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FOR HIGH SCHOOL BOYS AND GIRLS • IN CITIES AND TOWNS
Prepared by College ol Agriculture, University of Illinois
ISSUED BY ILLINOIS STATE COUNCIL OF DEFENSE
GOV. DWIGHT H. GREEN, Chairman
To Illinois Junior Qitizens
In Cities and Towns . . .
OU have the opportunity to render a patriotic service that
has not come to many boys and girls of past generations.
American farmers have been asked to grow more food and
fiber in 1943 than they have ever before produced even in years
of the most bountiful harvests. If we fail to meet the rapidly
increasing demands of our armies, our civilian workers, our
allies, and the liberated peoples for these essential war mate-
rials, the whole war effort will be handicapped and thousands
of lives lost that could have been saved.
Illinois farmers can do their share in this great effort only if
large numbers of able and willing farm workers are found to
replace the thousands who have left our farms to enter the
armed forces and essential war industries. This is where strong,
interested, intelligent city boys and girls can make a truly im-
portant contribution to our war effort.
To those of you who are willing and able to enter service on
our farms, I commend this booklet. It has been written espe-
cially for you by members of the staff of the College of
Agriculture of your State University — men who have grown up
on farms, have studied farm life, and know the problems young
people will meet on farms. It has been issued by the Illinois
State Council of Defense It will help you to get acquainted with
what lies before you and prepare for it. Study it thoroughly and
take to heart all the advice you find there.
The State of Illinois, your country, and the hungry people of
Europe will recognize and be grateful for your help.
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
ILLINOIS STATE COUNCIL
Gov. DwiGHT H. Green, Chairman
Frank O. Lowden, Honorary Chairman
Murray M. Baker, Vice Chairman
Lieut. Gov. Hugh W. Cross, Secretary
Speaker Elmer J. Schnackenberg, Treasurer
Sen. Arnold P. Benson Reuben G. Soderstrom
Rep. Reed F. Cutler Barney Thompson
Sen. Richard J. Daley Charles M. Thompson
Stuart Duncan Mrs. Frederic W. Upham
Rev. James L. Horace Rep. Bernice T. Van der Vries
Henry P. Rusk Rep. William Vicars
Capt. William F. Waugh
The farm is a home as well as a place of business. This family enjoys an attrac-
tive house and a well-kept lawn. The livestock are housed in the barn in the rear.
The farmer is on the way to the field with a rack wagon, while his son gets the mail
left by the rural mail carrier.
Why City Boys and Girls Are
Needed on Farms in 1943
Your Part in the War Effort
Right now you and all persons in the United States are being called
upon to contribute your utmost to the war effort. Let's stop and take
inventory. Just what specific things have you done to help defeat the
If your school has been active in the scrap, rubber, and other salvage
drives, you have no doubt contributed some time and effort in helping
collect these precious war materials. Many of you are defense bond holders,
or save a large share of your allowance or earnings for defense stamps.
These and other contributions are important — but, are they enough? If
we are to exterminate fascism and its brutal, undemocratic forces from
the face of this earth, we have a fight on our hands that requires an all-
out effort on the part of every citizen in our country. Each individual
must contribute his time and abilities to the fullest extent.
Of course, at the present, your proper place is in school — developing
skills and gathering essential knowledge in preparing yourself to become
an active, intelligent citizen of our democracy. But — what about the vaca-
tion period next summer? You will have some three months available
then. How can you use that time to make the maximum contribution to
the war effort? The serious shortage of workers in our farm areas pro-
vides a challenging answer to this question.
Agriculture — A National Industry
Agriculture is the oldest occupation of civilized man. Tending flocks
and producing crops for food and clothing — the necessities of life — were
some of his earliest productive activities.
When we think and speak of agriculture, it is generally in terms of
an individual farm. Consequently, we often think of it as a small industry
or business. But in 1940 agriculture in the United States ranked second
only to manufacturing in the number of workers employed. Eighteen
and five-tenths percent of all employed persons were in agriculture. On
the basis of net income, agriculture ranked fourth among the industries,
being exceeded only by manufacturing, trade, and finance. It has been
estimated that in 1937 each farm person produced enough food for him-
self and three and one-half additional persons. A major portion of our
population is wholly dependent on commercial agriculture for food and
Agriculture — An Essential War Industry
In normal times agriculture is an essential industry of the Nation;
in war times it assumes vital significance. Production goals in 1943 in
the United States call for an increase of 10 percent over the 1941 levels.
Secretary Wickard has said that about one-fourth of this production will
be needed for the armed forces and for lend-lease shipments. Farmers
of Illinois have been asked to increase their 1943 production over that of
1942 by the following percentages: corn, 4 percent; barley, 12 percent;
potatoes, 8 percent; cattle, 3 percent; hogs, 15 percent; chickens, 8 per-
cent — and these are only part of the items.
As a result of the increased efforts of farmers, favorable weather
and the influx of older men and women and children to farms making a
barely adequate labor supply, agricultural production was at a high level
in 1942. Total production is estimated to have been 9 percent above 1941,
whereas production goals called for only a 6 percent increase. Corn,
soybean, and pork production all set new records.
American farmers have successfully met the challenge of the first
year of the war. But, with the demand for still further increases, what
is the prospect for 1943?
The Farm Labor Situation
Farmers are being asked for further increases in the production of a
number of commodities in 1943. Statistics show that about 1,600,000
farm workers and operators left their farm jobs between September,
1941, and September, 1942, 43 percent to enter the armed forces, and 57
percent to go into the ranks of industry. A great many more have left
since September, and the number that will be called to the armed forces
in 1943 will continue to deplete the already inadequate supply.
In a recent survey, more than one-third of America's farmers said
that unless they could obtain help from sources other than those now
available, they would have to greatly reduce their output in 1943.
The need for additional food production in 1943 is vital. Without it
the tremendous task of feeding large numbers of the civilian population
in allied and conquered countries, as well as the members of our armed
forces and the people of our nation, cannot be done. We cannot, we must
not, disappoint these people. They depend on the products of agriculture
for the garments that clothe them, and for the food which provides the
physical stamina needed to wage a successful fight against the enemy.
A Challenge to the City Youth of America
This is where you, the city youth of America, fit in. The nation
looks to you to help solve this crucial problem. Here is your opportunity
to make a really impressive contribution to the war program. If you are
physically fit, alert, and willing to learn, this is the chance you have been
waiting for to back up the men on Democracy's fighting fronts with actual
deeds, while at the same time improving your own physical trim, laying
up funds for the future, and gaining skills that will always be valuable.
Don't let your country down. Help it solve its farm labor problem !
Work, Wages, and Living
The Nature of Farm Work
Before deciding to work on a farm, you should consider rather care-
fully whether you "can take it." Farm work is hard work. Naturally
not all the jobs you will be asked to do are difficult, but there are a number
of jobs, such as pitching hay, which require a great amount of physical
exertion. Farmers cannot use boys who are physically soft or lazy. If
you are not willing to do hard work, you had better forget about working
on a farm. Farmers generally will recognize your limitations and not
expect you to do work which is too strenuous for you, but they will expect
you to do your very best on the physically hard work. If you are looking
toward next summer on a farm as a time to relax and take life easy, forget
about farm work ! The farmers are too busy in this war effort to be
bothered by persons who are not willing to work. On the other hand, if
you are ready to accept a challenge to your physical vitality and ability,
a number of farmers will be glad to have you work for them.
The physical exertion re-
quired for farm work is not just
a matter of being able to lift a bag
of feed ; it involves endurance. We
hear much talk these days about
keeping fit. If you work on a farm
this summer, you will be doing a
great deal towards maintaining
"physical fitness." Fresh air, sun-
shine, plenty of food, lots of sleep,
and an abundance of exercise will
condition you physically.
Now, how about your work-
ing hours? It is important to re-
member that, unlike business men,
the farmer doesn't keep "office
hours." Much of his work can be
done only when weather condi-
tions are favorable, even though
there are some farm jobs that
must be carried on rain or shine.
Since the weather period favor-
Pitching hay is typical of work done in the
fields during the summer months. It is hard
work, and skill is required if a satisfactory
amount of hay is to be put in the barn each
day. Hay can be put up only when dry, and
since it is of inferior quality if rained on,
farmers are in a hurry during the haying
On livestock farms much time is devoted to "chores." Sows with Httle pigs will
be fed and watered twice each day and the bedding changed when it gets damp. Later
these pigs may be put on a self-feeder.
able for certain operations is often short, the farmer literally must "make
hay while the sun shines."
There is no "eig-ht-hour day" on a farm, either. There will be times
on any farm when you may be expected to work ten or twelve hours a day,
and on some farms such hours may be the rule rather than the exception.
It is interesting to note, however, that despite longer hours, statistics
show that rural people are generally as healthy as city dwellers.
Finally, you must keep in mind that the farmer does not have a
"white collar" job. Just as he does not keep office hours, neither does he
wear office clothes. You will be asked to perform jobs at which you cannot
keep clean, some of which you may even consider unpleasant. If you are
on a livestock farm, it is likely that you may be asked to help clean out
the barn or feedlot; this means shoveling or pitching manure. During
harvesting, if you work around a combine, baler, or threshing machine,
you may find the job a dusty one. If you operate a tractor cultivator on
a windy day, you may find that when you stop work the only visible white
spots on you are the whites of your eyes. Naturally only a relatively small
percent of the farm jobs are extremely dirty, but if you cannot stand
dirt, don't accept farm work.
The type of jobs you will be asked to do on the farm depends on the
type of farm on which you work. You may be expected to do a wide variety
of jobs, or the farmer may want someone who will do the same work all
the time he is on the farm. Information contained in this booklet will
help you visualize the jobs to be done on different kinds of farms. They
will range all the way from various tasks in the care of the dairy herd,
horses, pigs, sheep, beef cattle, or poultry to operating farm equipment
such as tractors, plows, binders, and threshing machines, or planting,
cultivating and hai'\'esting the crops.
It takes more than just muscle to do the job. Farm work calls for
stamina and physical endurance. Remember, too, that in the farmer's
eyes you will be a comparatively "green" worker. It takes years to
develop a truly skilled farm worker, and in the beginning you may be more
of a liability than an asset to him. To be successful, you will have to
follow his instructions carefully and accurately, and work hard at the
tasks assigned you.
Wages and Living Conditions
One of the first questions in the mind of anyone considering a job
is that of wages. It is rather difficult to say exactly what wages you can
expect. In the summer of 1942 inexperienced city boys who accepted farm
work for the entire summer received about a dollar a day plus room,
board, and laundry. With the increased demand for workers in 1943 and
rising farm prices, it may be that some farmers will be willing to pay
more than this for boys who demonstrate their ability and willingness to
do farm work.
In arriving at a total wage, you will have to add to your cash wage
the value of food, room, laundry, and whatever else may be furnished.
The value of these additional items may be more of a real advantage to
your parents than to you because most of you still live at home where
your room and board is furnished. Though wages may appear small, you
will undoubtedly be able to save some money since your major needs will
be supplied, and there will be many enjoyable ways to use your spare time
that do not require spending any money.
Living conditions vary from farm to farm. Many farmers have com-
pletely modern homes; others have none of the modern conveniences.
