« AnteriorContinuar »
miring auditors replied in chorus, home garden or an alfalfa plot. In “We'll be with you next year."
the home work the girls learn how Viewed from any angle, the first
to bake, sew and can. annual tour of the Junior Live Stock "It is interesting to note that almost show exhibitors was a complete suc- as many girls join the stock clubs and cess and a similar demonstration tour,
feed calves, lambs or hogs as join the Mr. Hill has announced, will be con
home economics clubs. This means that ducted by the Great Northern rail.
in the future many farmers' wives will road as a grand finale to every Junior
be real partners in the business, able Live Stock show of the future.
to discuss intelligently farm problems. The tour, however, was simply one
"Each member keeps careful records of many lines of endeavor to make
of all operations, including cost of the boys and girls of today better
feed, labor and profits. These records men and women, better farmers and
are very important in presenting refarmers' wives, in the future. In De
sults to the community. cember of each year a National Boys' and Girls' Farm Club Congress 18 "The state program for Minnesota held in Chicago in connection with the includes: 1--Club short courses at International Live Stock Exposition. the Agricultural colleges at St. Paul, Last December, President Coolidge sept Crookston and Morris; 2-Club De. a message to the 1600 boys and girls partment with exhibits at the State assembled, representing clubs with a Fair which gives 1100 county club total membership of over 700,000. winners free trips to the Fair; 3-The
Junior Live Stock show; 4-Club deMinnesota was one of the first north
partment in conneciion with the an. ern States to organize for this work
nual meeting of the state horticultural and the Minnesota clubs now have
society when county and district winan enrollment of 23,000 boys and girls.
ners in the garden, potato and canning T. A. Erickson, Minnesota State club
clubs come to St. Paul as the guests leader, explained, "Each club has a
of the society; 5-Interstate club meet. regular plan of organization, officers,
ing at Sioux City Ia., when winning plan of work, meetings, with each
teams from 12 states compete; 6—Namember carrying a definite home or
tional Dairy Exposition at which, in farm enterprise and endeavoring to
1924, Minnesota had 47 dairy club use the better methods of agriculture
members out of 200 club winners repand home economics in developing his or her project. Each club has an
resenting 25 states. adult leader or adviser who works "Last year, we had 2100 dairy call with a local committee. The commit- club members, each with a high grade tee is a part of the county extension or pure bred dairy heifer: Many ur service, working directly with the these were on farms where it was State Extension Service of the College the only good animal. For countless of Agriculture, which in turn cooper- generations, agricultural training has ates with the U. S. Department of Agri- been too much on the order of 'Ask culture in promoting this work as a Dad-he knows.' And too often, Dad very important part of the education- didn't know. The result, in many al program for better agriculture and cases, was that Son farmed exactly more happy, prosperous homes.
as his great-great grandfather or left “We have ten fundamental projects
the farm. Times changed but farming
didn't." which our club members use as their club projects. In live stock, each Some epigrammatist has observed member raises a baby beef or a dairy that the boy is father to the man. call, or some lambs, pigs or poultry. And it is on that unquestionably true In the crop line, each one grows from premise that club leaders are work. one to five acres of corn or one so ing out the salvation of agriculture in eight acres of potatoes or a good sized America.
TO European thinks of the United discredit upon their country are
Seymour Parker Gilbert and Jereof the world. To him it is the miah Smith. They have not made place where thousands of his coun- them. On the contrary they have trymen have sought and found com- shown the same skill, tact, and fort and happiness. Whoever wan- patience in the administration of a ders abroad soon realizes the mani. task involving delicate international told ties that bind the Old World relationships as that which added so to the New America. Everywhere much to the reputation of the peoples and governments are anxious British people in the last century. to please us. The American is trans- Young MT. Gilbert showed his figured and glorified by the strength capacity in the Treasury Department and reputation of the country from during the war, and was suddenly which he comes.
thrust into the most important adLet no one suppose that this is
ministrative job in Europe. Overbecause the world likes us. There is night he became Reparations Czar, scarcely no feeling that we have ever
supervising the most delicate and made an unselfish contribution to
complicated mass of financial maEurope. America is too powerful to
chinery over devised by the mind of be liked abroad.
man. The Dawes Plan is well Every one likes Switzerland because no one fears it.
