By: D. Williams
June 2, 1920
Material and Spiritual,
Comic and Economic.
Production and Consumption,
grading, storing, and processing.
School and Church,
Farm and City,
Home and Community.
And the greatest problem of all, “Mankind itself”.
And for every problem an answer,
for every riddle a solution,
To every mystery a key,
The answer to the Problem
in arithmetic is furnished by the author,
The answer to the riddle by the riddle maker,
and the solution to the Problem of Mankind itself
is found in Divinity, God, who created all mankind.
Our order, the Grange
teaches us that agriculture is the first -
and only calling of man
directly instituted by, Divinity,
the oldest and noblest calling of man.
And all of this means nothing
unless we make it so.
It’s up to us.
Not by pining and whining,
clubbing or begging the other fellow,
or passing the buck,
for government won’t do it.
It’s up to the farmer.
He must do it himself.
He must think.
He must act, both as an individual and class,
or craft both individually and collectively.
The doctors, lawyers,
bankers, bakers, barbers, etc,
every craft does.
The Farmer must?
The doctors nationally convened at St. Louis
and doctors of Michigan at Grand Rapids just recently.
And the lawyers of Michigan's 3rd Congressional District,
5 counties, banquetted at the Country Club Battle Creek
Saturday evening a week ago.
Politics story 8% of the people to the thinking of the world.
92% are “like children dancing in the market place”
or, Crooked Lake, rightly named.
In which class are we?
The 8% class or the 92% class?
The organized minority
has always ruled the world and always will.
400,000 Communists overturned the Russian Empire,
and rule nearly 400,000,000 four hundred millions of people.
56 men signed the Declaration of Independence
for 3 million people in the Colonies.
56 pledged their fortunes and their lives
to bring Liberty and Equality
Justice and Humanity
to 3 million.
And they did it.
The Grange was the first organization of National Scope at all effective.
The farming craft mast ever appreciate
the work which the Patrons of Husbandry
has done and is still doing.
And this service will be increased
and go on and on just as its members
live and practice the precepts of our noble order.
Remember every organization
lives in the hearts of its members,
not lured on by what the individual
can get and grab,
but inspired by
noble purpose and sacrifice.
We are reminded at every opening
that we are meant to promote
the welfare of our country and mankind.
Here we are to exemplify
the spirit of the Master
in service and sacrifice,
and without this spirit in its members
no organization can long function.
When the church puts a money price
on its every service rendered,
her power and usefulness is gone forever.
Every farmer in good old USA
has the greatest opportunity ever offered
to the tillers of the soil of any age
to render to his brothers and sisters on the farm,
and also in the villages and cities a great service,
After more than a half century
of farm organization effort
of splendid victories won and many failures realized,
agriculture today is receiving more attention
than at any time in the history of our land,
and all classes are more appreciative
of the need for a more prosperous farm population.
the barometers of a nation’s financial prosperity
are in most communities lending moral and financial support
to the Grange and Farm Bureaus.
This attitude is not entirely unselfish
as most Banks find themselves overloaded
with farm mortgages which are frozen assets,
until farm lands again bring a higher net income.
If we are wise,
we will cultivate this friendly attitude.
The farmers labor wage and rate of Interest on his investment
always depends on two factors:
the cost per unit of production
and the quantity and selling price per unit of his product.
Hence, when we sell our farm products
we’ll sell our labor.
In our early Grenge effoerts, 1870 to 80,
300 to 400 Co-Operative stores were started in Michigan.
These filled because of the following:
First, so few member had the
spirit of service and sacrifice.
Second, each store was an independent unit
with local capital and patronage only.
And third, there were retail concerns
with all the goods bought from their enemies
and in small quantities.
In the evolution in farm organizations,
the farmer himself supplies the goods.
Potatoes, for Potato growers exchange.
Grain & Beans for Elevator exchange.
Hogs, Sheep & Cattle for Live Stock Exchange.
Fruits for Fruit Growers Exchange.
Milk, Cream & Eggs for Co-Operative Creameries & Milk Producers Exchange.
And each of these exchanges furnishing one director
of the big Central Exchange
which with this interlocking directorate system
constitutes the most powerful and useful market system yet devised.
The afore named exchanges
marketed more than $50,000,000 worth
of Michigan farm products.
The local feeders of these exchanges are about 700 local.
like Stock Shipping Associations, Grain Elevators 112 for instance & so on.
Every one of these are strictly service union,
Non-Profit and under special legislative acts.
The service and usefulness of every last one of these societies
is determined by the spirit of the farmers
and volume of business each one is called upon to do.
The Farmer as a class must control
the marketing of his own product.
The machinery is in operation.
The 8% that do the thinking
have done it and paid the price.
Will the 92% continue to dance
in the old market place in the same old?
The men like John Clay,
sitting in high places,
grown fat and sleek,
with millions of dollars
of the toil and labor of the farmers,
his wife and children in his pocket,
is hiring extra fiddlers, stock buyers
and press agents to put the farmers out of business.
And this combination is voluntarily contributing thousands of dollars,
$3000.00 per month from Soux City alone,
to publish a slander sheet called
“The Farm Bureau & Co. Ag.”
and sending it free to all the farmers for whom they can get addresses
of whom support the local associations.
The Michigan Farm Bureau was offered $20,000.00 this year
for themembership list of 27,000 names,
almost a dollar per name.
Suppose we ask the non-Grange
or non-Farm Bureau neighbor
who is furnishing the old live stock
to combine the dollars to keep control of the farmers business.
If the neighbor uses his thinker
he will admit that he is the fellow.
It may be a Christian duty to feed your enemies
and starve your own wife and little ones.
Just a few days ago the National Industrial Board
gave to the public these figures.
The average income of Farmer wife & fam
for labor and managerial ability for 5 years
since 1920 was $600.
While Factory Hand average was $1256.
Transportation Worker/R.R. $1572
Government Employees $1650
No more need be said of why the boys and girls leave the farm.
or why most farms are manned by gray heads.
But we are at the dawn of a new and better day.
We hasten or delay the rising of the sun
of a contented and happy farm life
by our loyalty to our farm leaders,
our Grange & Farm Bureaus,
and most of all to our local shipping, buying and selling organizations.
Live and enjoy every day
in the spirit of the Master who taught, lived & died
that we might live more abundantly.
He is greatest who renders greatest service,
and he who would save his life shall lose it,
and he who would lose his life for my sake (principle sake) shall save it.