When you go to work on a farm, you may expect to be considered pretty
much as "one of the family"; in fact, if the farmer has a son of about
your age you may be asked to share his room. Generally speaking, most
farm homes are clean and have comfortable sleeping rooms. You will
receive plenty of substantial food, even though it may not be in the form
of some of the fancy dishes and style you have been accustomed to in the
Over one-fifth of the total number of people in our country are farm
workers or farm dwellers. Here is an opportunity for you to develop an
understanding of these people, their life, and problems, and make many
friendships which you will appreciate in years to come.
There^s a Place for the Girls, Too
High school girls who are interested in helping out the farm situation
will not be excluded from jobs this summer! The greatest demand for
workers will no doubt be for boys since many of the jobs require hard
physical labor. Although the heavier field work and machine operations
will be performed by the men, you high school girls can help with a great
many of the tasks discussed in the following pages.
Your greatest value will probably lie in the work that you do around
the farm home — helping with the general housework, cooking, and work-
ing in the garden. If a large share of the household responsibilities can
be delegated to you, the more experienced farm women will be able to
pitch in and help with some of the skilled operations around the farm,
such as driving the tractor, etc.
A Contribution to War Effort and Personal Development
The preceding information has given you a general picture of what
you may expect if you decide to accept farm work. In arriving at a
decision, take into consideration what jobs are available in the city and
the wages they pay.
Get different opinions by talking to several of the boys in your school
who worked on farms last summer. Some of them will be enthusiastic
about it; others may report unfavorably. Try to get enough reactions
and comments to enable you to make an intelligent decision.
Keep in mind that working on a farm is a direct contribution to the
war effort in two ways : First, it means helping to relieve the labor short-
age that threatens to cut down our supply of essential food and clothing.
Second, it develops a quality in you that is needed in our fighting men —
physical fitness. You may be in the armed forces before this war is over.
Remember, too, that education through experience, the most effective of
all teachers, is at your service. A relatively large share of this education
is general enough to have value to you in everyday life. There is an
opportunity to use many of the small tools and equipment on a farm in
other lines of work, and to develop a variety of manual skills. There is
much for you to gain personally at the same time that you contribute to
the war effort.
For those of you who have a lively interest in plant or animal life, and
have enjoyed your botany or biology classes, farm life offers unexcelled
opportunity. Your experience in tending living, growing plants and ani-
mals will be invaluable in helping you to observe, note, and understand
the principles you have studied.
Think over all these things. Then, having received your parents'
consent, the final decision lies with you.
On many farms the poultry will be fed and
watered by girls, so that the men will have
more time for field work.
Press Assn. Inc. Photo
Preparing and Planning
for Farm Work
Start Making Plans Now
This program can't be expected to be one-hundred-percent perfect. It
would be surprising if every boy who attends these meetings were to be
placed on a farm next summer. It would be equally surprising if every
one of you "stuck it out" after being placed on a farm ! However, prepa-
ration and planning will help to work out a program that will be as nearly
perfect as can be expected. The main purpose of those who are responsible
for the program is to see that you will be happy in your work, and that the
farmers, in turn, are satisfied with your help.
What preparation and plans should you be making now?
It has been pointed out that farm work is hard work physically. It
will also require you to do a lot of thinking and to make a number of
decisions. One of your first tasks is to prove to those who are offering
this training that, physically and mentally, you deserve to be chosen for
a farm job. To be a real aid to some farmer next summer, it will be neces-
sary for you to start right now to prepare, both physically and mentally,
for your job.
are important in any
making yours for
now; then put them
into effect at the
first opportunity. Of
course, we all realize
that under present
tions, even the best
laid plans may go
awry, but that pos-
sibility should not
deter us from mak-
ing plans and then
rearranging them if
it becomes neces-
A flock of sheep requires a lot of attention at lambing time in
late winter or early spring.
These farm girls are feeding hay to their
father's Hereford cows (beef cows) in an out-
side rack. Most farmers will be unwilling to
use city girls for caring for livestock, but city
boys can be a lot of help at this 'job.
Personal Preparation —
Physical and Mental
Take advantage of every op-
portunity to increase your knowl-
edge and experience in regard to
Meetings will be held at vari-
ous centers in your city. These
will be designed especially for city
youth who are planning to work
on farms this summer. Qualified
men, experienced in various phases
of agriculture, will talk to you and
lead discussions at these assemblies.
Preceding each meeting, you will be given printed material to read.
Study it carefully. Come prepared to ask questions and enter into the
discussion. One or two ideas which you pick up, or questions you raise,
may prove of inestimable value to you and the rest of the group.
Do not stop at this point. There are many good books on farming,
farm life, and agriculture. Get acquainted with them for you can't learn
too much. Although this so-called ''book learning" will not be one hundred
percent effective in preparing you for farm work, you will find many of
the books extremely interesting as well as highly instructive.
Read the farm section of your newspapers and magazines. Farm
magazines invariably contain instructive and interesting material. Take
advantage of the mass of available publications on farming.
In personal preparation, a program for physical fitness must not
be overlooked. Condition yourself physically by entering wholeheartedly
into your school sports, for farm work requires toughened and hardened
muscles. Get accustomed to being out in the open air and doing physical
exercise for an entire day.
Learn by Visiting
Finally, remember that the shortest road to the most learning is right
on the farm itself. // you can possibly arrange to do so, go out on a farm
over week-ends or during any vacation you may have between noiv and
next summer. That is also the best way to find out whether you really
want to do farm work and are suited for it. Contact the personnel officer
of your school and he will attempt to place you on a nearby farm for a
week-end or so, by getting in touch with the United States Employment
Service or the Farm Labor Committee in a nearby county.
Another w^ay to learn to identify livestock, machinery, and crops is
to make visits to places in cities where you will be able to see actual
<?!xamples of them. Supplement your extra reading, and greatly add to
your practical knowledge, by visiting stockyards, produce dealers, machin-
ery manufacturers, or implement dealers.
If a large group of interested students can be gathered together, it may
be possible to arrange for a regular guided inspection tour. This is one of
the most valuable ways to learn about the animals, crops, and machinery
you will be dealing with this summer.
If you prove to those in charge of the training program that you are
-qualified for, and really interested in farm work, every effort will be made
to place you with a farmer who has indicated a willingness and desire to
use relatively inexperienced workers.
You will be asked to register for farm work and the farmer will also
fill out a form. Then the farmer's request for a worker will be matched
with the information on the student registration cards. In that way, it
is hoped that boys will be placed on the type of farms they prefer and
are best fitted for.
The labor training program is not a one-sided affair. The problem
of using inexperienced help is being discussed with farmers at meetings
this winter. The farmers are familiar with this entire program, and will
recognize that you are not seasoned, experienced farm hands.
Another way to get placed on a farm this summer is to do so on
your own initiative. If you have farm friends or relatives, get in touch
with them. They may have something for you. If you do accept a job,
be sure to notify the agency which has your registration card. Otherwise,
valuable time may be wasted trying to place you.
Those in charge of this program believe that most of the capable
and willing city boys who complete this training course and follow the
plan outlined for placement will stand a good chance of being placed on
farms next summer. They are convinced that the success or failure of
your summer will depend on how conscientiously and industriously you
prepare and plan for it.
The following is a list of books and papers which will help you to
know more about living and working on a farm.
Andersen, Homer Paul. "Your Career in Agriculture." E. P. Button & Co., Inc. 1940.
Campbell, Alfred S. "An Introduction to Country Life." Princeton University Press.
Deyoe, George P. and Ullrich, Fred T. "Getting Acquainted With Agriculture." The
Interstate Printers & Publishers. 1941.
Grim, James S. "Introduction to Agriculture." Allyn and Bacon. 1935.
Scott, Winfield and Paul, Joseph B. "Permanent Agriculture." John Wiley & Sons,
Hayne, Ralph A. "Stop Carelessness! Prevent Accidents!" International Harvester
University of Illinois. "Shall We Move to the Country?" Circular 479. College of
U. S. Department of Agriculture. "Seedtime and Harvest Today." Miscellaneous Pub-
lication No. 485. U. S. Government Printing Office. 1942.
Hoards Dairyman, W. D. Hoard & Sons Co., Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Published the
10th and 25th of each month.
The Prairie Farmer, Prairie Farmer Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois. Biweekly.
Successful Farming, Meredith Publishing Co., Des Moines, Iowa. Monthly.
Wallaces' Farmer and Iowa Homestead, Dante M. Pierce, Des Moines, Iowa. Biweekly.
Dairy Cattle-Responsibilities for
Feeding and Milking Them
Cows Are Sensitive Animals
Work on dairy farms is being discussed first because of its impor-
tance. Dairying is the most important farm enterprise in the vicinity
of large cities and requires a larger labor supply than most other types of
farming. Therefore, there is more than a fifty-fifty chance of your work-
ing on a farm where dairying is a major part of the farm business.
The modern dairy cow is a sensitive animal highly developed for
producing milk. Even a strange person in the barn will cause many dairy
These are typical specimens of the five important dairy breeds. From left
to right they are: Jersey, Guernsey, Brown Swiss, Ayrshire, and Holstein.
Note differences in color, body shape, shape of head, and type of horns.
cows to fall off in their milk pro-
duction. A worker must therefore
be skilled in caring for the dairy
herd if he is to get maximum pro-
duction from it. Care in feeding
and management may easily mean
the difference between getting 30
or getting 40 pounds of milk per
cow daily. When you go on the
dairy farm, study the cows. Here
are animals producing some of the
most important food products in
the world. Ask the farmer which
cows are the best producers and
then see if you can determine what features make them so.
Bulls should be confined in well-built pens,
and wise farm workers will stay out of these
pens. The bull should be lead with a staff in
the nose ring rather than with a rope.
Terms You Need to Know
When you start work on a farm you will adapt yourself to the work
much more readily if you are familiar with some of the terms the farmer
will use. A number of these terms and their definitions are listed below
to aid you in developing a vocabulary for discussing or commenting upon
Cow — female of the species after she has produced her first calf.
Bull — male of the species.
Heifer — young female animal, usually so-called up to the birth of
her calf when she starts producing milk.
Calf — young animal usually under one year of age. Its sex is indi-
cated by referring to it either as a heifer calf or a hull calf.
Yearling — an animal, either male or female, between approximately
one and two years of age.
Dry cow — a mature cow not producing milk. Dairy cows are ordi-
narily given a rest from milk production for three to six weeks
after the end of a lactation period and before the next calving.
During that period they are referred to as dry cows.
Milk cow or milker — a cow in milk production or producing milk.
To calve or to freshen — to give birth to a calf. Cows are normally
bred to freshen once every eleven or twelve months.
Springer — a cow or heifer nearing calving time (due to calve or
freshen in the near future) .
Whole milk — the normal milk as it comes from the cow.
Cream separator — a machine for dividing whole milk into cream
and skimmed milk.
Stripping — milking the cow dry by hand, after the milking machine
has been removed.
A breed — a race of animals having similar characteristics or fea-
tures as a result of originating from the same parental stock.
Most of the ancestors of purebred animals can be traced back
many more generations than can most of our ancestors. The
common breeds of dairy cattle in Illinois are the Holstein (black
and white), Guermsey (fawn and white), Broivn Swiss
(brown), Jersey (fawn), and Ayrshire (red and white). The
three breeds first mentioned are by far the most common in
areas where whole milk is produced for the market.
