Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.
Text transcribed by
Apex Data Services, Inc.
Images scanned by Matthew Kern
Text encoded by Apex Data Services, Inc., Andrew Leiter, and Melissa Meeks
First edition, 2002
Academic Affairs Library, UNC-CH
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,
(title page) Some Results of Fair Work in North Carolina
S. G. Rubinow
Extension circular 94.
North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service
Call number Cp630.78 R89so (North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-CH digitization project, Documenting the American South.
The text has been entered using double-keying and verified against the original.
The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar, punctuation, and spelling have been preserved. Encountered typographical errors have been preserved, and appear in red type.
Any hyphens occurring in line breaks have been removed, and the trailing part of a word has been joined to the preceding line.
All quotation marks, em dashes and ampersand have been transcribed as entity references.
All double right and left quotation marks are encoded as " and " respectively.
All single right and left quotation marks are encoded as ' and ' respectively.
All em dashes are encoded as --
Indentation in lines has not been preserved.
Running titles have not been preserved.
Spell-check and verification made against printed text using Author/Editor (SoftQuad) and Microsoft Word spell check programs.
LC Subject Headings:
[Title Page Image]
CHART A. SHOWING DISTRIBUTION OF FAIRS BY COUNTIES
By S. G. RUBINOW
Assistant to Director and Chairman of Fair Committee
From time to time various statements have appeared in the newspapers and journals of the State, describing some of the results of the coöperative fair work, which is now being conducted in its fifth year by the fairs of the State in coöperation with the State Department of Agriculture, the State College of Agriculture and Engineering, the Agricultural Extension Service, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and the United States Department of Agriculture. Formal reports, showing the progress for each year have also appeared, but no resumé of the work, in a single popular publication, suitable for the people who are interested and who are conducting the work, has ever been prepared and distributed.
It is for the purpose of bringing before the Fair Secretaries, the County Farm and Home Demonstration Agents, and the people whom these officials serve, a popular summary of some of the results of this fair work in the State, that this circular has been prepared, with the hope and expectation that it will stimulate and arouse even more interest in this phase of extension work. Agricultural extension work, like every other type of educational effort, changes its methods to suit conditions. Just at this time fair work is a very popular project in extension work and will probably continue to be for a number of years. That it has not reached the crest or climax of its popularity is evidenced by the fact that the fairs are growing in number, each year seeing more and more organized. While new fairs are appearing on the map of the State the older organizations are continuing intact, and are improving their displays, exhibits and their methods of management. To both new and old fair associations this circular will undoubtedly prove interesting, and may result in an exchange of ideas and suggestions and in the introduction of new features, always so helpful in fair work.
The fairs in North Carolina have enjoyed a remarkable growth during the past five years. From a total of 30 fairs in 1914 to 251 fairs in 1918 represents a development in this type of community organization which is unsurpassed in State records. Not only has this increase in the number of fairs been a development of which the State is proud, but what is more valuable and significant is the fact that the Agricultural Extension Service has coöperated with this large list of fairs, in furnishing judges, providing programs and speakers, and in demonstrating to the public the educational value of agricultural, livestock, and home economics
fairs. The promotion of the work, as represented in Chart B stands out as a distinct achievement in securing the coöperation of the public.
|TYPE OF FAIR||NUMBER OF FAIRS ORGANIZED AND COÖPERATING IN|
1 In 1917 the development of community fairs had reached a stage, in some counties, where the large number of fairs made it very difficult to properly handle the problem of providing judges. For the year 1918, therefore, a regulation was adopted by the Fair Committee that limited the number of coöperating community fairs in any one county to not more than four. This regulation is still in force. 2 It is anticipated that between 300 and 400 fairs will be held this season. 3 School fairs, as a distinct type, have been added to the fair classification this year; the development of school fairs will begin in 1920. 4 Negro fairs include the same type as the white fairs.
1 In 1917 the development of community fairs had reached a stage, in some counties, where the large number of fairs made it very difficult to properly handle the problem of providing judges. For the year 1918, therefore, a regulation was adopted by the Fair Committee that limited the number of coöperating community fairs in any one county to not more than four. This regulation is still in force.
2 It is anticipated that between 300 and 400 fairs will be held this season.
3 School fairs, as a distinct type, have been added to the fair classification this year; the development of school fairs will begin in 1920.
