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Some Aspects of the
Farmers , Problems . By BERNARD M. BARUCH .1 ' ___________ (Reprinted from Atlantic Monthly) of to era' not ask see If i The whole rural world is In a fer ment of unrest, and there is an un paralleled volume and intensity of de termined, if not angry, protest, and an ominous swarming of occupational con ferences, Interest groupings, political movements and propaganda. Such a turmoil cannot but arrest our atten tion. Indeed, It demands our careful study and examination. It Is not like ly that six million aloof and ruggedly Independent men have come together and' banded themselves into active «nions, societies, farm bureaus, and so forth, for no sufficient cause. Investigation of the subject conclu sively proves that, while there Is much overstatement of grievances and mis conception of remedies, the farmers are right In complaining of wrongs long endured, and right In holding that it Is feasible to relieve their ills with benefit to the rest of the community. This being the case of an Industry that contributes, In the raw material form alone, about one-third of the na tional annual wealth production and is the means of livelihood of about 40 per cent of the population, It Is ob vious that the subject is one of grave concern. Not only do the farmers make up one-half of the nation, but the well-being of the other half de pends upon them. So long as we have nations, a wise politdal economy will aim at a large degree of national self-sufficiency and self-containment Rome fell when the food supply was too far removed from the belly, take her, we shall destroy our own agriculture and extend our sources of food distantly and precari ously, If we do not see to It that our farmers are well and fairly paid for their services. The farm gives the nation men as well as food. Cities derive their vitality and are forever renewed from the country, but an im poverished countryside exports Intelli gence and retains inintelligence. Only the lower grade» of mentality and character will remain on, or seek, the farm, unless agriculture Is capable of being pursued with contentment and adequate compensation. Hence, to em bitter and impoverish the farmer Is to dry up and contaminate the vital sources of the nation. The war showed convincingly how dependent the nation is on the fall t roducthlty of the farms. Desp erculcs ^ «> Ports, agricultural prodi tion fee ahead by lte> ati ' > « is at the coat *f reducing tli" i • there. We ought not to for get ti.'ii lesson when we ponder on the '■m iner's problems. They are truly common problems, and there should be no attempt to deal with them as If they were purely selfish demands of a clear-cut group, antagonistic to the rest of the community. Rather should we consider agriculture In the light of broad national policy, just as we consider oil, coal, steel, dye Btuffs, and so forth, as sinews of na tional strength. Our growing popula tion and a higher standard of living demand Increasing food supplies, and more wool, cotton, hides, and the rest. With the disappearance of free or cheap fertile land, additional acreage and increased yields can come only from costly effort. This we need not expect from an Impoverished" or un happy rural population. It will not do to take a narrow view of the ratal discontent, or to appraise It from the standpoint of yesterday. This Is peculiarly an age of flux and change and new deals. Because a thing always has been so no longer means that it Is righteous, or always shall be so. More, perhaps, than ever before, there is a widespread feeling that all human relations can be Im proved by taking thought, and that It is not becoming for the reasoning ani mal to leave his destiny largely to chance and natural Incidence. Prudent and orderly adjustment of production and distribution In accord ance with consumption Is recognized as wise management in every business but that of farming. Yet, I venture to say, there Is no other Industry In which it Is so Important to the pub 11c—to the city-dweller—that produc tion should be sure, steady, and In creasing, and that distribution should be In proportion to the need. The un organized farmers naturally act blind ly and impulsively and, In conse quence, surfeit and dearth, accompa nied by disconcerting price-variations, harass the consumer. One year pota toes rot In the fields because of excess production, and there Is a scarcity of the things that have been displaced to make way for the expansion of the potato acreage; next year the punish ed farmers mass their fields on some other crop, and potatoes enter the < doim of lnxnrles; and so on. Agriculture is the greatest and fun damentally the most Important of our American industries. The cities are bat the branches of the tree of na tional life, the roots of which go deep ly into the land. We all flourish or decline with the farmer. So, when we ot the cities rend of the present unl vorsal distress of the farmers, of a of six billion dollars in the farm velue ot thMr crops to a single year, to It» ue H y a few weeks or months i-.sumptlon, and that only \ ; the acreage of certain ■wry .