Care of a Dairy Herd
For the purpose of discussion we shall divide the care of a dairy
herd into five categories.
1. Handling the dairy herd. The prime requisites for success in the
handling of any class of livestock are intelligence, kindness,
patience, and gentleness. The dairy cow responds to kind treatment
by increasing her production.
Generally speaking, dairy animals, ivith the exception of the hull,
are not dangerous. Occasionally a cow with a small calf may be
dangerous to strangers due to her natural instinct to protect her
young. If you are kind and gentle to animals, however, you will
soon gain their confidence.
On many farms the cows are milked with machines and most of them are "stripped" by hand.
Clean milk is produced with clean utensils, from clean cows, in clean barns.
One of your jobs may be to weigh the milk
from each cow at each milking and record the
weight on the wall chart. However, not all
farmers keep an accurate record of the pro-
duction of each cow.
Your duties in dealing with the
herd may consist of driving up the
cows from the pasture if they are
not at the barn, letting them in the
barn for milking, and turning them
out to pasture after they have been
Now these are relatively simple
jobs; after the dairy herd is ac-
quainted with you, they will be
easy to do. Here are a few things
to keep in mind when handling the
a. Animals are largely creatures
of habit. They are accustomed
to going in the same barn door
and standing in the same stall.
Do not attempt to change these
habits unless it is absolutely necessary.
Cows normally are leisurely. If you use a horse to drive them,
allow them to walk. Never send a dog after milk cows unless he
has been trained to drive them slowly. Rough treatment
reduces milk production.
Animals are curious. They are apt to go through any open gate
either out of curiosity or in search of feed. You will save
yourself time and trouble by always closing gates and doors
Animals expect direction. When driving animals in strange
places don't expect them to know where you want them to go.
You must indicate by your actions and your voice what you
expect them to do.
e. It is wise to be cautious of the bull. Never handle the bull.
Every year a number of farmers are seriously injured or killed
by so-called "gentle" bulls. Never go into the bull pen when
the bull is there. Some farmers may ridicule you ; neverthe-
less, you should remember that the bull is probably the most
dangerous animal on the farm and that very often it is the
"gentle" bull that does the most damage.
f. All animals respond to kind treatment; still you must be firm
enough to remain their master.
g. Contented cows are the best producers. The contented dairy
herd shows its appreciation by higher milk production.
Feeding the dairy herd. Feeding practices vary from farm to
farm. Therefore, be sure that you understand the farmer's instruc-
tions and carry them out very carefully. As you gain experience,
and especially if you study livestock bulletins and magazines, you
will learn satisfactory feeding practices. Remember first of all,
however, that you are working for the farmer and you must fol-
low his instructions. If you think some change should be made,
ask the farmer about it.
These are a few things to keep in mind about feeding dairy cattle:
a. Cows are fed roughages — hay, pasture, and silage — and con-
centrates — grains and mill feeds. The digestive system of the
cow enables her to make good use of rough feeds.
b. Cows should be fed regularly. They cannot be fed as a coal
stoker — enough at one feeding to last them several days.
c. Cows should be fed according to their production. If one cow
produces twice as much milk as another, she deserves extra
d. A constant supply of clean, fresh water is a necessity. Many
cows produce 50 pounds of milk a day — that requires approxi-
mately six gallons of water just for milk production.
e. Salt should be available to cows at all times; it is an essential
part of their diet.
3. Milking. If you are on a dairy farm, it is very likely that you will
be expected to help with the milking. You may expect either to
learn to milk by hand or to take care of the milking machine.
The only way you can learn to milk is by practice, and that may
be a rather long and trying procedure — for the cows as well as
you. Keep in mind that milking involves more than simply draw-
Holstein cows on pasture. This farmstead, with its large dairy barn and twin silos, has
room for a large dairy herd. You may be asked to drive the cows to the barn each evening
ing milk from a cow. The final product must be clean and safe
for human consumption. Here again, practice, patience, and the
ability to take and follow instructions are highly important.
4. Caring for the milk. Milk is a very perishable product. Since
it sours rapidly under certain conditions, it must be strained and
cooled immediately after milking. All parts and equipment that
come in contact with the milk must be washed in hot water after
each use. Milk produced on the farm tonight will not be in the
consumer's icebox for at least 36 hours. If it is to arrive in a
pure and wholesome condition, it must be kept clean and cool.
Have you ever thought of how much effort is involved in pro-
ducing the milk you drink each day ? A summer on the farm will
give you a greater appreciation of the farmer's job. Clean cows,
workers, barns, and equipment are essential in producing a clean
5. Cleaning the barn. To produce a clean product, it is essential
to clean out the milking q-uarters regularly. Manure and litter
must be removed from the barn and, in most instances, loaded on
the manure spreader and hauled to the field. This is some of the
heavier and dirtier work you may have to do in connection with
dairying. Farms producing for a whole milk market usually have
to pass rather rigid inspections. The condition of the barn
receives a lot of attention from the inspector.
High Production Is Your Challenge
Let us consider the problems of the dairy farmer. Dairying is his
means of obtaining a livelihood. The sale of dairy products — whole milk
or butterfat — is his major source of income. His main efforts are bent
toward increasing the income from his herd. Even the crops he pro-
duces are used as raw material for the dairy cow in producing milk. The
cow is often looked on as a machine which converts feeds, otherwise
inedible for human beings, to highly nutritious foodstuffs for them.
The average dairy farmer has a rather large investment in bams,
equipment, and cows. At the present time a dairy cow costs over one
hundred and fifty dollars, and it is very easy to reduce the value of a
cow as a milk producer through poor care and management.
Your challenge, in connection with the dairy herd, should be to try to
obtain the highest possible production per cow under the supervision of
Livestock -Care and Handling of
Horses, Swine, Sheep, Poultry,
and Beef Cattle
Think of Animals as Friends
Your responsibilities in connection with dairy cattle were discussed
at length in the preceding unit. However, almost every farm has not just
one kind of livestock but several. Consequently you will have to be pre-
pared to become, to some extent, a jack-of -all-trades. Regardless of the
class of livestock, the successful herdsman must possess the qualities of
gentleness, kindness, firmness, and, above all, patience. The characteristics
essential for success in handling livestock, it is interesting to note, are
the same as those possessed by persons who make the most friends and
get along best in their associations ivith other people.
It will be possible to touch only briefly on each class of livestock.
Most of your education in handling livestock will have to be acquired out
on the farm. It is only possible here to depict for you what you may be
expected to do and to offer some suggestions which will help you orient
yourself on the farm more rapidly.
Caring For and Handling Horses
Illinois agriculture has become highly mechanized. In fact, in parts
of the state there are farm boys who have never handled horses. How-
ever, the majority of farmers still have at least one team of horses which
they use for certain types of work.
These are some things you maj- be asked to do with horses:
1. Feed and groom them.
2. Harness them.
3. Hitch them together and to equipment.
4. Drive them and operate simple horse-drawn equipment.
5. Unhitch and unharness them.
Horses generally are kept on the farm as a source of power. Occa-
sionally a farmer keeps a riding horse for use in caring for other livestock
or for pleasure, but most of your experience will be with draft horses,
which furnish the power for doing numerous jobs about the farm.
WTiile horses are considered quite intelligent animals, it is well to
remember that their value depends to a high degree on their past training
and response to certain signals. Usually these signals are vocal or given
by exerting pressure on the reins or lines. For the most part, the horse
depends on the driver to show him what he should do. If horses are
handled by the same man for a period of time they become accustomed
to that driver and may not respond readily to a new driver. Remember
How would you like to groom, feed, water,
harness, and drive this powerful team of
that when you first take over the
team you are as new to the horses
as they are to you, and your inex-
perience really works a double hard-
ship on the horses.
It is a pleasure to handle well-
trained, gentle horses and you
should not attempt to handle any
other kind until you have had con-
siderable experience. It is very
seldom that one finds a vicious or
mean horse. Although there may
be some that have a bad habit of
biting or kicking, they are excep-
tions. This is one rule that you
must always observe in working with horses or with any class of livestock :
Ahvays warn a horse or other anirrwl when you approach him. Speak to
him as you draw near and before you touch him. If you do not, his natural
reaction may be to kick in surprise when you touch him. If we were as
inconsiderate in our treatment of other people as we often are in the treat-
ment of animals, the world would be a very unpleasant place in which to live.
Horses must be fed and watered regularly, yet they must not be over-
fed, or watered when they are hot from heavy work. If you feed the
horse be sure to follow exactly the instructions given by the farmer.
Grooming is a cleaning procedure for horses and is a task likely to be
assigned to you. A horse can neither give himself a bath nor curry
(brush) his hair; yet, he is often in places which cause him to get very
dirty. He appreciates being groomed, for like other farm animals, he is
definitely handicapped when it comes to grooming himself.
You cannot learn to handle horses by reading about them. Here, too,
experience is by far the best teacher. Remember there are numerous
times when the horse might like to explain something to you, but unfor-
tunately he can't talk. He is at your mercy, so treat him patiently and
with kindness and understanding.
Here are a few^ terms which you should learn in connection with
Gelding — a castrated or desexed male horse kept for draft or for
Mare — a female horse.
Foal — a nursing colt.
Colt — the young of the mare.
Feeding and Care of Swine
"Swine" is a term which includes all kinds and classes of pigs and
hogs. We often hear the expression "dirty as a pig," but do you know that
the pig is naturally one of the cleanest of the farm animals? He is the
only farm animal who will not wilfully foul his own quarters; even little
pigs only a few days old make their toilet away from their sleeping quar-
ters. Pigs are often referred to as "mortgage lifters" because over a long
period of time they have been one of the most profitable classes of live-
stock for farmers who care for them properly. Now the government has
asked farmers to materially increase pork production. Along with dairy
products and poultry, pork is one of the war commodities. You should be
familiar with the following terms in dealing with swine :
Farrow (verb) — to give birth to young.
Gilt — a female pig before farrowing her first litter.
Sow — a female hog after farrowing a litter, usually over one year
Boar — a male hog.
Barrow — a castrated or desexed male pig fattened for market pur-
Pi& — young of the swine. Many farmers use the term pig to include
all swine up to their marketing age.
Hog — the difference between a hog and pig is mainly one of size or
Litter — the young of a sow produced at one farrowing, usually from
5 to 12 in number.
Castration — the operation for removing the testicles or reproductive
organs of the male. Desexed male animals fatten more rapidly
and produce higher-quality meat than do males.
Shote (also shoat) — a pig that is being raised or fattened for market,
usually weighing less than 150 pounds.
Your responsibilities in connection with hog production may include
one or all of the following:
1. Feeding and watering the fattening pigs
2. Helping to vaccinate and castrate pigs
3. Feeding and caring for sows and litters
Feeding fattening pigs is one of the simplest feeding tasks on the
farm. There is danger of overfeed-
ing most classes of livestock but not
the pig. The farmer wants the pig
to gain weight rapidly, so the pig's
chief function is to "make a hog of
The pig's digestive system is
not adapted to the digestion of a lot
of rough feed. Consequently his
ration is made up chiefly of farm
grains and mill feeds.
Feeding practices for hogs
vary widely but generally one of
two methods is used. Either they
are fed twice daily, morning and
With a self-feeder of this type pigs get all they
want to eat, and enough feed can be put in
at one time to last several days.
