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Image provided by: State Historical Society of North Dakota
Newspaper Page Text
In the interest
of a square deal for the farmers 4'' Washington Bureau, Nonpartisan Leader. ORTH DAKOTA and Minnesota farm ers scored a triumph over the grain speculators and millers of the North west when they convinced Secretary of Agriculture E. T. Meredith, in a special hearing on the federal grain grades in this city March 19, that these grades must be simplified. For more than three years they had appealed and protested to Secretary Houston in vain against the rules fixed by Director Brand of the bureau of markets for administering the grain grades act. Led by Congressman Baer and Editor Owen of Farm, Stock and Home, they took the first op portunity after the selection of a new secretary and the resignation of Brand to raise the issue again. Secretary Meredith, .himself the publisher of a farm paper, waB in no position to refuse them a fair hearing. The outcome has, thus far, been most satisfactory. At the end of the first day's discussion the sec retary informed the North Dakota and Minnesota congressmen and state commissioners and other witnesses that he had determined to go to the bot .Hie Official Magazine of the National Nonpartisan League—Every Week VOL. 10, NO. 14. WHOLE NUMBER 237 MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, APRIL 5, 1920 $2.50 PER YEAR IN ADVANCE Grain Grading Victory at Last in Sight New Secretary of Agriculture Admits Justice of Farmers'Complaints and Considers Revision of the Rules tom of this grievance with them, that he was satis fied that the wheat grades set by Brand were too complicated and that they must be reduced in num ber, and that he would ask the state commissioners to stay with him, for several more days, to work out in conference the basis for a new and workable set of grades. He said that he had in mind his duty to see to it that farm production in this country is maintain ed. He knew that existing conditions, both as to marketing and labor supply, were driving the farm ers from the land. America was in danger of a serious decrease in its output of foodstuffs—a sit uation that must be avoided by prompt redress^of the economic grievances which the government may be in a position to remedy. Readjustment of the wheat grades seemed to be one of the things near est at hand to be done. He was ready to do it. Minnesota sent two members of its railroad and warehouse commission and State Senators Mag nus Johnson and Cashman to take part in the hear ing besides Mr. Owen. North Dakota sent Chair man S. J. Aandahl of the state railroad com mission. Congressmen from principal wheat growing districts of Minnesota and all three mem bers from North Dakota—Baer, Sinclair and Young THE FARMER—"WITH HIM GONE I CAN DO SOMETHING" ft Uncle Sam is calling upon the farmer to produce more. The farmer is responding, Very logically, that if unwelcome trespassers can be ejected, lie can get to work and do more. Fair the last few years the federal grain grades have been among the handiest tools of the profiteers in gouging the farmers. At last, it appears, Unde Sam is going to help the farmer to the extent of amending th^se unfair rules. Farmers are beginning to get attention at Washington today because they are organized politically. PAGE THREE A magazine that dares to print the truth —made oral or written arguments. Acting Direc tor Livingston of the bureau of markets, with three of his staff, tried in vain to show that the federal grades were just to the farmer in actual practice, and that if the number of grades should be reduced the farmer would suffer. Senator Johnson, speak ing for the Society of Equity, with 70 co-operative elevators in the Northwest, declared that the farm ers are universally opposed to having so many grades, and that they believe they will be robbed on the grades so long as a simpler system is not established. Some of the points brought out were: That the Brand grading rules impose an exces sive penalty for moisture in the grain, but give no bonus for extra dryness the rule works only one way. That the tests made by the state of Minnesota proved that wheat with moisture as high as 15 per cent will keep perfectly for a year. Yet the 1918" crop, harvested under ideal conditions, was graded down, on pretext of high moisture, to a point which embittered the farmers of the wheat country. That three general grades, with three subdivi sions of each, are far more likely to give justice to the farmer than five general grades of three sub- flr OF.TJ —Drawn expressly for the Leader by W. C. Morris.