-.. pan with put find the high of their Inability to meet mortgages or to pay current bills, and how, seeking relief from their ills, they are plan ning to form pools, Inaugurate farm era' strikes, and demand legislation abolishing grain exchanges, private cattle markets, and the like, we ought not hastily to brand them as economic heretics and highwaymen, and hurl at them the charge of being seekers of special privilege. Rather, we should ask if their trouble Is not ours, and see what can be done to Improve the situation. Purely from self-interest, If for no higher - motive, we should help them. All of us want to get back permanently to "normalcy but Is It reasonable to hope for that condition unless our greatest and most basic In dustry can be put on a sound and solid permanent foundation? The farmers are not entitled to special privileges; but are they not right In demanding that they be placed on an equal foot ing with the buyers of their products and with other industries? to or a Im It ani to of In In un of the the fun our are na or we unl a farm year, to are us has has by H by or a I weighing of farm products, which, It is charged, is sometimes a matter of dishonest Intention and sometimes of ! control over the time and conditions of marketing his products, with the Let us, then, consider some of the farmer's grievances, and see how far they are real. In doing so, we should remember that, while there have been, and still are, Instances of purposeful abuse, the subject should not be np proached with any general Imputation to existing distributive agencies of de liberately lntenttonal oppression, but rather with the conception that the marketing of farm products has not been modernized. An ancient evil, and a persistent one, is the undergrading of farm prod ucts, with the result that what the farmers sell as of one quality is re sold as of a higher. That this sort of chicanery should persist on any Im portant scale In these days of bus) ness Integrity would seem almost In credible, but there Is much evidence that It does so persist. Even as 1 write, the newspapers announce the suspension of several firms from the New York Produce Exchange for ex porting to Germany as No. 2 wheat a whole shipload of grossly Inferior wheal mixed with oats, chaff and the like. Another evil la that of inaccurate protective policy on the part of the local buyer, who fears that he may "weigh out" more than he "weighs In." A greater grievance Is that at pres ent the field farmer has little or no result that he Is often underpaid for his products and usually overcharged for marketing service. The differ ence between what the farmer re ceives and what the consumer pays often exceeds all possibility of justi fication. To cite a stogie Illustration. Last year, according to figures attest ed by the railways and the growers, Georgia watermelon-raisers received on the average 7.5 cents for a melon, the railroads got 12.7 cents for carry ing It to Baltimore and the consumer paid one dollar, leaving 79.8 cents for the service of marketing and its risks, os against 20.2 cents for growing and transporting. The hard annals of farm-life are replete with such com mentaries on the crudeness of pres ent practices. Nature prescribes that the farmer's "goods" must be finished within two or three months of the year, while financial and storage limitations gen erally compel him to sell them at the same time. As a rule, other Industries are In a continuous process of finish ing goods for the markets; they dis tribute as they produce, and they can curtail production without too great Injury to themselves or the commu nity; but If the farmer restricts his output. It is with disastrous conse quences, both to himself and to the community. The average farmer Is busy with production for the major part of the year, and has nothing to sell. The bulk of his output comes on the mar ket at once. Because of lack of stor age facilities and of financial support, the farmer cannot carry his goods through the year and dispose of them as they are currently needed. In the great majority of cases, farmers have to entrust storage—in warehouses and elevators—and the financial carrying of their products to others. Farm products are generally mar keted at a time when there is n con gestion of both transportation and finance—when cars and money are scarce. The outcome, In many In stantes, is that the farmers not only sell under pressure, and therefore at a disadvantage, but are compelled to take further reductions In net returns, In order to meet the charges for the service of storing, transporting, financ ing, and ultimate marketing—which charges they claim, are often exces slve, bear heavily on both consumer and producer, and are under the con trol of those performing the services It Is true that they are relieved of the risks of a changing market by ■gUing at once ; but they are quite will tng to take the unfavorable chance, If the favorable one also la thelra and they can retain for themselves a part of the service charges that are uni form, In good years and bad, with high prices and low. While, in the main, the farmer must sell, regardless of market conditions, at the time of the maturity of crops, he cannot suspend production In toto. lie must go on producing If he ts to go on living, and if the world Is to exist. The most he can do Is to curtail pro duction a little or alter Its form, and that—because he Is In the dark as to the probable demand for his goods— may be only to Jump from the frying pan Into the fire, taking the consumer with him. Even the dairy farmers, whose out put Is not seasonal, complain that they find themselves at a disadvantage In the marketing of their productions, especially raw milk, because of the high costs of distribution, which they must ultimately bear. to to HI Now that the farmers are stirring, thinking, and uniting as never before to eradicate these Inequalities, they are subjected