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A Woman To Her Young Friends On Farming

A Woman To Her Young Friends On Farming image
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Having lived on a farm 20 years with my tatlier, aud 40 years with my husband, I think I kiiow somulhiug about farining whicli Horuoe Oreeley did uot teach. My father, husbaud aud sous, being among the w well to do," tlieir liberal meaus and kind taelinga alwuys prompted them to make the hardships and privatioua of farm life less burtheusome tliaii is the lot of most eugaged in the business. Nevortheless, I cannot, as did Mr. Ureeley, urge all my fnends and everybody else to go west and buy a farm. When I observe the high cultured grace aud elegant manncrs of frieuds engaged in the professious aud trades of city Ufe, earuing ns much m one day as does the farmer iu a week, 1 caunot oommeud farmiug to such as can do auy other usef ui thing. Success ou a farm meaus hard work every day, from 5 a. m. to 9 p. m., year iu and year out, without society, culture or retiuemeut, for half the pay of inechanics, and one-tenth the compensatiou of any of of the professious. All farm productions ara measured by the same unequal Standard of values. Sueh as have not aualyzed the subject, exclaim, upw theu do farmers become comparatively rich - worth from $5,000 to 40,000 't I know all about that, and will auswer : Firat, by the rise of lauds takeu up at ten shilhugs au acre, and the little aunual savings from the stinted living of a lifetime. The saviugs eau, aud must be conUuued, but the advauced value of the farm canuot be repeated. 'Tis true, that the Wholesale destruction of farm products during the war, raised all to moie thau three times their normal Talue, and made the business temporarily very profitable, besides more than doubling the exchangable price of their lauds. ïhus, duriug the past 14 yoars, tarming has been truly proütable. Still, farmers are not so rich as they appear to be, for much of their wealth Í8 in the apparoutly advanced value of their farms, which cauuot be made to pay three per cent, when in two or three years we get back to our normal condition. So vast was the destruction of farm products during the war that the equilibrium has not yet beeu restored- especially horses, cattle, hogs, beef, pork, and leather, are consequeutly high, and still pay well ; but, we are rapidly approachiug a time whn the supply will equal the demand ; when beef and pork will be dull at 4c, with butter and cheese at half the present prices. The prices of farms now held at 60 aud $80 an acre will neeessarily go back to $40 or $50, so that farmers who now seem to be worth $10,000, will be glad to realize $7,000, though it make them seem less wealthy. Auother fictiou in the seeming prosperity of farmers, with all others at the present time, must soon be overeóme. The whole country must get back to a souud specie basis in all its values, which will shear another slice from their appareut wealth and prosperity. Farming, in a long run does not pay, either for capital or labor, aud I repeat, that the aggregate wealth of our farm population is made up from the rise on cheap land, and the saving from a stiuted living of a lifetime. ■ Therefore, my young friends, I advise that you fit yourself for some other calling. Don't waste your time in the belief that tarming is an easy occupation, or profitable as compared with other callings, It is not diftïcult to find some daughter in every town. whose salary for teaching is more than her father with two or more brothers can clear from a hundred acre farm, while it takes the labor of a whole family, aud the net income of a $50,000, farm to equal the salary of a college professor, who works but 6 hours in the day, 5 days in the week and 40 weeks iu the year. Again I say, youug friends, farming don't pay ; it is overdone, and will continue to be the poorest business- except loafing - which can be followed, so long as Patrick and Hans, and all the stout ignorant Jim's, John's, and Joe's can get a farm from Uncle Sam by squatting on it. Stick to your books and fit yourselves for some other calling. Many pay au extra price to own a farm and live close into towu, hoping to combine the advantages of city and country ; but we have tried that, and know it is the very worst kind of farming. You suffer all the disabilities peculiar to village or city, without any gain, and a residence on good roads within one mile is not better than tive miles, as in either case you need to ride, and friends from town prefer a cali at the end of a 3 to 5 mile ride iustead of one mile, so there is really nothing gained, and when you put the true test of value by its increase on rental, we find that a $5,000 house on a 4 rod lot in the center of town, wiü net far more thau a hundred acre farm, a mile or two out, with a $5,000 house on it.


Old News
Michigan Argus