National Geographic : 1916 Jan
Photograph by Harris & Ewing SECRETARY OP AGRICULTURE HOUSTON PRESENTING WALTER LEE DUNSON A DIPLOMA AS THE CHAMPION BOY CORN GROWER OF THE UNITED STATES only about 15 per cent of the total landed area of the world, it has been demon strated that with scientific agriculture this area itself might suffice to feed a pop ulation vastly greater than that now living. With all of her teeming millions, only 18 per cent of Asia's land, 12 per cent of that of the Americas and Africa, 27 per cent of that of Europe,-and 5 per cent of that of Australia have ever felt the touch of the plow. Without encroaching at all upon the world's forests, but using only the steppes, pampas, savannas, and prairie lands, there might be added to the earth's farming lands an area twice as great as that now under active agricultural op erations. The United States has been working along lines looking more to the extension of scientific methods to the present culti vated acreage, than to the extension of farm operations to new acreage. The bulk of the $30,000,000 it now spends an nually, through its Department of Agri culture, is for the improvement of farm ing methods. In latter years a program for the taking of the gospel of good farm ing to the farmer himself, and demon strating it in practice, instead of writing it down upon paper, has been productive of very wonderful results. In the club work of the last fiscal year hundreds of county agents of the Depart ment of Agriculture, working in thirty three States, went out upon the farm and showed the farmers themselves how to increase their yields. The thousands of farmers who accepted the offer to farm under the direction of the Department of Agriculture increased their yield of corn nine bushels per acre, their wheat seven bushels per acre, and their oats ten bush els per acre.