to stern economic lec tures, and are met with the accusation that they are demanding, and are the recipients of, special privileges. Lei us see what privileges the government has conferred on the farmers. Much has been made of Section 6 of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which pur ported to permit them to combine with Immunity, under certain conditions. Admitting that, nominally, this ex emption was In the nature of a special privilege,—though I think It was so In appearance rather than In fact,—we find that the courts have nullified It by judicial Interpretation. Why should not the farmers be permitted to ac complish by co-operative methods what other businesses are already doing by co-operation In the form of Incorpora tion? If it be proper for men to form, by fusion of existing corporations or otherwise, a corporation that controls the entire production of a commodity or a large part of It, why is It not proper for a group of farmers to unite for the marketing of their common products, either In one or In several selling agencies? Why should It be right for a hundred thousand corporate shareholders to direct 25 or 30 or 40 " per cent of an Industry, and wrong for a hundred thousand co-operative farmers to control a no larger propor tion of the wheat crop, or cotton, or any other product? The Department of Agriculture is often Ipoken of as a special concession to the' farmers, but In Its commercial results. It is of as much benefit to the buyers and consumers of agricultural products as to the producers, or even I more. I do not suppose that anyone opposes the benefits that the farmers derive from the educational and re search work of the department, or the help that It gives them in working out improved cultural methods and prec tlces, In developing better yielding va ! rleties through breeding and selection, In introducing new varieties from re mote parts of the world and adapting them to our climate and economic con dition, and in devising practical meas for the elimination or control of dangerous and destructive animal and plant diseases, insect pests, and the like. All these things manifestly tend to stimulate and enlarge production, and their general beneficial effects are obvious. It is complained that, whereas the law restricts Federal Reserve banks to three months' time for commercial the farmer Is allowed six This Is not a ures for of two the dis can his the the The mar stor the have and mar con and are In only at to the con of by will paper, months on his notes, special privilege, bnt merely such a recognition of business conditions as makes it possible for country banks to do business with country people. The crop farmer has only one turn over a year, while the merchant and manufacturer have many. Incidental ly, I note that the Federal Reserve Board has just authorized the Fed eral Reserve banks to discount export paper for s period of six months, to conform to the nature of the busl ness. The Farm Loan banks are pointed to as an Instance of special govern ment favor for farmers. Are they not rather the outcome of laudable efforts to equalize rural and urban condi tions? And about all the government does there Is to help set up an ad ralnlstratlve organization and lend a little credit at the start. Eventually the farmers will provide all the capt tal and carry all the liabilities them selves. It ü true that Farm Loan bonds are tax exempt ; but so are bonds of municipal light and traction plants, and new housing is to be ex empt from taxation, In New York, for ten years. On the other hand, the farmer reads of plans for municipal housing proj ects that run Into the billions, of hun dreds of millions annually spent on the merchant marine; he reads that the railways are being favored with Increased rates and virtual guaranties of earnings by the government, with the result to him of an tocreased toll all that he sells and all that he He hears of many manifesta on buys. tlons of governmental concern for par tlcular Industries and interests. Res cuing the railways frem Insolvency Is undoubtedly for the benefit of the country as a whole, but what can be of more general benefit than encour agement of ample production of the principal necessaries of life and their even flow from contented producers to satisfied consumers? While It may be conceded that special governmental aid may be nec essary In the general Interest, we must all agree that It Is difficult to see why agriculture and the production and dis tributlon of farm products are not ac corded the same opportunities that are provided for other businesses; espe dally as the enjoyment by the farme of such opportunities would appear to be even more contributory to the gen eral good than In the cas«» of other I self or world the much oilier er sleek him and he Industries. The spirit of American democracy la unalterably alike to enacted special privilege and to the special privilege of unequal op portunity that arisea automatically from the failure to correct glaring economic Inequalities. I am opposed to the injection of government into business, but I do believe that it Is an essential function of democratic gov ernment to equalize opportunity so far as lj Is within Its power to do so, whether by the repeal of archaic statutes or the enactment of modern ones. If the anti-trust laws keep the farmers from endeavoring scientifically to Integrate their Industry while other Industries find a way to meet modern conditions without violating such stat utes, then it would seem reasonable to find a way for