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Wisconsin Dairymen's Association / Tenth annual report of the Wisconsin Dairymen's Association : held at Sheboygan, Wis., January 11-13, 1882. Report of the proceedings, annual address of the president, and interesting essays relating to the dairy interests
(1882)

Hoard, W. D.
The influence dairying has had in Wisconsin, upon the farm, the farmer, and the community at large,   pp. 63-68 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 64

 
WisooxuIx DAityxzx's AssocAnoir. 
of eastern farming, to which I had been bred, I was struck with 
amazement at the wasteful, brainles. methods of conducting a farm 
which I found so generally in vogue here. Here was a glorious 
country, a wonderfully productive soil, yet the farmerm seemed 
wild with the idea that it would always last. They had a profound 
contempt for all this fertility. They seemed to farm with an idea 
that God had made askerious blunder in putting them snd the soil 
together, and the quicker they reduced the land to their level, the 
better it would be for both. 
I never contemplate the wicked, wasteful character of early 
western farming without a feeling of indignation. 
The farms had a loose, unkempt appearance; the farmer himself, 
and the house where he lived, his wife and children, all partook of 
the same character. 
In answer to my repeated inquiries as to the reson of these 
things, I was told, "It is becausethis is a new country, and the 
people are poor." The answer was about as senseless as the fact. 
I could not then, nor can I now, see why a set of men should 
take a noble, fertile country and proceed to destroy its productive 
capacity simply because it was new and they were poor. What a 
blinding effect poverty will have on a mans judgment. There is 
not a poor man in the land who spends his time in the asioo, his 
scanty earnings for drink, and steadily day after daywith a persist- 
ency that amazes you, ps the life and strngth of a splendid 
constitution, but will tell you with a sigh that all this fearful har- 
vest is the result of his being poor. 
The tame perversity of judgment obtained among our western 
farmers. Their poverty was cited as an excuse for their folly. 
We all claimed at that time that we were good citizens, but the 
facts show that we were not; for that is anything but good citizen- 
ship that destroys the productive capacity of the state. 
A peculiar feature of those days was, that there was no pride in 
the character of farming. 
We are preached to every day about the wickedness of pride, 
but I believe it to be the mat of all true effort everywhere, and 
when the salt has lost its savor matters are in a bad shape. 
As I mid before, there was no pride in the conduct of the farm 
and stilU less in the character of the home. 
The skeleton hand of waste was destroying our life; the average 
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