Vol. VI.—No. 14.
RALEIGH, N. C, APRIL 4, 1912.
One Dollar a Year.
Relations of the Cow to the Farm.
Dr. James B. Hunnicutt, in Southern Cultivator.
The relation of the cow to the farm is no re-
‘-‘ently established affair. It has existed since the
morning stars sang their song of welcome to the
new-born world. When grass first began to grow
the mild-eyed queen of the milk-pall was stand
ing ready to feast upon its verdure and turn it into
nourishment for Mother Eve’s first born scion of
Neither is it a local affair. In every nation un-
(ier every clime she attends man in all his pereg
A farm is a piece of land set apart for some
Particular man. Cultured or in its native state, it
m his kingdom. Here he reigns and rules. But
i^he modest cow makes it a better kingdom. On
ihe uncultured range she is often the chief, if not
the only source of wealth. The cattle upon a
’^housand hills is at once the emblem of unbound-
‘-'1 wealth and princely power. And ^the well fed
contentedly chewing her cud in broad pas
tures besides the still waters.
“Where peaceful waters soft and slow.
Amid the verdant landscapes flow’’
a vision of beauty not excelled elsewhere in all
^he realm of poesj'.
Thus we see the cow related to the farm in its
Earliest and crudest state. Tis relationship holds
good whether we look at the cow as a milker or
a beef-producer. In either case she is an ad-
•■^mct to the farm, indispensable to its highest de-
'olopnient and greatest prosperity.
But the word farm is generally intended to be
Applied to a piece of land in a more or less high
ondition of culture. A place where the family
a resting spot; where love nestles down, takes
-Op root, and grows to its fullest proportions.
The fruit of the farm is expected to furnish
ood for the owner. Not only this, but is expected
means to buy all the comforts needed
Diake the family prosperous. It is the ideal
^'Veiling place of man.
We were called upon to point out the ideal
urne, we would not go to the city with all its dirt
its with its narrow streets, its high walls,
s crowded thoroughfare, its reeking dens of vice,
its fierce contests for existence.
We would take you to some rural retreat where
in shades we would point to a gently ris-
knoll crowned with a cottage and newly paint-
ca f^out we would show you a beautiful grove
^hick living green, where the numerous
s heed the busy mothers call, and the proud
icleer fiops his wings and crows his clarion
to ^ Welcome. Well laid drives would lead up
front, lined on either side with shrubbery
flowers of every hue suited to each season as
®kip^^^ uieadow with its bleating lambs.
Plug kids, frolicking colts and grazing dams
would delight your eye. Beyond we would show
you fields of the snowy staple that clothes the na
tions and waving acres of Indian corn that insures
the corn-crib at home and the smoke-house at the
same place. The golden grain ripening for the
harvest and waving before the passing breeze
should next delight the eye.
We would look upon these while standing be
neath the shade of the trees that line the banks
of the purling brooks that cool the leaping trout
and furnish nestling homes for the sweet warblers
that cheer the air with their mating songs.
Returning we would see the well-set orchard,
furnishing its fruit in every season and every fruit
in its season. The ample barn well-stocked with
the best breeds of horses, the grunting porkers,
fat and contented, and the meek-faced Jerseys,
and broad-backed shorthorns would complete the
picture in this direction. Heaping, steaming piles
of manure, and a well-filled, thoroughly tilled
kitchen garden would complete this outdoor scene.
Then we would take our seat upon the broad ve
randa with the owner and be joined by the hap
piest woman in all the land, the prosperous far
Here we think we have the ideal home—the
abode of peace and contentment. How much of
this is due to the cow we may not be able to ap
preciate until we have tried to separate her con
tributions from the rest.
She has been given the milk, butter, cheese,
the curds, and various forms of beef. She has
given the shoes and much of the clothing. But
not the least of her contributions will be found in
the enormous quantities of fertilizers which have
been the basis of all this prosperity.
All history shows that without the cow the farm
soon grows poor. She is the “sine qua non’’ of
fertility for the farm. No country on earth has
ever remained fertile for a long series of years
without the cow as a guano factory. She has the
mysterious and marlveous faculty of extracting
nourishment from her food and then giving to the
farmer the full equivalent without any appre
The vegetable matter after passing through her
stomach is worth more as a manure than in its
original condition. She adds from her own sys
tem the waste which is exceedingly rich in all
the available elements of plant food. If her
liquid voidings be combined with her solid excre
ments we have a manure that suits every kind of
But these are not all the points of good we
find in this remarkable animal. No estimate of
her value would be complete that left out the pa
tient ox, as a burden bearer and toiler in peace
and in war he has contributed his share to the
movements of humanity. He is often spoken of
as a source of wealth in ancient history.
When the Lord needed a man to crown kings
and anoint prophets. He found Elisha plowing
twelve yoke of oxen and he with the twelfth.
Thus it has ever been. Wherever patient endur
ance, long continued effort and great strength
were required the ox has furnished the ideal
power. If to this we add great economy in keep
ing, we find him still further in the lead.
When the prodigal son returned, the father
killed the fatted calf. And so, it is to this day;
the fatted calf carries with it the highest expres
sion of full and unstinted .hospitality. Thus we
see that whether we are feasting or toiling, we
lean with the same reliance upon the cow.
The suckling babe in the cradle, and the act
ive laborer in the summer’s trying heat, the sick
man upon his couch of pain, and the hardy soldier
upon his trying march through the heat or cold
all find milk to meet their cravings as nothing
else can do. We think we are entirely safe in
saying that pure butter is the most general and at
the same time the most appreciated table luxury.
Thus we see that the cow sustains a very inti
mate and important relation to the farm in every
stage of development of the farm. A single cow
has been known to add one hundred dollars to the
income of a family in a single year, besides milk
and butter for the family use. The cost of keep
ing a cow when the food must be bought is about
thirty dollars a year. But when she is fed from
food grown upon the farm, this cost is greatly re
duced. It is, perhaps, a safe estimate to say that
a good cow will add at least fifty dollars to the
income per year. Of course this includes manure,
milk and butter, and calves. We mean to say this
is the value of a cow of good blood, not a razor-
back nor a scrub. The cost of keeping a cow is
very little to the average farmer. There is much
that helps to keep her that would be pracitcally
lost without her. A shifty man can look after
half a dozen cows at a nominal cost. A dozen
cows well looked after will soon pay for a good
At least one-tihrd of the average farms would
pay much better to grow grass for cattle than cul
tivation. . This third, besides paying a handsome
profit, would furnish manure sufiicient to make
the other two-thirds rich. The cow is emphatical
ly the best and the cheapest guano factory in the
world. She makes us independent of the fertilizer
tails She pays the millinery bill, the dry goods
ta . the sugar and coffee bill, and various other
tails Indeed she is the bill-payer of the farm.
The cow IS a necessary (an integral) part of
ler rr'l "
then the long-looked tor time would be here when
beautiful heaven-blessed land. The tatted calf
ou d not longer be a ligure of speech, but a ver
itable reality on every homestead. Debts would
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