the farmers to meet them under the same conditions. The law should operate equally In fact. Re palring the economic structure on one side is no Injustice to the other side, which Is In good repair. We have traveled a long way from the old conception of government as merely a defensive and policing agency ; and regulative, corrective, or equaliz ing legislation, which apparently Is of a special nature, is often of the most general beneficial consequences, the First Congress passed a tariff act that was avowedly for the protection of manufacturers; but a protective tariff always has been defended as a means of promoting the general good through a particular approach ; and the statute books are filled with acts for the benefit of shipping, commerce, and labor. pposed. the Is with lake blast tube est pa built ed the acts er Its the tion It It ed the gle is Is all (it It Even IV Now, what is the farmer asking? Without trying to catalogue the re medial measures that have been sug gested In his behalf, the principal pro posais that bear directly on the tm provement of his distributing and mar ketlng relations may be summarized as follows :— farmer thinks that either private cap! tal must furnish these facilities, or the state must erect and own the eleva " tors and warehouses, First: storage warehouses for cot ton, wool, and tobacco, and elevators for grain, of sufficient capacity to meet the maximum demand on them at the penk of the marketing period. The Second: weighing and grading of agricultural products, and certification thereof, to be done by Impartial and disinterested public Inspectors (this Is already accomplished to some extent by the federal licensing of weighers and graders), to eliminate underpay ing, overcharging, and unfair grading, and to facilitate the utllizatton of the stored products as the basis of credit. Third : a certainty of credit sufficient to enable the marketing of products In an orderly manner. Fourth: the Department of Agricul ture should collect, tabulate, summa rize, and regularly and frequently pub llsh and distribute to the farmers, full Information from all the markets of the world, so that they shall be as well Informed of their selling position as ' ! buyer» now are of their buying post tion. Fifth : freedom to Integrate the bus! ness of agriculture by means of eon solidated selling agencies, co-ordinat ing and co-operating in such way as to put the farmer on an equal footing with the large buyers of his products, and with commercial relations In other Industries. When a business requires specialized talent. It has to buy it. So will the farmers ; and perhaps the best way for them to get it would be to utilize some of the present machinery of the lnrg est established agencies dealing In farm products. Of course, if he wishes, the fanner may go further and engage In flour-milling and other manufactures of f6od products. In my opinion, however, he would be wise to stop short of that. Public Interest may be opposed to all great Integrations; but. In Justice, should they be forbidden to the farmer and permitted to others? The corporate form of association can not now be wholly adapted to his ob jects and conditions. The looser co operative form seems more generally suitable. Therefore, he wishes to be free, if he finds It desirable and feas ible, to resort to co-operation with his fellows and neighbors, without run ning afoul of the law. To urge that the farmers should have the same lib erty to consolidate and co-ordinate their peculiar economic functions, which other Industries in their fields enjoy, is not, however, to concede that any business Integration should have legislative sanction to exercise monop olistic power. The American people are as firmly opposed to Industrial as to political autocracy, whether at tempted by rural or by urban Industry. For lack of united effort the farmers as a whole are still marketing their crops by antiquated methods, or by no methods at all, but they are surrounded by a business world that has been modernized to the last minute and Is tirelessly striving for efficiency. This efficiency ,1s due In large measure to big business, to united business, to In tegrated business. The farmers now seek the benefits of such largeness, un ion and Integration. The American farmer Is a modern of the moderns to the use of labor saving machinery, and he has made vast strides to recent years to scientific 'tillage and efficient farm manngement, but as a business to contact with other businesses aglrculture is a "one horse shay" ta competlüon with high power automobiles. The American farmer Is the greatest and most Intractable of Individualists. While Industrial pro duction and all phases of the huge com mercial mechanism and its myriad ac cessories have articulated and co-ordi nated themselves all the way from nat ural raw materials to retail sales, the business of agriculture has gone on In much the one man fashion of the back woods of the first part of the nine teenth century, when the ferner wes a on he Is be the to ac are i to self sufficient and did not depend upo*, or rare very much, what the great I world was doing. The result is that j the agricultural group Is almost as much at a disadvantage In dealing with oilier economic groups sa the Jay furni er of the funny pages In the hands of sleek urban confidence men, who sell him acreage In Centra! Park or the Chicago city hall. The leaders of the farmers thoroughly understand this, and they are Intelligently striving to integrate their Industry so that It wilt he on an