These ewes and Iambs are getting both feed and water from the pasture, and so do not need
much attention during the summer months.
evening, or they are self-fed. The latter means that a large quantity of
feed is made available to the hogs at all times — a help-yourself or cafeteria
plan. You will have to follow the instructions of the farmer you work
for and use his system of feeding; he usually has reasons for his particu-
lar method. Be sure the hogs have plenty of water. They cannot stand
heat. If fat hogs are excited or hurried in hot weather, some of them
You may be asked to catch or hold pigs while they are being castrated
or vaccinated. These operations may be performed by the farmer or he
may hire a veterinarian to do them. In either case you may be called upon
Pigs are usually farrowed, or born in the fall or spring. However, it
is not unusual for farmers to raise summer litters. You may be asked to
help take care of sows and their pigs. If so, follow the farmer's feeding
instructions carefully. Take care not to disturb the sow unduly. Many
sows are cross when they have small pigs, and almost any sow may be
dangerous if anything is done to cause one of the pigs to squeal. Another
precaution to practice when working around livestock is to leave the farm
dog behind or he may endanger your own position. Dogs are natural
enemies to most farm animals, and their presence will excite any animal
which has young. Boars (male hogs) are sometimes mean or vicious; be
cautious when dealing with them.
Of all farm animals, the pig will try your patience more than any
other, especially if you try to drive him into a new place. The easiest way
to get a pig to go where you want him to is to let him make his own de-
cision to go there. A pig does not like to be forced anywhere. He may
stand with his head in a door for several minutes before going in, but if
you try to push him through he will invariably back out. It is this char-
acteristic that undoubtedly has given rise to the expression "pig-headed."
Feeding and Caring for Sheep
Ewe — a female sheep.
Ram — a male sheep, often referred to as the "buck."
Lamb — a young sheep under one year old.
Wether — a desexed or castrated male sheep.
Feeders — sheep or lambs purchased to be fed and fattened for
The sheep enterprise is of relatively minor importance on most Illinois
farms. A great many farmers keep no sheep at all. Feeder sheep or
lambs are usually fed during the fall and winter months, so probably your
work with sheep will be only with the breeding flock and the lambs pro-
duced on the farm.
During the summer months sheep require very little attention. The
breeding flock needs nothing but pasture, plenty of clean, fresh water, and
Growing chicks need feed, water, shade, and sheher. These self-feeders have a roof which keeps
the feed dry, and the brooder house is equipped with a stove for cool weather.
This is a well-equipped hen house, as indicated by the clean, dry
litter, self-feeders, and ample nest space. Eggs should be gathered
several times each day in hot weather.
salt. On some farms the lambs are fed grain to fatten them for marketing
which, in Illinois, is usually between June and October.
In working with sheep you should remember that they are timid and
are the most gregarious of all farm animals, that is, they go in flocks or
stay together. It is very unusual to find one or two sheep very far from
the rest of the flock.
Caring for the Poultry
Pullet — a female chicken under a year old. _.■
Hen — a female chicken over a year old.
Cockerel — a male chicken under a year old.
Rooster — a male chicken over a year old.
Baby chicks — chickens a few days old purchased by the farmer
to be raised for market or kept as laying hens.
Broiler — a chicken usually from 8 to 12 weeks old, produced for
market and weighing 2 to 4 pounds.
Practically every farmer keeps some poultry. The size of his enter-
prise will vary from less than one hundred hens up to several hundred,
and the number of chickens raised may vary even more. Caring for the
poultry is usually considered as lighter farm work and very often the
farmer's wife or younger children are given this responsibility. City girls
may easily learn to care for poultry. Responsibilities in caring for the
poultry may include the following:
1. Feeding and watering the laying flock.
2. Feeding and watering the baby chicks.
3. Gathering eggs.
4. Cleaning the poultry house.
The digestive system of the chicken, like that of the hog, is limited
in the amount of roughage it can utilize. Chickens cannot eat much rough
feed and therefore spend a rather large portion of their time at the
feeder. The most common method of feeding poultry is to keep feed in
front of them constantly. If you are given the task of caring for the
poultry, your most important responsibility will be to see that the flock
has feed and water before it at all times. This applies to both old and
young chickens. The other daily chore connected with poultry is that of
gathering the eggs. This is done at least once a day, and in hot weather
it is advisable to gather them several times each day because they deteri-
orate so rapidly at high temperatures.
The poultry house or houses will be cleaned regularly or irregularly
depending on how the farmer cares for his flock. Some farmers clean the
houses as often as once a week ; others may clean them only once or twice
during the summer. Cleaning involves removal of the straw, or litter, and
droppings, and replacing them with clean litter. (In this case, "litter" is
used in the sense of bedding for animals.)
As in the case of heavy-producing dairy cattle, the high-producing
laying hen is a sensitive, highly developed, nervous individual. When
working with poultry you should work quietly so as to avoid unduly fright-
ening or disturbing the flock.
Beef cattle on full feed require large quantities of feed and water. These steers are fed grain
twice each day, the grain being scooped from the wagon into the troughs. The hay is fed in
mangers inside the barn where the hay is stored.
Caring for Beef Cattle
For a vocabulary of beef -cattle terms, review the one for dairy cattle.
By adding the follov^ing two terms, your beginning vocabulary will be
Steer — a desexed or castrated male animal to be fed and marketed
Feeders — beef animals (male or female) which are fattened for the
As in the case of sheep, the beef cattle may be divided into two cate-
gories — the breeding herd and the feeders. The breeding herd requires
little attention during the summer months. Ordinarily the cows receive
only the feed from the pasture on which they run. The calves may be fed
some grain to help fatten them while they still are being nursed by the
Feeder cattle may be handled in a variety of ways. They may be fed
in drylot or on pasture. They may be fed heavily on grain, or heavily on
rough feeds and light on grain. Feeders may vary in age from calves to
two year olds, and they may be marketed at almost any time of year.
When you stop and think that books have been written about each of
the classes of livestock mentioned, you can realize how limited is the scope
of the material presented here. Very little has been said about the various
breeds, but you will doubtless learn to know some of them after being on
the farm for a while. The methods of handling livestock vary tremendously
from farm to farm so we can give you no hard and fast rules to follow.
Remember : you are going to be working for and ivith the farmer. To be
successful, you must be able to take and follow his instructions.
There are a number of things which all farm workers should realize.
First of all, the farmer produces livestock because he expects to realize
a profit from them. Just as you expect to receive a wage from the farmer
for your work, the farmer expects to receive his wage in the form of profits
from his livestock. The skill with which you do your work will determine
how much you are worth to the farmer.
The diff'erent classes of livestock are raised for specific purposes, the
dairy cow to produce milk, beef cattle and hogs to produce meat, sheep to
produce wool and meat, poultry to produce eggs and meat, and horses to
furnish power. In feeding, caring for, and managing the livestock, it is
up to you to do all the things that will enable them to perform their par-
ticular functions most eificiently.
Finally, you must recognize the limitations of animals. They cannot
talk, they cannot reason, and their actions are largely the result of train-
ing and habit. Be patient, be careful, be kind, and be gentle, and you
will probably enjoy working with livestock. If you enjoy your work, you
will be more successful at it.
Crop Production Is Basic to All Agriculture
Many farmers sell no grains but market only livestock or livestock
products, which they have produced by using their grain as feed.
Clothing is made of fiber that is obtained either directly from plants,
or indirectly from them through livestock, as in the case of wool. A num-
ber of crops, including fruits and vegetables, are consumed by man without
being processed, while most of the grain crops (bread, cornmeal, and
cereals are important exceptions) are first converted into meat or live-
stock products before being consumed by people.
Thus, it is evident that total agricultural production is dependent on
Crops Raised on the Farm
When you go to work on a farm, your employer is very likely to as-
sume that you know the common crops raised on farms and that you can
identify them. Some knowledge of the appearance and uses of the major
farm crops will be an advantage to you.
Corn. Corn is the most important crop in Illinois agriculture. It is
grown on practically every farm in the state and is the major feed for
livestock. Over 85 percent of the total corn crop is fed to livestock. A
small percentage of the crop is made into breakfast cereals, corn starch,
corn syrup, and other products. Not only is corn high in nutritive value,
Can You Identify These Grains When You See Them Growing in the Field?
Heads ot oats
Heads of barley
Heads of wheat
but it also produces a larger amount of feed per acre than any other crop.
On many farms it is raised as a cash crop; that is, it is sold rather than
fed on the farm where it is produced.
You should get in the habit of differentiating between the terms food
and feed. Products fed to livestock are designated as feeds or feedstuff s.
Products consumed by people are referred to as foods or foodstuffs.
Oats. Oats are a small-grain crop used almost exclusively for feed.
As a grain crop oats have been declining in importance in Illinois, although
some oats are raised on most farms. They are more important in the
northern than in the southern and central parts of the state.
Barley. Barley is a small-grain crop grown for feed and also as a
cash crop to be sold on the market. Barley, like oats, does best in a cool
climate and is grown chiefly in the northern third of the state.
Wheat. Wheat is a small-grain crop grown, to some extent, in all
parts of the state and is a major crop in the southwestern section. The
primary use of wheat in normal times, unlike the other grains, is as food
for human beings. It is therefore grown almost exclusively as a cash
crop. At the present time there is a surplus of wheat in the United States ;
consequently the price is low and farmers are using some of it as feed
Soybeans. The soybean is the newest of the important farm crops
in Illinois. It is an extremely important crop in the east central cash
grain area. The chief value of the soybean is in the oil contained in the
seed, which is used as a food, for making soap, and in paints. The meal
which remains when the oil is removed is used primarily for feeding live-
stock, while a small proportion is used for making plastics. Since the be-
ginning of the war the United States has been unable to import normal
quantities of oils; consequently the soybean has been classed as a war
crop. Some soybeans are produced in all sections of the state, and a
minor portion of the crop is harvested for hay. The 1942 production of
soybeans was almost twice as large as in any previous year.
Soybeans may be planted solid with a grain drill and not cultivated, or they may
be planted in rows and cultivated with a corn or bean cultivator.
Ha> is put in "windrows'" with a side-delivery rake. You will like this job.
Hay. All classes of livestock, except poultry and hogs, consume con-
siderable amounts of roughages. Hay is a roughage. It is the entire plant,
cut before ripe, and dried or cured to be used as feed. Alfalfa, red clover,
and timothy are a few of the numerous crops used for hay.
Straw. People inexperienced in farming often fail to differentiate
between hay and straw. Straw is a by-product of grain production. It
consists of the leaves and stems of the ripe or mature plant after the
removal of the grain by threshing. Straw is sometimes fed ; its chief use,
however, is as litter, or bedding, for livestock.
Pasture. Pasture crops are green, growing plants which the live-
stock eat in the field. A wide variety of crops is used for pasture purposes.
The word pasture refers to the area grazed by livestock.
Vegetable and Fruit Crops. Most farmers raise some fruits and a
garden for home use. In certain areas such crops are the only or the
major source of income. A wide variety of crops is included in this group,
and all of them are used as human food.
Your Jobs in Crop Production
Crop production operations may be divided into four general classes:
(1) seedbed preparation, (2) plant-
ing or seeding, (3) cultivating, and
(4) harvesting. Each of these
operations will be discussed briefly.
