they could get the same credit for taking general mathematics, . which is easier. So they dropped out and signed up for general math. And a school superintendent declares: Students just don't seem to have an ap petite for learning. Somehow we must develop in students a greater respect for - the value of scholarship and get them to assume the responsibility for their own studies. << >» n u generally proportionate to their capacity. ^Providence seldom sends any into the world with an inclination to attempt great things who have not abilities likewise to perform them. u Of course there are some who adhere to the pessimistic conclusion of Samuel Johnson who insisted: "Men's ambition is It is undoubtedly true that inherited characteristics are extremely important in the development of any individual. But there are countless examples of bril liant youngsters who have failed to make successful use of their abilities—»for lack of ambition. And of other young people who, though of seemingly average mentality, be came inspired by some imaginative parent or teacher to achieve great things. Yes, good teachers and good facilities are important all along the educational line. But there should also be a continual striving in the home and in the elementary schools to light that vital spark which will generate an earnest desire to take full advantage of all the educational opportunities and facil ities that are available. #£?5. "No wiser use of our unneeded crop land could be found than to devote it to safe conserving uses where it will not only be ready when and if it is needed again for cultivatable crops but where it will also continue to bear beneficial dividends in the form of growing trees, soil building grass and legume cover, impoundment of a shrink ing water supply and increased recreational facilities. It is a sound investment in the future of our country and presents an op portunity for farmers who desire to shift into other better and more satisfying en deavors. In the short time it has been in existence the conservation reserve program has demonstrated its ability to accomplish land adjustment and, in the process, sound conservation use. These most desirable results will be compounded in the future. Howard J. Doggett, Director Soil Bank Di vision, USD A. yy * * * "One of the most potent internal forces in dairy farming is the constant im provement in methods for producing I have already referred to the 13-year slide in numbers of milk cows. This decline has been far more than offset by an unbroken rise in production per cow. It took 25 mil lion cows to produce 117 billion pounds of milk in 1944. But less than 21 million cows were needed to product 127 billion pounds of milk in 1957. Yet even today the average milk production per cow is still far below the performance of the better herds of 30 years ago. Therefore, most of the recent improvement in output per cow probably comes from the wider use of the best blood lines that have been available for a long time. In the same way the improvement in feeding probably comes from wider use of methods of feeding that better herdsmen were following a generation ago. F. Herrmann, Chief, Dairy Section, USD A. ♦ ♦ ♦ milk. "Approximately 20 per cent of all hogs are now considered to be meat-type," says USDA. "A majority of marketing agencies and packers are presently buying and sell ing hogs on a merit basis. There continues *° J great need for suitable breeding stock, better feeding and marketing pro ^rkeUng^gencies Tnd P packers to buy and sell ho | s ° n a merit g asis There £ Lewis i » need also for retailers to merchandise the superior quality products coming from meat-type hogs and to reflect back on pro ducers the proper price differential. * * • M The hard core of U.S. farm problems is the surplus of human effort committed to farming—not too much conflict, too few ex ports, or lack of farm investment."—Theo dore W. Schultz, economist of University of Chicago. u MONTANA FARMER-STOCKMAN —COVERS MONTANA AND NORTHERN WYOMING OFFICE: 414 2nd Ave. N., Great Falls. Montana LESTER COLE, Publisher: DON R. BOSLEY. Feature Editor; LARRY GILL. Livestock Editor; EARL STEFFANL Staff Artist; RAY OZMON. Roving Reporter; ED SAXTON. Livestock Fieldman,. Box 713. Helena. Montana. Department Editors: AMY MARTIN, Rural Homes Depart ment; DR. STUART YOUNG, Veterinary Department; RALPH D. 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