equal footing with other busl of we In In It nesses. As an example of Integration, take the steel industry, In which the model Is the United States Steel Corporation, with its Iron mines, its coal mines, Its lake and rail transportation, Its ocean vessels, Its by-product coke ovens, Its blast furnaces, Its open hearth and Bessemer furnaces, Its rolling mills. Its tube mills and other manufacturing processes that are carried to the high*, est degree of finished production com pa Üble with the large trade it has built up. All this Is generally conced ed to be to the advantage of the con sumer. Nor does the steel corporation Inconsiderately dump Its products on the market. On the contrary, it so acts that it Is frequently a stabilizing Influence, as is often the case with oth er large organizations. It is master of Its distribution as well as of Its pro duction. If prices are not satisfactory the products are held back or produc tion is reduced or suspended. It Is not compelled to send a year's work to the mnrket at one time and take whatever It can get under such circumstances. It has one selling policy and Its own export department. Neither are the grades and qualities of steel determin ed at the caprice of the buyer, nor does the latter hold the scales. In this sin gle Integration of the steel corporation is represented about 40 per cent of the steel production of America. The rest Is mostly in the hands of a few large companies. In ordinary times the steel corporation, by example, stabilizes all steel prices. If this Is permissible (it Is even desirable, because stable and fair prices are essential to solid and continued prosperity) why would It be wrong for the fanners to utilize central agencies that would have simi lar effects on agricultural products? Something like that Is what they are aiming at. Some farmers favored by regional compactness and contiguity, such as the citrus-fruit-raisers of California, al ready have found a way legally to merge and sell their products Inte grally and In accordance with seasonal and local demand, thus Improving their position and rendering the con sumer a reliable service of ensured quality, certain supply, and reasonable and relatively steady prices. They have not found it necessary to resort to any special privilege, or to claim any exemption under the anti-trust legislation of the state or nation. With out removing local control, they have built up a very efficient marketing agency. The grain, cotton, and to bacco farmers, and the producers of ' hides and wool, because of their num ! hers and the vastness of their regions, and for other reasons, have found integration a more difficult task; though there are now some thousands of farmer's co-operative elevators, warehouses, creameries, and other en terprises of one sort and another, with a turn-over of a billion dollers a year. They are giving the farmers business experience and training, and, so far as they go, they meet the need of honest weighing and fair grading; but they do not meet the requirements of rattonally adjusted marketing In any large and fundamental way. The next step, which will be a pat tern for other groups, Is now being prepared by the grain-raisers through the establishment of sales media which shall handle grain separately or col lectively, as the individual farmer may elect. It is this step—the plan of the Committee of Seventeen—which has created so much opposition and is thought by some to be in conflict with the anti-trust laws. Though there Is now before congress a measure de signed to clear up doubt on this point, the grain-producers are not relying on any Immunity from anti-trust legisla tion. They desire, and they are en titled, to co-ordinate their efforts just as effectively as the large business In terests of the country have done. In connection with the selling organiza tions the United States Grain Growers Incorporated Is drafting a scheme of financing Instrumentalities and auxili ary agencies which are Indispensable to the successful utilization of modern business methods. It is essential that the farmers should proceed gradually with these plans, and aim to avoid the error of scrapping the existing marketing ma chinery, which has been so laboriously built up by long experience, before they have a triad and proved substi tute or supplementary mechanism. They must be careful not to become enmeshed In their own reforms and lose the perspective of their place In the national system. »They must guard against fanatical devotion to new doc trines, and should seek articulation with the general economic system rather than Its reckless destruction as It relates to them. Is of In V . To take a tolerant and sympathetic, view of the farmers' strivings for bet ter thlugs Is not to give a blanket endorsement to any specific plan, and still less to applaud the vagaries of some of their leaders and groups. Neither should we, on the other hand, allow the froth of bitter agitation, false economics, and mistaken radical ism to conceal the facta ot the farm ers' disadvantages, and the practicabil ity of eliminating thorn by well-con sidered measure!, It may be that the farmers will not shew the business sagacity and develop the wise leader ship to carry through sound plans ; but that possibility does not justify the ohstructlon of their upward eff„ri*. We, as elty people, see In high an<t j speculatively manipulated prices, spoilage, waste, scarcity, the results of defective distribution of farm prod ucts. Should it not occur to us that we have a common Interest with