Seedbed Preparation. The soil
is the home of the plant. Together
with air and water it provides the
complete food supply used by the
plant in manufacturing and pro-
ducing its seeds. Seed production
is simply nature's way of produc-
ing plants. The farmer's task.
Some farmers have a hay loader, which re-
duces the work of putting up hay. You can
learn to drive the tractor or place the hay on
A modern plow of this type will turn ten to fifteen acres a day.
then, is to aid nature in providing the most favorable conditions for the
growth of the plant. The first step in this process is to provide the infant
plant with a good bed in which to grow.
There are generally three steps in preparing the seedbed, namely,
plowing, disking, and harrowing. Plowing, which involves a turning over
of the soil, is one of the first steps in seedbed preparation and is the opera-
tion requiring the most time and power. Disking digs up the soil. The
land may be disked both before and after plowing. Harrowing pulverizes
and smooths the soil. Disking and harrowing are both used as finishing
processes in seedbed preparation. They help to kill weeds, one of the
farmer's greatest enemies, and pulverize and level the land prior to
Each of these operations may be done either with horses or with a
tractor, and you may be asked to do some of this work.
Planting. In planting farm crops, the seed may be broadcast, it may
be drilled, or it may be checked. Seed which is broadcast is distributed
rather evenly over the ground but is not in rows. The seed is then cov-
ered by harrowing or disking, which might be considered as putting the
finishing touches on the
Grain that is drilled is
planted in rows. The rows
may be anywhere from a
few inches to over three
feet apart. The drill drops
and covers the seed in the
A track-type tractor pulling a disc harrow and a spike-
tooth harrow to firm and smooth the seedbed for crops.
This farmer is using a two-row horse-drawn
machine for planting corn. Fifteen to 20 acres
a day can be planted in this way.
Corn is the only major crop
in Illinois which is checked. Check-
rowing means planting the crop so
that it is in rows in both directions
and can be cultivated both length-
wise and crosswise.
Cultivation. After the crop
has been planted and starts to
grow, it must be protected from
some of its enemies. Weeds are
the greatest enemies to farm crops,
and cultivation is one means used to fight them. Any process which
destroys weeds by disturbing their root systems as a result of turning
over the soil is known as cultivation. Although the major objective of
cultivation is weed control, it also pulverizes and loosens the soil.
Cultivation therefore takes forms varying from hand hoeing to cul-
tivating com with a four-row tractor cultivator. The following horse- or
tractor-drawn implements are commonly used for the cultivation of farm
crops: harrows, rotary hoes, and various types of cultivators.
The small-grain crops are normally not cultivated. They are broad-
cast or drilled in early spring and are harvested before weeds become a
serious problem. The major cultivated crops in Illinods are corn and
Before the complete mechanization of agriculture, cultivating corn
with a two-horse cultivator was one of the first field jobs farm boys learned
to do. You may be expected to cultivate corn with either tractor- or
horse-drawn equipment and you should be careful to get the weeds but
not to plow out or cover up any of the com plants.
Harvesting. Here is a true test of your physical stamina and ability
to "take it." Harvesting operations on the farm involve some of the
heaviest physical labor you will encounter.
Much corn is now cultivated with motor cultivators. If you
should operate such a machine, the farmer will expect you to
be careful not to plow out or cover up the small corn plants.
Small grains and soybeans are harvested in one of two ways. Either
the crop is combined (pronounced kom' bifid), which includes cutting and
threshing in one operation, or it is cut with a binder, put in shocks to dry,
and finally hauled to a threshing machine to be threshed. Shocks are the
piles of upright sheaves of grain you perhaps have seen on farm land dur-
ing a drive through the country. Most of the wheat and soybeans grown
are combined. However, in livestock areas, more of the small grain is
threshed because the farmers need the straw. You will probably be on
the farm during small-grain harvest. In that case you may be asked to
This farmer is cutting his wheat
with a tractor binder. The bundles
are dropped in piles from the car-
rier for the convenience of the
Shocking wheat is hard work
and the weather is likely to
be hot. Try to set the bundles
up so that the shocks will
Wheat bundles are
pitched on basket
racks by hand. On
some farms one
person pitches the
bundles while the
other "loads" them
on the rack.
Rack wagons are being used to haul wheat from
the shocks to the threshing machine. The grain
is delivered into a box wagon, and the straw is
blown through the long tube onto the straw stack.
If a combine is used (see page 42) it replaces
both the binder and the threshing machine.
, .- f^n > 'Iji
1 '^ i fTiypaa'jjhJBM
shock grain, to pitch bundles, or to haul threshed grain away from the
Corn may be harvested in one of several ways, including cutting it
with a corn binder and shocking it for shredding later, or picking it by
hand or machine from the standing stalk.
Hay harvest requires a great amount of physical exertion. The
hay may be cut, cured, and put in the barn loose, or it may be baled out of
the field. In either instance, a considerable amount of hand labor in hot
weather is necessary.
Harvest Dangers. There are a number of precautions which you
should observe when helping to harvest crops.
First of all, do not overwork yourself. Hay and small-grain harvest
occurs during the hottest part of the summer. Take your time. Watch
the experienced hands so you may develop methods of work that re-
quire the least exertion. Do not get too hot. Heat prostration may keep
you from working during the rest of the summer and may even cause
permanent injury. By developing skill at the job, you can gradually in-
crease the amount of work you can do in hot weather.
You may be asked to care for and operate various machines. While
machine operation may require less physical labor than other harvest jobs,
it carries with it greater responsibility. A combine, a tractor, or a binder
is a complicated machine and represents a large investment on the part of
the farmer. If you are given the responsibility of operating machines, be
sure to follow instructions carefully. If instructions are not complete, or
you do not understand them, do not hesitate to ask questions.
Finally, you must always keep in mind the dangers in connection with
the operation of machinery, particularly power-driven machines. Every
year thousands of farmers and farm workers are injured or killed when
working around such machines. It is not that the machines are dangerous,
hut that the workers endanger themselves as a result of carelessness,
fatigue, or neglect. More will be said about some of the dangers in con-
nection with farm work in Part 9.
Farm Equipment and Buildings
Learn to Identify
During the past two decades Illinois agriculture has become highly
mechanized. To be successful, a farmer must know how to use a wide
variety of equipment and machinery, as well as to perform many diverse
jobs. The use of much of this equipment is so commonplace to the farmer
that he may take it for granted that everyone is as familiar with its ap-
pearance and use as he is. Although you may already know a rather large
number of pieces of equipment there are some you may be asked to op-
erate that will be entirely new to you. It would be well for you to learn
now to identify the various buildings and items of equipment on a farm
and to know for what purposes they are used. That knowledge, together
You can increase your usefulness by learning the names of these tools and their purposes.
They are identified as follows: 1, barn broom; 2, long handle shovel; 3, hoe; 4, garden rake;
5, pitch fork; 6, scythe; 7, shovel; 8, spade; 9, saw; 10, ax; 11, hatchet; and 12, hammer.
The most successful hog producers use movable hog houses so that the
pigs may be kept on clean pastures.
with supervision from the farmer, will help you to master their use much
For convenience in presenting the material, the items have been
divided into three general groups : small tools, buildings and their equip-
ment, and miscellaneous equipment.
The items described here fall far short of making up a complete list,
but they are the most common ones found on the majority of farms. The
amount of equipment on individual farms varies immensely, depending
upon the type of farming done and the interest of the farmer. Some
farmers have a completely equipped farm shop in which they are able to
do practically all of their own mechanical work ; others have nothing more
than a few small tools.
You have no doubt used a number of the tools shown on page 36. Make
it a special point to learn to identifj^ those which are new to you and to
learn their use. If some of the tools are available to you at home, you
may want to practice using them.
You can help save time — the factor that is so vital in this war emer-
gency — by keeping things in their proper places and seeing that they are
always in good condition. Then no time will be lost looking for misplaced
items, or in using tools hiade ineffective by careless handling.
Learn where every small tool
The interior of a barn showing stanchions for
dairy cows. The cows must be fastened in the
stanchions before each milking and released
is expected to be kept. When not
in use, see that it is in that place.
Similarly, when you finish using a
piece of equipment, put it where it
belongs so that you and everyone
else on the farm will know where
to find it when it is next wanted.
Do not use tools for purposes
other than the ones they are in-
tended to serve. The hatchet and
The milk is poured through the strainer into the cream separator,
which sends the cream into the crock and the skimmed milk into
the can. All milk equipment must be kept very clean by thor-
ough washing and sterilizing.
ax should not be used to cut nails or wire, and handles of the various tools
should not be used as prying rods. Tools are usually broken or ruined by
being incorrectly used, or by being used for something for which they
were not intended.
When you are through using a tool, be sure that it is in good condition
before putting it away. Make sure the spade is properly cleaned, dried,
and oiled. Each tool should be in ideal condition for the next time it is
Finally, before using any equipment which is new to you, ask the
farmer for instructions in regard to using and caring for it.
Buildings and Equipment
The farmer refers to his buildings and parts of them in his everyday
language, and may very likely take for granted that you know to what
he is referring. You should therefore be familiar with the more common
farm buildings and the equipment which is ordinarily a part of them.
You will im-
mediately see that
the names of most
farm buildings de-
note their use. How-
ever, don't be fooled
by the name "milk
house." It is not
the building where
the cows are milked
but rather the build-
ing in which the milk
is cooled and kept.
The farm machinery will be housed in a machine shed when not
in use, unless the farmer is careless.
A well-organized farmstead — house, garage, windmill, machine
shed, corn crib, and barn.
You cannot always identify a farm building by any one character-
istic. The buildings vary tremendously in size, shape, color, and the ma-
terials of which they are constructed. The above illustration will give you
a general idea of the common farm buildings, but you will of course have
to become personally acquainted with the buildings on the farm where
In addition to the small tools and the buildings pictured, there are
numerous other items of equipment on many farms. Some of the more
common of them, such as stanchions, cream separator, milking machine,
self-feeder, and individual hog houses, are shown in earlier pictures.
During your stay on the farm you will be expected to use or operate
a number of these pieces of equipment. Some of them are extremely
simple ; others are somewhat complicated. The general suggestions given
for the use of small tools apply here — make it a rule to follow instructions
or to ask for information when in doubt.
Your Opportunities and Responsibilities
While recognizing the opportunities that use of the tools, equipment,
and buildings of a farm offer you for developing a variety of manipulative
skills and practical, specialized knowledge, do not overlook the responsi-
bilities that you must accept with them.
Take care of the tools and equipment you use; they are especially
precious items now, when many of them would be very difficult to replace.
Breakage may cause serious delays, loss of time, and reduced production.
When you use a new tool or piece of equipment try to find our for what
it is used, hoiv it is used, and ivhy it is used in that manner. It is essen-
tial that you learn the what and hoiv. Learning ivhij clarifies the ivhat
and hoiv so much that you, as a conscientious worker, should never pass
up the opportunity to add this to your knowledge. Of course you can find
out a great deal for yourself through experience but experience is often a
slow teacher. Supplement and add to your experience by looking to your
employer or fellow workmen for advice and supervision, and don't be
afraid to ask for that assistance. You should not be ashamed because
you do not know certain things; you should be ashamed only if you do
not learn them when you have the opportunity.
