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Bailey, L. H. (ed.) / Field and purpose of the American Association for Agricultural Legislation
Bulletin No. 5 (January 1920)

Bailey, L. H.
Field and purpose of the American Association for Agricultural Legislation. Presidential address before the A. A. A. L., at Chicago, Dec. 29, 1919,   pp. 1-2 PDF (705.8 KB)


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No. V-1
FIELD AND PURPOSE OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
FOR AGRICULTURAL LEGISLATION.
Presidential address before the A. A. A. L., at Chieago,
Dec. 29, 1919.
By L. H. BamLY.
The past generation has been known by the domination of the
financial and corporate interests. The present generation is known
by the emergence of labor organization. The coming generation
will see the rise of the farmer.
The land and the tillage thereof are at the bottom of our civil-
ization, and they condition governments and institutions. This
is both because susteance is derived from the earth and because
the keepers of the earth are the most numerous people. It is also
because every keeper has a stake in the earth and is necessarily de-
voted to a program in life.
The farmer holds to the personal ownership of property. He is
never out of employment. He is a solitary man rather than gregari-
ous. He is primarily a producer and his income is a consequence of
his own application. He follows a natural day. He is conservative
because nature is conservative. He is responsible for his mater-
ials from seed-time unto harvest. He is not a wage-earner: he
works for himself. He is not a managed man.
A farm is a family enterprise, whether on a basis of ownership
or of stabilized tenantry. Farming is not a syndicate business.
Its existence does not depend on the socalled "farm-laborer" prob-
lem, if by that term we mean the hiring of permanent help outside
the family. Not all the farms, by any means, have outside "hired
help" by the year. Moreover, the labor is of many sources. Some
of it is the sons of farmers and neighbors who have a certain amount
of time to sell either in the country or the city. Some of it is per-
sons saving money to buy land. The gregarious labor of the indus-
tries is practically unknown on farms, except in certain limited
eamso in a few agricultural industries, and this is a different
element from the real farm labor of the open country and is sub-
ject to a different set of economic conditions. If farm labor were
to make too heavy demands, the farmer would simply reduce his
operations, use more machinery, change his plans, and get along
without it. Production would decrease. In the end, the land
itself would be the sufferer.
The consumer as well as the farmer is vitally affected by these
situations. It follows that the character or nature of the agri-
cultural program will vastly color the public polity. We have here
a et of eoditions reaching to the last elements of society, and a
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