the fanner In his attempts to attain a de gree of efftclencj In distribution cor responding to his efficiency In' produc tion? Do wot the recent fluctuations In the May wheat option, apparently unrelated to normal Interaction of supply and demand, offer a timely proof of the need of some such stabil Using agency as the grain growers have In contemplation? It Is contended that, if their pro posed organizations be perfected and operated, the farmers will have In their hands an Instrument that will be capable of dangerous abuse. We an; told that It will be possible to pervert It to arbitrary and oppressive price fixing from Its legitimate nse of order ing and stabilizing the flow of farm products to the market, to the mutual benefit of producer and consumer. I of have no apprehensions on this point. In the first place, a loose organiza tion, such as any union of farmers must be at best, cannot be so arbi trarily and promptly controlled as a great corporation. The one Is a lum bering democracy and the other an agile autocracy. In the second place, with all possible power of org mlzation, the farmers cannot succeed to any grerlt extent, or for any considerable length of time. In fixing prices. The great law of supply and demand works In various and surprising ways, to tie undoing of the best laid plans thit attempt to foil It. In the third place, their power will avail the farmers nothing If It be abused. In our time and country power is of value to Its possessor only so long as It Is not abused. It Is fair to say that I have seen no signs In responsible quarters of a disposition to dictate prices. There seems, on the contrary, to be a commonly beneficial purpose to realljse a stability that will give an orderly and abundant flow of farm products to the consumer and ensure reasonable and dependable returns to the pro ducer. In view of the supreme Importance to the national well-being of a pros perous and contented agricultural pop ulation. we should be prepared to go ■ a long way In assisting the farmers to get an equitable share of the wealth they produce, through the Inaugura tion of reforms that will procure a continuous and increasing stream of farm products. They are far from get ting a fair share now. Considering his capital and the long hours of labor put In by the average farmer and his family, he Is remunerated less than any other occupational class, with the possible exception of teachers, reli gious and lay. Though we know that the present general distress of (he farmers is exceptional and is linked with the inevitable economic readjust ment following the war, It must be remembered that, although represent ing one-third of the Industrial product and half the total population of the nation, the rural communities oidl narily enjoy but a fifth to a quarter of the net annual national gain. Notwith standing the taste of prosperity tliat the farmers had during the war, thore is today ä lower standard of llvjng among the cotton farmers of the South than in any other irsuit In the country. In conclusion, it seems to me that the fanners are chiefly striving for a gen erally beneficial Integration of their business, of the same kind and charac ter that other business enjoys. II It should be found on examination t^at the attainment of this end requires I methods different from those which other activities have followed for the same purpose should we not sympa thetically consider the plea for the right to co-operate, if only from our own enlightened self Interest, In ob taining an abundant and steady ftowf of farm products? In examining the agricultural sllua tlon with a view to Its Improvement, shall be most helpful If we m*ln tain a detached and judicial viewpoint, remembering that existing wrongs may be chiefly an accident of unsymmetri eal economic growth Instead of a cilea tion of malevolent design and conspira cy. We Americans are prone, as pro fessor David Friday well says in his admirable book, "Profits, Wages |md Prices," to seek a "criminal Intent be hind every difficult and undesirable <;co nomic situation." I can positively as sert from my contact with men of large affairs, Including bankers, tjiat, as a whole, they are endeavoring to fulfill as they see them the obligations that go with their power. Preoccupied with the grave problems and heavy tasks of their own Immediate affairs, they have not turned their thoughtful personal attention or their construc tive abilities to the deficiencies of agri cultural business organization. Agri culture, it may be said, suffers from their preoccupation and neglect rather than from any purposeful exploitation by them. They ought now to begin to respond to the farmers' difficulties, which they must realize are their own. On the other hand, my contacts with the farmers have filled me with respect for them—for their sanity, their pa far of of col the has is Is de on en just In In of of ma and In doc as we tlence, their balance. Within the last .year, and particularly at a meeting called by the Kansas State Board of Agriculture and at another called by the Committee of Seventeen, I pave met many of the leaders of the pew farm movement, and I testify in all sincerity that they are endeavoring to deal with their problems, not as pro moters of a narrow doss Interest, not as exploiters of tho hapless consumer, not as merciless monopolist*, but honest ment bent on the improves of the common weal. We can and must meet such nen and such a cause half way. Their on's bet and of hand, farm the but the : a lent business is our heetoeee —the net!