The final step in seed
bed preparation. This
five-section harrow is
leaving the land in good
condition for planting.
Operating Farm Machinery-
Kinds of Farm Machinery
In the previous unit, farm buildings, small tools, and equipment were
discussed. In defining farm machinery and farm equipment, it is difficult
to draw a distinct dividing line between the two. However, for the most
part, the large items of machinery which are used in field operations are
included under farm machinery.
Since World War I agriculture has become highly mechanized ; in fact
so much so that many farmers keep no horses but rely solely on mechanical
power. If you perform any of the field operations, you will probably be
handling some of the farm machinery.
Wheat is being drilled here with a tractor drill. Note the straight
marker track by which the farmer is steering the tractor.
A large area of soybeans (drilled solid) can be cultivated in one
day with three rotary hoes and a tractor.
Farm machines vary from the most elementary types to some that
are extremely complicated, such as combines and com pickers. Many of
these machines represent large investments. Many of them can be seri-
ously damaged by improper care and handling. Many require skilled and
experienced operators. The operation of others is relatively simple and
can be mastered in a short time. Most farm machines must be properly
adjusted if they are to operate effectively.
You can learn to care for and operate these machines only by ex-
perience. If you have some mechanical ability and experience, it will prove
valuable. Reading about machines will not qualify you to operate them,
but it will enable you to identify them and to know the purposes for which
they are used. You will recall that in the unit on crop production, crop
operations were grouped into four categories : seedbed preparation, plant-
ing, cultivating, and harvesting. While farm machinery is not classified
A horse-drawn cultivator is used on some farms for cultivating corn. This is a
two-row machine, but you may get your start on a one-row outfit.
r ■■ I
Cutting wheat with a combine saves a lot of labor. The combine
replaces both the binder and the threshing machine. The grain
is collected in the tank, to be dumped into a wagon or a truck,
and the straw falls on the ground.
on just that same basis, it is well to keep this use classification in mind
when studying the machinery pictures.
Farm Machinery and Wartime Production
Mechanization of Illinois farms has greatly reduced their need for
man labor. Since manpower may eventually determine the outcome of
the war, you can readily appreciate the importance of mechanical equip-
ment in maintaining agricultural production.
Nevertheless, farm machines are being rationed. Only 20 percent
as much new machinery as farmers purchased in 1941 will be available to
them in 1943. A farmer must obtain a permit from his rationing board
before he can buy certain new machines. It may be somewhat difficult
to obtain repair parts. This makes it extremely important for every
farmer to take the very best possible care of all his machinery.
The field silage-cutter, shown below, delivers the chopped corn
into the wagon. This is much easier than loading bundles onto
wagons and hauling them to a stationary cutter.
Scooping oats on the sunny side of
the barn will warm you up. You
may also get a blistered back if you
leave your shirt off too long at one
time before you get a good tan.
Now just what are your responsibilities if you are asked to operate
1. Be sure the machine is properly adjusted; get the farmer to help
you in adjusting it.
2. Do not attempt to learn by experimenting with the machine. You
risk serious injury to yourself and damage to the machine if you
make a mistake.
3. Obtain complete instructions concerning the operation of the
machine. If you want to learn, ask questions, and do not hesi-
tate to request that someone supervise your work until you are
confident you can perform it yourself. It is much safer to expose
your lack of knowledge than to hide it and make a costly error.
4. Always observe all precautions and safety rules in operating farm
Here is a chance for you to get some valuable mechanical experience.
Make the most of this opportunity, but keep in mind that first and fore-
most your job is to help the farmer produce food and feed. Everything
you do must help him in that effort.
A grain elevator will put the oats
in the granary as fast as two men
can scoop. This farmer won't be
too tired to enjoy his dinner.
Special Types of Work and
Odd Jobs on the Farm
Fruit, Vegetables, and Canning Crops
The discussion thus far has assumed that you will live and work on
either grain or livestock farms since farms of this type make up a large
part of the agricultural industry in the Middle West. There are, how-
ever, in Illinois and in adjacent states, a considerable number of special-
ized fruit and vegetable farms and there are other types of farm work
at which you may find employment during the summer months.
Commercial Vegetable Farms
Commercial vegetable production is an important industry near most
large cities, and there will be an opportunity for many boys to find summer
work on "truck farms" near Chicago, Peoria, Quincy, Rockford, East St.
Louis, and other cities. In comparison with grain and livestock farms,
vegetable farms are relatively small. Since much of the weeding, harvest-
ing, and preparation of crops for market is hand work, a tract as small as
30 acres may furnish enough work for several persons during the summer
Many farmers who live near cities transport workers to their farms
by truck each morning. They pick them up at a point that can be con-
veniently reached by streetcar or bus from the city, and return them to
this place when the day's work is finished. This enables the workers to
live at home. Other vegetable farmers furnish room and board to their
summer help. If there are a great many workers, the sleeping quarters
may be bunk houses of various kinds or even temporary facilities in store
houses or barn lofts.
This crew is pulling tomato plants which will be reset for commercial production. This is a good
job for city boys.
These boys and girls are
being trained to pick toma-
toes. They will learn how to
tell when the fruit is ripe,
and will be shown how to
pick without injuring either
the fruit or the vines.
In some respects it will be easier to learn to work on a vegetable
farm than on a general farm since there will be fewer operations to
master and several persons may work in one crew under the supervision
of the farmer or an experienced hand.
Know Your Vegetables
About fifty different kinds of vegetables are grown in Illinois — some-
times as many as twenty varieties on one farm. Learn to recognize all
the more important vegetables before going to work on a vegetable farm.
Pictures in seed catalogs will be helpful. If you visit a large market
where vegetables are received from southern localities early in the season,
you will be able to see the different vegetables themselves. Not only should
you be able to recognize the mature vegetables — those that are ready
for market — but you should also learn what the plants look like when
they are just young seedlings. This should help you avoid pulling up
vegetable plants along with the weeds when you are detailed to do hand
weeding. You may refer to botany text books for pictures of many vege-
table seedlings, or you may plant varieties of vegetable seeds in a shallow
box of soil at the school house, and study the resulting seedlings.
Nature of the Work
On vegetable farms where many kinds of vegetable crops are grown,
the summer work includes: (1) preparation of the seedbed, (2) planting.
Hand-hoeing is one of the odd jobs you will probably do in
connection with garden work.
Tall ladders are needed
to pick apples from trees
of this type, and only
strong boys can move
them about for efficient
(3) cultivation and other care of crops, such as weeding, and spraying
for control of insects and plant diseases, (4) harvesting, and (5) prepara-
tion of vegetables for market, which includes grading, bunching, wash-
ing, and packing.
The soil is prepared with the same kinds of tools used for grain crops,
with the addition of a meeker harrow, or a "float," which puts the finish-
ing touches to the seedbed. Planting is done principally with single-row
garden seed-drills pushed by hand, or with multiple drills drawn by garden
tractors. You may be asked to operate either type of machine. Cultivat-
ing, too, is done by hand-pushed or tractor garden cultivators. Hand
weeding of such crops as onions, beets, carrots, and parsnips is a job
you are likely to encounter on any vegetable farm. Spraying of potatoes,
cabbage, cucumbers, etc., for the control of insect and disease enemies
is usually accomplished with power sprayers drawn by horses or tractors.
Preparation of the spray materials is a very responsible job.
Vegetable crops must be harvested at just the right stage of maturity
in order to meet the market requirements. They must be graded, bunched,
and packed for market with great care. To do a good job, you will have
to follow your employer's instructions very carefully.
Commercial Fruit Farms
On fruit farms, a large amount of extra help is needed for harvest-
ing the crop. The harvest season on a fruit farm producing only one or
two kinds of fruit may be of short duration (two or three weeks) whereas
on farms producing a wide variety of fruit it may last all summer. Facil-
ities for camping in cabins or tents are provided on some farms where
large numbers of fruit pickers are needed for a short time.
Berry-picking does not require much muscle, but is a tedious job
and requires care and perseverance. Since it is usually paid for as piece
work, an industrious and experienced worker can make very good wages
at it. Apple picking, on the other hand, runs into real work before the
day is over. It requires the handling of long ladders if the trees are
large, and the sacks filled with fruit get heavy to hold. Picking cherries
has its advantages over the other fruit jobs. The trees are smaller than
apple trees, step ladders are used, and the picking receptacles are not
heavy to handle.
There are many farms on which a large acreage of one kind of vege-
table may be grown for commercial canning. The harvesting of some
of these cannery crops requires a great amount of labor. Asparagus farms
need many extra hands to help cut the plants. If the weather is warm, an
entire field must be gone over daily for cutting as asparagus shoots grow
very fast, and a shoot that is "just right" today may be worthless
tomorrow. The asparagus harvest lasts about two months, but begins before
school is out. Cutting begins early in the morning and ought to be com-
pleted before noon each day. In some localities your school schedule may
be arranged so that some of you can be released for this morning work,
Peas, sweet corn, and tomatoes are other cannery crops of impor-
tance in Illinois.
The early peas are harvested just about the time that school is out,
and are followed by the harvesting of the later varieties, and then by corn.
The harvesting of corn from various plantings of different varieties con-
tinues for about six weeks.
The peas are cut, vines and all, by the same mowing machine used
in harvesting hay. On some farms, special loading machines are used
for getting the pea vines onto the wagon racks. These racks haul them
to the "viner," which hulls out the peas and screens them into different
sizes ready for canning. On other farms, the heavy, green pea vines have
to be pitched onto the wagon-racks with pitch forks. This, as well as
pitching vines from the rack to feed the "viner," is heavy work.
The sweet corn is "snapped" from the stalks and thrown into a wagon
with the husks left on.
Tomato picking for the canning factory comes for the most part
after the corn-canning season is about over. Special care must be taken
to pick the tomatoes at the right stage of maturity in order to make a
high-grade canned product. Repeated pickings are required; the field
must be gone over and over as long as the canning season lasts, or until
the vines are killed by frost. Lugging picking baskets of tomatoes across
the field in gathering the crop is a real man-sized job.
Living Conditions on Specialized Farms
Living conditions for workers on fruit and vegetable farms differ
from those on general farms where the worker lives with the farm family.
On the specialized farms, several workers will probably be employed for
the rush period and they will work in crews, sleep in bunk houses, and
eat in a mess hall. Boys who choose this type of work must expect to
do without many conveniences of the home and to come in contact with
all sorts of persons since these crews are recruited from far and wide.
You will be working with some who make a regular business of helping
in fruit and vegetable harvesting — they start in the south in the spring
and work up north as the season progresses. You should keep these facts
in mind when deciding whether to work on a specialized farm or on a
Odd Jobs You May Be Asked to Do
Many Kinds of Odd Jobs on General Farms
It was called to your attention earlier that all farmers have a wide
variety of jobs to do. The dairy farmer is more than just a producer of
milk — he grows large quantities of feeds for his herd ; in this connection,
he operates machinery that requires him to be a mechanic of some ability ;
in maintaining the farmstead, including the house, he must be a care-
taker, a gardener, and a carpenter.