launched upon its second year withBut no one knows what America may
out a hitch, without a serious disor may not do. The United States has pute of any kind. It is an American already purchased or conquered an
plan financed largely with American area larger than the whole of Europe,
money and administered with Amerand no one feels certain just what
ican brains. Europe may not like the next turn in our ambition may
any better for having put it bring. The astute European states
through, but Europe certainly has a man sees us as children playing with
respect for the way it was the new-won toy of World Power,
thought out and is now being hardly realizing its value, uncertain
worked out. whether we wish to break it, throw There is another American amit aside, or try to do something with bassador of business sense and good it. He would love to have us use will in Hungary. Jeremiah Smith it in a way that would be to his of Boston is doing the same sort of advantage, but he does not quite League of Nations job in Budapest know the best way to bamboozle us. that the Dutch Burgomaster ZimHe is always sure, however, that a merman has been doing in Vienna. good dose of flattery can do no
He has to see that the government harm, and he invariably tries that Hungary is run efficiently and first.
economically. And he has been so But whatever else Europeans may
careful not to abuse his authority, say about us, they cannot and do
to suggest rather than to command, bot deny our skili as bankers and
that he has won universal esteem · Executives. The two Americans who in the Hungarian capital. DOW have the greatest opportunity For five years scarce a month has to make mistakes that would reflect passed in which America has not
been a mighty power in some great international conference.
Wherever I went last summer, in Europe and the Near East, I found American echoes. Everywhere individual Americans, American influence, American machinery, American charity were working constructively in the rebuilding of the world.
In Italy, when liberty-loving Italians who fretted under the tyranny of Fascist rule were told by Mussolini's envoys that democracy and efficiency could not exist together, they inquired: “What of America ?”
In Athens American relief agencies cooperating with the League of Nations looked back upon one of the finest achievements of organized charity in all history. Hundreds of thousands of refugees had been established in camps, cared for, transplanted to new homes, given work, and placed on the road toward independence.
In Palestine the intelligent use of a few millions, contributed by American Jews, is transforming a desert into a fertile agricultural area. Of all the movements which Americans are sponsoring in foreign lands none has a more practical ard at the same time a more appealing aspect than the transformation of the arid hills of Judea into flourishing agricultural settlements by those who look upon bleak Palestine as the promised land.
In Cairo the Egyptian minister of agriculture had just had word that the United States Department of Agriculture would lend him two experts to supervise a vigorous campaign against the boll-weevil. Egypt's young government appreciates the unselfish willingness of the United States to lend its experts to help Egypt compete more effectively with the cotton farmers of our own South. And yet the agricultural minister's greatest enthusiasm was reserved for the Ford tractor. He sees Egypt's fields enriched, her agricultural methods revolutionized by trac
tors sold at a price even Egypt can pay.
And in Spain I found King Alfonso XIII a great admirer of still another phase of American life. He is an enthusiast about American sportsmen and American sportsmanship.
A few days later I talked with Edouard Herriot, ex-premier ot France, and he was full of reminiscences about his visit to America, the profound impression created by Its lusty young strength and its eager aspiration for a better world. “We must work together," he said, "for peace, France and America."
In England there is a new note of adiniration for America's industrial and financial power in world markets and for her political contributions to recent World War settlements. The fact that Great Britain
recognizes her wayward child of the New World as an equal in world power and world councils is a compliment that we have thus far appreciated more in promise than in performance. Ours is an opportunity, but much remains to be done if we are to realize it.
Fundamentally there is a marked similarity in the democratic traditions and political ideals of the English-speaking peoples. This possibil. ity of joint power should be used for the world's good.
Americans who wander abroad with seeing eyes realize the amazing growth of our foreign interests. Politically, financially, industrially, we have become integrated with the old World to an extent which few of us appreciate. America's power anc America's opportunity are world wide. Isolation or insulation from foreign entanglements is alike im possible or inadvisable. We canno turn back. We must go forward facing our destiny. We have al ready won material power. We mus achieve spiritual leadership. We ca do it by responding graciously to those generous instincts and tradi tions which are the most preciou part of our American heritage.
