Vol. 6. No. 3.
GASTONIA, N. C., JANUARY 18, 1912
One Dollar a Year
FARMERS SHOULD BE CAREFUL
^^fipending Presidential Year, Says Barrett,
I'Vill Be Fiery Furnace to Test Parties and
Folitics, and Advises Farmers to Apply
Yardstick of Sincerity, and Not Cheap
To the Officers and Members of the Farmers'
The impending presidential campaigns and
flections finds an unusual amount of unrest
^nd uncertainty and dissatisfaction prevalent
the country. There will be the customary
Appeals to prejudice and one’s liking for that
•^an or dislike for another.
It Is an excellent opportunity for the memT
of the Farmers’ Union to view all men
^nd measures, all parties and platforms, not
V what they say but by sheer test of sin-
^^rity anj q£ performances-
Be careful of the man or the party, that has,
before, promised you everything to get into
office, and after he achieved election, occupied
himself mainly with keeping his personal
political fences in order. Be careful of the
man who does you little petty personal courte
sies, such as distributing a few garden seed or
government bulletins, but who votes against
the measures in which you are vitally interest
Be careful of the man or the party that
makes you promises you know arc impossible
of performance, that are political gold bricks,
pure and simple, coined to get votes, straw is
sues to be forgotten as soon as the party or
the man rides into office.
Vote less by the ear and the eye and more
by the brain. Do your own thinking. Refuse
to have your convictions ready-made for you.
Size up political situations exactly as you
would a business deal; with the same judg
ment, and with the same refusal to be in
fluenced by “hot air” or the clever stories of
a man who would like to get the best of you
in a horse-trade.
It is high time the farmers of this country
ceased being governed by sentiment in politics,
and be guided by sense instead. The cam
paigns about to open offer an excellent chance
for a beginning, for the reason that the situa
tion is more confused than in many years, and
there will be opportunitiies for men and part
ies to practice mor^han the ordinary amount
of campaign slush and unredeemable promises.
CHAS. S. BARRETT.
Union City, Ga., Dec. 28th, 1911.
THE FARMERS BUSINESS
° ^hc Officers and Members of thhe Farm-
J-Ue farmer is the only business man in
^^ica who does not keep books.
in ^ portions of the country he is learn-
§ the wisdom of mending his ways in this re-
but the reform is lamentably far from
a universal one. Especially is he back-
^*'d in the Southern States.
plants his cotton, his grain, or his forage
^t the regular time, tends them, spends
. for fertilizer, for wages, for food, for
^ wiachinery, for animals, for upkeep for
^ family, but does not once set
these items in definite figures.
, ^eed in many communities about the only
w, ^^eping done is that done by the merchant
M renders the farmer every fall the bill
*ho accumulated during the past several
And it violates every rule of busi-
Jceru. common sense that books should be
Only by one part to a trade.
The farmer who records every penny that
he spends and every penny that he receives,
and for what in both cases, knows precisely
where to locate leaks, where to place losses,
how to estimate profits; in a word, how to sum
up his entire business.
The farmer who does not keep books is in
dense ignorance regarding just how much he
clears or looses On a bale of cotton or an acre
of grain. He knows in round numbers what
it has cost him to produce both. But so many
little side items are occuring throughout the
year that where a total of between $6o and
$100 is involved, he will in all likelihood lose
sight of from $5.00 to $10.00 by a slipshod,
unbusinesslike method. Multiply this appar
ently small sum by the numbci of farmers who
keep no records and the sum total annually un
accounted for on American farms is appalling.
It is not as though the keeping of books
necessitated a bookkeeper or the sinking of
money in expensive equipment. All that is
necessary is for the average farmer to famil
iarize himself with easily acquired first prin
ciples of bookeeping and to buy the two or
three books necessary. After that comes, of
course, the small amount of labor involved in
keeping track of every source of outgo and
income. Less than half an hour’s work a day
will suffice for this with the average farmer.
If the average business man in America ran
his a^airs along the happy-go-lucky lines used
b}' the farmer, finance and industry generally
in this country would go to the dogs inside
of a night.
I do not mean to say that keeping books on
the farm will cure every ill to which our agri
cultural system is heir. But it will open the
eyes of the brethren generally to mistakes of
long duration, to weaknesses which could be
made strength, and to pitfalls that might
easily be avoided.
CHAS. S. BARRETT.
Union City, Ga., Jan. 6, 1912.