A Successful Farmer
Offers Views and Suggestions on Various Timely Topics.

Richfield, Utah, Feb. 6, 1894.
Editor Deseret News:

I have been a reader of the News for many years, and I am pleased to say I like the spirit of it today as well as I ever did. In reading the discourse delivered by Apostle Moses Thatcher published in a late number of the News, it caused me to think and reflect upon our situation and circumstances as a people—that it takes the resources of one of our best counties to pay the interest on our indebtedness as a people. And will it stop there? No, it will continue to grow unless we change our tactics. On that subject I would like to give you a few of my ideas and a little of my experience.

For the past forty years I have farmed extensively in Utah Territory and have raised abundant crops of grain, and the Lord has blessed me in all that pertains to material wealth. Yet I have never found it so hard to meet my obligations as it is at present. Now, I would suggest a remedy. Our agricultural implements, the way and manner we get them, and the way we use them when we have got them—that’s the way the money goes, and we all know it. We buy many machines that are not he best in the market, that are not suitable for us.

Let us have the University, Agricultural College and Experimental station located on the Camp Douglas reservation. That is central for the Territory and their experiments would be valuable to us. President Cleveland has wisely recommended that all the seeds sent from the agricultural department be tested there. Why not have all our agricultural machinery and implements tested there, the faculty of the College and the board of directors of our farmers union be the judges. We can see that organization and centralization is the spirit of the times. As farmers, let us be up with the spirit of the times. Sevier county is leading out in the matter.

At a recent meeting it was suggested that mass meetings be held in all the settlements of the county, to choose delegates to a county convention to be held in Richfield, to work up a sugar plant. We have sent in a petition to the Legislature. At our meeting last Saturday it was decided to have a permanent county organization, to be called the Sevier county branch of the Farmer’s union. We would respectfully invite all of our sister counties to do the same. Then let each county send a delegate to a state convention and let them proceed to organize a farmer’s union that will redeem us from debt and bondage. We will have no salaried officers. We will labor as we do in the missionary field, for it certainly is a mission and a great one. We will build up and sustain home industry. As farmers we have furnished the bone and muscle to make the country what it is and with the help of the Lord we can furnish the brains too. If you wish, I would like to ventilate the subject a little more and have abler minds and pens than mine take hold of it.

John Gardner

[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Feb. 6 1894, 7]
[Deseret News, Feb. 9. 1894]

[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Apr. 2006]


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