The “Main Street” Banker
Condensed from Scribner's Magazine (April '26)
ECENTLY a friend of mine was
sylvania town of 1500 where he had first started in business. While there he had renewed his acquaintance with John Lavery, the president of the local bank. My friend had this to say:
"For years that banker has been originating ideas and theories on the possibilities of the country bank. For example, I started my first business Fenture in that town. Lavery used to talk to me at great length about my little retail store and the way I was bandling it. To make a long story short, he loaned me the limit at the bank, and made it possible for me to press on with the developmert of the opportunities I saw at every hand. With Lavery's help, within seven years I trebled the size of my retail business, developed a fine little manufacturing business, and helped to organize, bring to the town, and direct three other small, growing factories. While Lavery was doing this with me, he was working in similar ways with some others. Why, he tells me that only recently he went to the owner of the old hotel and showed him that there wasn't a modern, comfortable hotel in a radius of 30 miles. He got him to agree to the organization of a new, modern hotel. The new hotel account is four times as large as was the old one and the town is immensely benefited. Traveling men are riding 25 miles out of their way to stop there, especially over week ends. The conclusion to the story is that he showed me a statement of the bank that totalled resources of more than 32,000,000. Think of that alongside of the $10,000 Farmers' Bank he started 30 years ago. The town has grown since, of course—it couldn't help it with a maa like Lavery whipping it
constantly-but cnly normally. What I mean is that it is located in the East where old communities are not doubling in size every ten years as some baby towns are in the West. Think of it. What an answer that is to the 'Main Street' cynic who seems to be very popular at present!
"If the country bank generally throughout the country," continued my friend, "can rise to meet the opportunities before it, life in the small town can be made much more delight. ful than in the cities and at the same time much more profitable in money terms and much more secure. It is to the snall town that we must look for a return to the American dollar that will buy 100 cents' worth of food and clothing and recreation. I refer to building the community-thousands of them-rather than the few great centers. It can easily be the solutio2 of farm credits, distribution of manufacturing and population, congestion of cities, development of natural resources, perfection of railroads, roads, and truck-lines, and-solution of the labor problem!”
Until recently, the well-to-do men of the small town naturally gravitated to the bank directorates. Too often these men were well-to-do by inheri. tance only or by very gradual accumulation through painful personal economy. They were not progressive in any sense. That explains why the bank has been one of the very last lines of business to use the power of advertising for service, greater growth, profits.
Then came the new idea. Younger men, without regard to their personal worth at the moment, but with proved ability, were made directors because of what they knew about constructive business, finance and advertising. Ser: vice to the community became the keynote of banking.
A young man with a past experience in several large cities came to a small town of less than 2000 population, and purchased the weekly newspaper. He transformed the paper and tripled its profits. The cashier of one of the banks kept his eye on him. Finally convinced that this young man was well schooled in advertising and selling, he asked him to become one of his bank directors, even though he was only 32 years old. In less than four months the young publisher had grappled with one of the pressing risks of the bank and changed it into an asset. None of the other director's had given such a possibility a thought. Yet it was comparatively easy to do when studied by an experienced man. A small factory in the town was more than $5000 in permanent debt to the bank. The young publisher was able to reconstruct the factory's selling and advertising policy so as to wipe out its debt, and change the account from a liability into a going business of $50,000 the first year with a balance running to four figures. Undoubtedly he is continuing that kind of value to the bank.
campaign to collect his book accounts; and wrote confidential weekly letters reporting his financial progress to all creditors except the other bank. He was delighted by the cooperation he received all around and made rapid progress toward a sound footing. When the disgi untled cashier of the First National Bank served notice a little later, the young merchant's affairs were in such good condition that the Second National Bank was justified in taking over his account, and sav. ing the day for him. But that wasn't the best part of it. The best part is that America has one more young retailer who is capable and successful. That's national wealth!
I could cite case after case of this new way of doing things. One bank. er in a small town said to me:
“The country bank is fast becoming not merely a repository for community funds, but the fountainhead cf town business development. In the future its main idea will not be the making of money. It is reorganizing its directorate so as to secure business brains, experience, breadth, and activity. Especially activity. This makes it equal to its appointed job of showing every kind of business man how to take ad. vantage of the best methods, and to make and to have more money-not more debts at 6 per cent per annum. The day is coming when even the small bank will consider another official than the cashier essential. This man will be the manager of the promotion, or business-building, or business-aid department. All towns do not have the men needed on their bank directorates. Some banks will have io import that kind of talent. And when that kind of a man is final. ly at the head of a recognized department in all banks, then we will cut commercial failures to the minimum."
The country banker has found that he grows only as the whole community grows and prospers. So he is studying and working to that end.
The sharp contrast between the old and the new methods is brought out by the respective treatments of a young hardware merchant by the two banks in one small town. This young fellow inherited several thousand dollars before he had learned the rudiments of business management, and had bought a retail store. His finan. cial affairs soon went froin bad to worse. He had reason to believe that the cashier of the First National Bank, where he kept his account, intended to press him and knowing what that would do to him at the particular moment, the hardware man called on the president of the Second National Bank and poured out the whole story. For several nights each week, the president went to the hardware store and acted in an advisory capacity. Under his careful and tactful tutoring, the young man placed himself on a limited weekly budget; started a strenuous