This wide variety of functions creates for a farmer a multitude of
miscellaneous or odd jobs. Farmers refer to many of these tasks as
"rainy-day" jobs, because they can be put off until weather conditions
prevent field work. During the war, while farmers are short of labor and
are trying to increase production, some of these tasks will be delayed or
dispensed with in favor of more important operations. There are many
other odd jobs, however, that must be done regularly.
Odd Jobs About the Farmstead
Garden work. Most farmers grow some of the vegetables which they
consume. Gas rationing and food shortages may emphasize the impor-
tance of the farm garden in 1943. Garden work often involves a large
amount of hand labor, and on many farms, planting, hoeing, and harvest-
ing are all done by hand. Some farms have the gardens or truck patches
so arranged that some of the work can be performed with mechanical
equipment. Regardless of the farm you are on, don't be surprised if you
are asked to work in the garden.
Care of the lawn. The farm is a home as well as place of business.
If the farmer and his family are to enjoy life, they should have an attrac-
tive and comfortable dwelling place. The grass must be mowed, weeds
must be kept down, and flowers and shrubs must be cared for. Most of
the work in the garden and about the house will not require severe phys-
ical exertion. It will, however, require persistence and endurance, and is
often tiring since you must work in a stooped or kneeling position. These
jobs will add variety to the work on the farm, and most of them can be
mastered in a short period of time.
Miscellaneous jobs. It would be impossible to name all the odd jobs
which you may be asked to do. They vary widely from farm to farm.
Dairy farmers may give the barns a thorough cleaning and whitewashing
once or twice a year; other farm buildings may be cleaned at regular or
irregular intervals. Livestock feeders haul all manure out of the feed-
lot at various periods. Numerous odd jobs of carpenter work and machin-
ery repair will have to be performed from time to time, and emergency
situations may call for you to perform a variety of other tasks.
Odd Jobs About the Farm
Cutting weeds. Farmers perennially wage a struggle against weeds.
Weeds compete with farm crops for the plant food and moisture in the
soil, and if the weeds are not destroyed, crop yields are reduced. Some
weeds account for much human discomfort and suffering as their pollen
causes hay fever. It is highly important for the farmer to keep these
wild plants in check.
Numerous methods are used for controlling weeds. The importance
of cultivation for that purpose was discussed earlier. Cultivation, how-
ever, is not a complete control measure, so the farmer must often resort
to pulling or cutting the weeds. This job must be done in the hottest
summer weather, and it is hard work requiring a large amount of hand
labor. ^Veeds growing along the road or in fence rows may need to be
cut by hand with a scythe.
Frequently it is necessary to go through small-grain or soybean fields
and pull out weeds. Small-grain crops are not cultivated, and if weeds
infest the fields, cutting or pulling by hand may be the only alternative
methods of control.
Even in the case of corn, cultivation is not one hundred percent effec-
tive. Very often certain noxious weeds must be cut or pulled out of the
corn after the last cultivation. This job is usually performed in August,
and at that time the sun is hot and the corn is tall. There is very little
breeze ih a cornfield. The corn leaves are sharp and may irritate the
skin. The work is not severe physically, but it may be uncomfortable for
Building and repairing fence. On any farm where livestock is kept,
it is highly important to have good, strong fences. Many farmers use
temporary fences which must be moved each year or so. Some of the
fences are permanent and must be repaired regularly. You may be asked
to help dig post holes, set posts, stretch wire, fasten wire to posts, and
do general fence repair work. Some of these jobs require hard physical
exertion while others are relatively simple.
You will undoubtedly need some supervision when you first start out
on these jobs. There is danger of injury in working with fencing tools
and equipment, especially in connection with barbed wire.
Odd Jobs Essential to Farm Success
It is very likely that a farmer may call on you to help with a number
of the jobs we have mentioned. While some of these may become monoto-
nous and try your patience, remember that many of them are just as essen-
tial to the farmer's success as are the major assignments in caring for
livestock and producing crops. Some farmers may feel that you can do
these jobs with little supervision and thus relieve the experienced workers
for the more skilled jobs.
Be prepared to help out with a number of these so-called "odd jobs."
Do them with the same efficiency and willingness that you carry to the
We Can't Afford Accidents
In any type of work there are certain dangers. In this emergency
our country cannot afford to lose the services of large numbers of people
by death or injury from accidents — the contribution of each and every
individual to our total manpower resources is too important.
Because of scarcity of materials for replacement and the impossibility
of buying new machines and equipment, special care must also be taken
to protect every essential article against damage. Everyone should feel
a personal obligation to take extra good care of all machinery and equip-
ment, both when it is in actual use and when it is idle.
Also keep in mind that any loss of livestock due to accident, injuries,
or sickness will cut down production. Many casualties on the farm wou-ld
not occur if various protective measures and services were as available to
farmers as they are to city people.
There Are Many Farm Hazards
The great need for precautions on the farm can be illustrated by the
"Farmers use a surprisingly large number of tools having cutting
edges and high-speed shafting and belting, and many of these are poorly
protected or guarded against contact with one's person. Complete pro-
tection is virtually impossible.
"Farmers are often far removed from any source of medical assistance,
and considerable time is required to reach a hospital when necessary.
Doctors are becoming less common in small rural communities, for they
are establishing themselves in the larger centers where they can serve
1 Quotations and all data presented in this section are from "The Prevention of Accidents on Farms and in
Homes," Bureau of Agricultural Economics, U. S. Department of Agriculture.
This man stands a good chance of being
jerked into the pulley and killed. Don't climb
through or over running belts.
If this man should sUp, that running belt
might jerk his arm into the pulley and injure
him. Never reach through or take hold of
a greater number of people. Less than a third of the injured farm people
included in a study made in central New York State received help during
the first hour following their accidents, and hardly two-thirds were cared
for within six hours.
"Half of the accidents to farmers occurred in the barn and barnyard —
real danger spots.
"Farmers sustain accidents most often to the upper part of the body.
"Farmers suffer from infection of wounds and need a standard anti-
septic on hand at all times."
There are dangers and hazards associated with all types of work,
and farming is, of course, no exception. Thousands of people are killed
every year in traffic accidents, but this does not deter us from traveling —
it should merely make us more careful. So with farming, we need not
fear accidents — we simply should be very careful to prevent them.
Types of Farm Accidents
By becoming familiar with most common types of farm accidents, it
is possible for us to get a somewhat clearer
picture of the precautions which need to be
followed. You will recall that throughout
the material presented to you and in the
discussions of individual topics, the impor-
tance of carefulness and safety precautions
have been emphasized. This has been done
intentionally. Farmers will not tolerate
workers who are deliberately neglectful and
careless in regard to protecting life and
Always speak to a horse or mule to let him know that
you are there before walking into his stall. Otherwise,
his natural reaction may be to kick in surprise when
you touch him.
Many accidents occur when people carelessly
reach over fly wheels to oil or adjust running
machines. Don't take chances like the man
in this picture!
The causes of 627 farm-labor claims under workmen's compensation
during the years 1935 and 1936 were distributed as follows:
Cause of injury Percent of injuries
Falls (all kinds) 26.5
Farm machinery 11.8
Struck by objects 12.4
Cuts and bruises 5.6
Diseases and infection 2.7
Injuries caused by falls, animals, machinery, and being struck by
objects are evidently the most common. To insure safety, do your work
as the farmer instructs and use a reasonable amount of care.
This fellow is in a dangerous spot. Lone trees
seem to attract lightning more than do trees
in a forest. He would be much safer out in
the middle of the field, and it is much better
to be wet than dead.
Here's a man who uses good sense. He
doesn't let this bull's gentle appearance de-
ceive him, but leads it with a strong staff.
Accidents in the Home
The home is the place of a great many injuries and accidents. In 1940
the death rate per 100,000 holders of insurance poHcies was for motor
vehicle accidents, 18.1; for home accidents, 11.7; and for occupational acci-
dents, 6.2. Thus fatal accidents in the home ran a close second to fatal
motor vehicle accidents.
In Minnesota during the first six months of 1940 accidents were respon-
sible for 849 deaths, 40 percent of which were caused by home accidents.
Since the home is the scene of so many accidents, it behooves us to be
careful at all times, whether working about the farm or in the farm home.
Play safe ! Do not suffer injury because of a lack of knowledge or through
carelessness. Learn good safety precautions and practice them daily.
Danger of Fires
Fire is a great danger on any farm. Many farms have no fire-fighting
equipment or facilities available. Others, which are in an organized fire
district, are so far from town that a fire may gain great headway before
the fire truck arrives. Furthermore, most farms do not have a big enough
This farmer may start a costly fire and be
severely burned himself. A lantern should be
hung away from hay or straw, and in a place
where cows or horses can't turn it over.
Always stay on the tractor while it is moving
Climbing back from a moving tractor to
adjust something is flirting with death.
water supply to fight or control a large fire. Once the blaze gains a good
start, the most that can usually be hoped for is that it can be kept from
spreading to other buildings.
Many of the articles stored in farm buildings, and often the buildings
themselves, are constructed of very inflammable materials. Hay and straw
stored in the barn burn rapidly and fiercely once they are ignited. Most
of the buildings are constructed of wood which is the most combustible
of all building materials.
Now that some of the dangers, losses, and hazards that exist or
occur on farms have been pointed out, let us summarize some of the pre-
cautions which we as individuals can and should observe:
1. Falls are one of the most common causes of injuries. When work-
ing where there is possibility of a fall, work and act slowly, care-
fully, and cautiously. If you are trusting some structure to hold
you, Tnake sure it is strong enough to support your weight and
be sure of your footing.
2. In using tools, beware of sharp edges, make sure the tool is in
good operating condition, and use the tool only for what it is
3. In operating machinery be sure each machine is properly adjusted
and in good operating condition. Never attempt to adjust or
repair a machine that is in operation. Keep your hands and your
clothing away from moving parts. Follow instructions. Never
take unnecessary chances.
When unhitching a team be sure both horses are
unhitched before leading them away. Leaving one
tug hitched to the wagon can start a wreck. Have
a regular system for unhitching the team.
There's trouble ahead for this man. The mower is
in gear with horses hitched to it, and he is down in
front of the mowing machine knives.
4. When working around farm animals of any kind, be extremely
cautious until they become accustomed to you. Almost any of
them may be dangerous to strangers. Leave the care of all male
animals to the farmer, for the male of any species is likely to be
dangerous. Livestock, particularly bulls, are the cause of many
injuries and deaths.
5. Fire is a great hazard on all farms. NEVER SMOKE IN OR
AROUND ANY FARM BUILDING. Be careful with lamps and
lanterns. And don't carry loose matches or strike them to see
your way around in the dark.
Most of these and other safety precautions you already know. So
have other people known them who have caused thousands of fatal acci-
dents — they thought the accident wouldn't happen to theyn, but it did.
So GOOD JUDGMENT and the good sense NOT TO TAKE CHANCES
are absolutely necessary in the prevention of accidents.
The principal difference between farm dangers and hazards and
those of industry is that there are not so many remedial and corrective
measures available to farmers. PREVENTION is therefore more than
ever important for them. Know what you should do and how to do it
before vou start.
A Day on a Farm
Farm Life Is More Than Just Work
Getting used to the change from city life, living with the farm family,
and taking part in rural community affairs are all as much a part of farm
life as the work to be done.
Let us look in on what might have been a typical day for a city high
school boy who spent last summer helping out on a farm.
