National Geographic : 1948 Nov
VOL. XCIV, No. 5 WASHINGTON NOVEMBER, 1948 THE G 'EOGRAPIC \ MAGAZgEi COPYRIGHT, 1948, BY NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, WASHINGTON, D. C. INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT SECURED 4-H Boys and Girls Grow More Food BY FREDERICK SIMPICH FROM her wheelbarrow she took some boards, a saw, hammer, and sack of nails. "This is how a 15-year-old 4-H girl makes a pig trough," she said. And then, before a crowd of farmers at Maryland State Fair, in Timonium, she sawed and pounded and built that trough, and poured in water to prove it wouldn't leak. "A pig is half water," she explained, "but his stomach is little; so he must drink often" (page 574). Carrying live rats in a cage, a gas squirt gun, and a can of poison, two boys followed the pig-trough girl. They showed how to rid a barn of rats and mice (page 567). Then a girl of 16 lectured on grass, silage, and haymaking. Pots set before her held clover, alfalfa, and lespedeza. She told how many acres of any grass it may take to graze a cow, or how much of certain feeds it takes to make a gallon of milk. Talking on "Care of Sheep," a farm boy wrestled a kicking lamb and showed how to judge it for shape and wool texture. "And don't ever let your lamb get at green apples," he warned. "They give him stomach fuss, or make him shoot his cookies. And watch his feet in muddy times." With a pair of pruning shears he showed how to trim a sheep's hoofs. Visiting Eastern States Exposition at Springfield, Massachusetts, I lunched at a party with a 4-H boy and girl as host and hostess. Girls had cooked the lunch from meats, fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, and butter all furnished by Club workers. Across America, as I write, thousands of other farm boys and girls are guests at county and State fairs, at livestock shows in Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, Texas. You see them carefully combing their calves, dusting off prize pigs, polishing the horns and hoofs of cattle, or braiding the manes and tails of giant Percheron and Clydesdale horses (pages 556, 571, 573). Others show how to repair a tractor and "keep its nose clean" or to care for plows, potato diggers, and other farm machinery, while on long tables in countless exhibit halls girl students of home economics display their vegetables, canned fruits, cakes, and salads, or clothing they have made (pages 559, 563, 576). 4-H Clubs Have Trained 14,000,000 Since the Children's Crusade set out to free Jerusalem from infidels, our world has seen many youth movements. But nothing like this 4-H work. These Clubs number 1,759, 911 active members and to date have trained some 14,000,000 American youngsters. "Father and Mother met at a 4-H camp, when they were members; now my sister and I belong," said a Maryland boy. Over and over, I met these second-generation members. By Act of Congress this youth training is placed under the United States Department of Agriculture, land grant colleges' extension services, and the 6,534 county agents in all the States. Across the land are 80,286 4-H Clubs and 203,211 volunteer country men and women who serve without pay as local Club leaders (page 576). Aid comes, too, from a long list of corpora tions and individual donors. They give awards ranging from scholarships, breeding stock, and farm implements to gold medals, cash prizes, and free trips to fairs and national 4-H con ventions. "There is no movement of greater value to our country," says Mr. Fowler McCormick, Chairman of the Board of International Har vester Company.