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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin

Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin 65: farm accounts: why and how one man kept them PDF (1008.0 KB)

How and Why One Man Kept Accounts
    Farmer Brown was "up against it". There were no two ways
about it; he had to have some money, so he hit the old trail to Banker
Hall's desk behind the rail at the Bank. "You here again," asked
Hall. "Yes, I have a few bills to pay and need about two thousand
dollars to meet them. When the checks come in after the first of the
month I'll be all right again and come in to see you."
    Brown had put up this story once too often and Hall frankly told
him so. "You have a good proposition out there and I don't under-
stand why you are continually in financial difficulties. You ought to
get ahead,'but instead you run behind. If you will bring me an exact
statement of your assets and debts and a budget showing how you
propose to meet them, you can have two thousand, and more, but
not a cent till you show me."
    Brown was a hard-headed practical farmer of no small executive
ability and of wide experience. He owned a small farm and produced
retail market milk from a hundred milch cows. He figured on raising
about all the roughage needed for his stock and bought the feed;
instead of raising his cows, he bought fresh cows from his neighbors
as needed for his trade. His was rather an expensive plan but his
milk was of the highest quality and used mostly for -baby feeding in
the big city in which he sold, and it commanded whatever price he
thought he ought to get.
    Still his business was sick; it was like a strong man laid up with
the grip-wretched enough at the time but with the best of prospects
of speedy recovery under proper treatment.
    As first aid treatment he got an extension of time from his credi-
tors for which, of course, he paid handsomely. Then he went to his
Agricultural College for help. In order to get a basis for recommenda-
tions the college men asked him many questions about his cows, feed-
ing, labor, expenses, income, market, which he could not answer except
in a most general way. The college men on the other hand could give
only the most general suggestions concerning his problems and he
was disgusted because they could not. But before he left them he was
convinced that the most important thing for him to do was to get some

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