The sun isn't up yet, but Paul and the other men are up and are
doing the morning chores — milking, feeding the livestock, and getting
the horses and tractor ready.
Paul wanted to make sure that he was dressed on time and ready to
leave with the other men, so after the first day he sent back home for
his alarm clock. The old roosters on the farm still hadn't learned that
this was a war-time emergency and farm people were getting up before
daybreak! Right after chores, and just about the time the lazy old
roosters are beginning to crow lustily and announce the dawn, Paul and
the other men are already on their way back to the house to wash up for
The big stacks of flapjacks and the steaming plates of bacon and eggs
find Paul with a bigger appetite for breakfast than he had ever had in
Boys and girls who work on general farms will share the living room with the
A shady lawn is a swell place to rest during the noon hour on a summer day.
the city. Eight hours of sleep and a half hour or more of work in the
morning air has certainly done something.
Before leaving for work in the field, Paul makes his bed and puts his
room in order. He wasn't used to doing this at home but it didn't take
him long to see that farm women have many more tasks to worry about
than his mother had in the city. Realizing this, he makes it a point to
wipe his shoes before coming into the house, so as not to track up the
He feels fine on the way to the field, for this is one of the nicest parts
of the day. The sun has begun to rise and is spreading its colors across
the sky, and he has a good breakfast under his belt.
Out in the field Paul gets further instructions about what he is to
do. He listens carefully before carrying them out. He doesn't hesitate
to ask questions, so he can be absolutely sure that he will do what is
expected of him. He has learned, too, that he can get the hang of a lot
of things by watching others and then doing them in the same way.
The second day he was on the farm, Paul had a good lesson about
farm animals. He tried to milk one of the cows from the left side. The
cow, however, had other ideas — she put her foot in the bucket and kicked
Paul into the gutter. Mr. Brown, the farmer, explained that all cows are
trained to be milked from the right side and that most of them resent any
departure from this custom.
It was clear to Paul after this that he wouldn't stay on a farm long
if he kept trying what he thought were "better ways." Those sore spots
reminded him that he had better ask before trying out any new ideas.
There usually were good reasons why Mr. Brown was using the methods
From after sunup 'til close to noon, there is work to do with the men
in the field. The sun is hot, and the work is heavy. Boy, does he sweat!
This is real work! To avoid blisters, he has provided himself with work
gloves to wear when pitching hay, scooping corn, or doing similar jobs.
He also wears a wide-brimmed straw hat to protect his face and eyes from
the blistering sun.
By dinner time the work in the field has left him dirty so he washes
his face and hands in the basin outside the kitchen door and combs his
hair. Since the other men will use the same basin, he uses plenty of soap
and water to leave it clean for the next fellow.
Most farm families put all the food in large dishes on the table and
then everybody "helps himself". So Paul takes normal portions of every-
thing passed to him. There are corn bread muffins for dinner this noon.
These happen to be something new to him. His mother didn't make them
and he isn't quite sure whether he will like them. However, he knows it is
courteous to eat whatever is put before him, so he tries one of them.
Yum, are they good ! ! He asks for more and decides he will try every-
thing once. His appreciation certainly pleases Mrs. Brown who prides
herself on her good cooking.
Before he came to the country Paul was told not to leave any food
on his plate when he finished eating, as farm folks consider this wasteful.
He smiles as he thinks of this now. It doesn't look as though he would
have any trouble on that score — plenty of exercise, fresh air, and sun-
shine can make a fellow feel like a hungry bear.
Paul and the farmer's son Ed, a boy a few years younger than Paul
and whose room Paul shares, have a lot to talk about at lunch. They listen
to the older men, too. Paul enters into the conversation occasionally but
is careful not to make a nuisance of himself by talking too much or by
asking questions about things which are none of his concern.
After dinner the men rest for a short while before going out to their
Paul's work is different this afternoon. Mrs. Brown asks him to help
her cultivate the garden. She leads the horse while Paul guides the
cultivator, and later both use hoes to cut the weeds that grow in the rows
Most farm families find
some time for play, and
they usually have facil-
ities available in their
and were missed by the cultivator. Later in the afternoon he cleans out
the poultry house, and fills the self-feeder and waterer for the hens.
When the other men come in from the field he helps with the milking.
By 7 o'clock he has finished his work and he and Ed wash up and go
into the house to read the paper before supper.
Paul is really doing a good job as a farm helper. Much of his success
is due to his ability to fit into the life here as he finds it. He has been
courteous and good natured. He has accepted country customs without
criticism and has joined in the family life and games wholeheartedly. He
has been considerate enough not to take privileges away from others,
such as sitting in the only easy chair or monopolizing the evening paper
or radio programs. He finds that he not only likes the men he works with
but that he enjoys living with these people.
Since it happens to be Friday evening, the family decide to go to a
movie and ask Paul if he wouldn't like to go too. He thanks them and
says he would like to ride in with them, but since he has already made
plans to go to a monthly meeting of a rural youth group with a high-
school friend of his who works at a nearby farm, he makes an appoint-
ment to meet them when they are ready to start home. The boys have
an unexpectedly good time at the meeting and Paul has much to talk about
with the Browns on the way home.
They are all back at the farmhouse close to 10 o'clock, and by this
time good and ready for bed. This is an hour later than usual for Paul,
for he has usually been glad to "call it a day" at 9 o'clock. Eight good
full hours of sleep are not too much if a fellow is to stand up to his next
day's work. It hasn't been hard, since the first day or two, to leave those
late city hours behind.
"Shucks," he mutters as he goes off to sleep, "it sure will take that
old alarm clock to get me out of here in the morning."
Your Summer on the Farm
Living and working with farmers next summer will be an experience
for you and will lead to a broader understanding and appreciation of the
farmer and his family, their life and problems. Since about 26 million
people in our country live on farms, it is decidedly worth while to know
them in this way.
Join in the family social life when you are invited, and also take part
in the community activities. You will probably have an opportunity to
attend the church of your choice if there is one in the community or you
may wish to go to the one attended by the farmer and his family.
There will likely be a 4-H club or a chapter of Future Farmers of
America in the neighborhood and when you are invited to attend their
meetings do so as you will find them both interesting and instructive.
The 4-H clubs have a project known as the "Victory Service Project"
which is especially designed for boys from the city who are working on
farms during the summer months. You can therefore become a regularly
enrolled 4H member if you desire. You will discover that farm boys and
girls take some time from work for baseball, swimming, or other outdoor
sports, and you will be expected to join in these activities.
Before taking a job on a farm, have a thorough physical examina-
tion ; be sure that you are fit and have no contagious disease.
Break into the work gradually, and do not overwork the first day. It
will probably take you all of two weeks to get used to farm work. Your
muscles will be stiff at first, especially during the first three days.
If you have lived in the city most of your life, you may find that a
summer spent on a farm is a welcome change from city life. There may
be times when your patience will be tried and your pride may be hurt, but
you should be able to master your feelings. You will enjoy the large
expanse of countryside, the fresh air, a new experience, and will have the
satisfaction that comes with having done a real day's work, day in and day
out. Farm work will develop your muscles, prepare you for athletic activ-
ities, and thus help build the kind of a body you will need for the rest
of your life. Finally, your contribution to our war effort will be truly
The farm family starts out for church on Sunday morning. If you work
on a farm during the vacation period you will probably have a chance to
attend church if you wish.
The publishers wish to express their appreciation
to the following for use of the pictures in this
University of Illinois, College of Agriculture,
J. C. Allen and Son,
West LaFayette, Indiana
International Harvester Company,
John Deere Implement Company,
J. I. Case Company,
Caterpillar Tractor Company,
This material was prepared in the College of Agriculture. University
of Illinois, at the request of the State Farm Labor Subcommittee, by a
committee appointed by the Director of the Extension Service in
Agriculture and Home Economics of the University of Illinois and
designated to study farm labor problems for the Illinois State Council
Why City Boys and Girls Are Needed on Farms in 1943 6
Your Part in the War Effort 6
Agriculture — A National Industry 6
Agriculture — An Essential War Industry 6
The Farm Labor Situation 7
A Challenge to the City Youth of America 7
1. Work, Wages, and Living Conditions 8
The Nature of Farm Work 8
Wages and Living Conditions 10
There's a Place for the Girls, Too 10
A Contribution to War Effort and Personal Development 11
2. Preparing and Planning for Farm Work 12
Start Making Plans Now 12
Personal Preparation — Physical and Mental 13
Learn by Visiting 13
Placement Plans 14
3. Dairy Cattle — Responsibilities for Feeding and Milking Them .... 15
Cows Are Sensitive Animals 15
Terms You Need to Know 16
Care of a Dairy Herd 17
High Production Is Your Challenge 20
4. Livestock — Care and Handling of Horses, Swine, Sheep, Poultry,
and Beef Cattle 21
Think of Animals as Friends 21
Caring for and Handling Horses 21
Feeding and Care of Swine 22
Feeding and Caring for Sheep 25
Caring for the Poultry 26
Caring for Beef Cattle 28
5. Crop Production — Your Responsibilities 29
Crop Production Is Basic to All Agriculture 29
Crops Raised on the Farm 29
Your Jobs in Crop Production 31
6. Farm Equipment and Buildings 36
Learn to Identify 36
Small Tools 37
Buildings and Equipment 38
Miscellaneous Equipment 39
Your Opportunities and Responsibilities 39
7. Operating Farm Machinery — Your Responsibilities 40
Kinds of Farm Machinery 40
Farm Machinery and Wartime Production 42
8. Special Types of Work and Odd Jobs on the Farm 44
Fruit, Vegetables and Canning Crops 44
Commercial Vegetable Farms 44
Know Your Vegetables 45
Nature of the Work 45
Commercial Fruit Farms 46
Cannery Crops 47
Living Conditions on Specialized Farms 47
Odd Jobs You May Be Asked to do 48
Many Kinds of Odd Jobs on. General Farms 48
Odd Jobs About the Farmstead 48
Odd Jobs About the Farm 49
Odd Jobs Essential to Farm Success 49
9. Safety Measures 50
We Can't Afford Accidents 50
There Are Many Farm Hazards 50
Types of Farm Accidents 51
Accidents in the Home 53
Danger of Fires 53
Safety Precautions 54
10. A Day on a Farm 56
Farm Life Is More Than Just Work 56
Your Summer on the Farm 59
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To the High School "T^oys
and (jirls of Illinois
(f^j%:l APOLEON is credited with the statement
^y ^L/ that "An army marches on its stomach."
All fighting men recognize the truth of this statement.
It is not hard to understand, either, why a nation that
has food to offer the hungry people of the world will
be able to influence the direction which peace will
Secretary Wickard has marshalled these thoughts
into one sentence: FOOD WILL WIN THE WAR
AND WRITE THE PEACE.
If it is true that food may be the most critical factor
in winning the war and in establishing a just and last-
ing peace when it is over, it is just as true that lack
of it can help to lose the war and postpone indefi-
nitely our obtaining the kind of peace we, as free
Americans, can tolerate. That is why farm service in
1943 by those below military age will mean real
service to our country and the cause we fight for.
Dean, College of Agriculture,
University of Illinois ; Chairman
Committee on Agricultural Resources
and Production, Illinois State Council
Major General; Executive Director,
Illinois State Council of Defense