4 Negro fairs include the same type as the white fairs.
At its present rate of growth North Carolina will soon see the day when every progressive community in the State will have its agricultural fair. In fact, no community can afford not to have its community fair. Communities are rapidly learning that fairs are the entering wedges for the other phases of agricultural development that follow naturally and logically. And as the community fairs have been organized, so have the larger county fairs and associations followed in their wake. During the period of five years the number of county fairs in the State has doubled. Judged by numbers alone the entire accomplishment may not mean much, but in terms of the people whom this work has reached and in the amount of constructive good that it has brought about, as a fundamental educational project, teaching better agriculture, more desirable livestock, more livable homes and good community organization, the fair work has justified its undertaking.
From the very beginning of its conception the work has had before it a plan which would create a State-wide system of fairs. The standardization of the various types of fairs has made very steady progress and has now reached a point in the minds of the people where each type of fair stands for a certain definite cog in the machinery of the whole project. The people of the State understand the relationship of one type to another, and it is due to this understanding on the part of those who
CHART D. SHOWING DIAGRAM OF A STATE-WIDE FAIR SYSTEMlocally manage the fairs that the Agricultural Extension Service has been able to secure such effective coöperation in developing this work.
The system, as it was visualized, had to have an apex. The State Fair, the melting pot for all of the other fairs in the State, and for their exhibits and entries, represented that apex. The base of the system lay out in the open country, in the rural communities, on the farms, in the barns, and in the homes. The community fair, therefore, embracing in its jurisdiction a farm neighborhood, a school district, a farm-wide community, or any other area of common rural interest, composed the foundation of this plan, the solid ground floor upon which the whole structure rested.
Between the community fair and the State Fair, in this plan, was a vast unorganized territory, and county fairs, representing individual county units, larger in their activities than community fairs, and district fairs, inviting the participation of at least six county units, but smaller than the State Fair, soon logically developed as the next successive steps in the plan. More recently a special demand for specialized fairs has brought into the general State-wide system of fair work two special fairs, one designated as a "livestock show" and the other as a "fruit show." These special fairs are serving a very useful purpose and are fitting nicely into the general plan.
In some instances community fairs have developed into county fairs. In similar instances county fairs have grown into district fairs. While the system is elastic, so that these changes can be readily made, the fairs themselves have held intact, holding their organizations, their officials and their patrons. In 1918 there were organized in North Carolina 1 State fair, 2 special fairs, 7 district fairs, 40 county fairs, 172 community fairs, 1 negro State fair, 8 negro county fairs, and 20 negro community fairs.
The standardization of premiums and judging has always been a difficult problem, and a lack of definite methods in handling these two very important phases of fair work has been responsible for failures in some instances. For years the payment of large premiums for those products and exhibits which did not truly represent either the individual farm or the entire community had been discouraged. It has been pointed out that a standard premium value should be placed on all farm products shown at fairs; that no premiums should be offered for exhibits that have no real educational value; that farm products should have some utilitarian value in order to merit premiums. But it was not until State premium lists were prepared and distributed to the various fair associations that the real standardization work, along this line, was begun. And at the present time every coöperating fair in the State uses the State premium list in its own official catalogue, with more satisfying results and the knowledge of better work accomplished.
Another very difficult phase of the problem has been the matter of training and providing competent judges for all of the coöperating fairs. When it is noted, for example, that in 1918 there were 251 fairs organized and that these fairs are held within the short space of three months, beginning in the latter part of September and ending in the early part of December, and that each type of fairs needs its definite number of judges, it will be realized that the task of securing, instructing, and routing competent judges for so many individual enterprises is a big undertaking.
Experience has demonstrated that a community fair requires at least two judges, a man for the agricultural products and livestock and a woman for the pantry supplies, canning products and household exhibits. A county fair needs three judges as a minimum; one for the agricultural products, another for the livestock, and a third for the home economics products. An average of four judges should be provided for district fairs, while the special and State fairs may and do require many more capable men and women to judge the exhibits and entries. The problem, therefore, was a difficult one.
One of the first steps in the standardization of judging was the organization of judging schools, held during the conventions of County Farm and Home Demonstration Agents. Since 1916 this work has formed a definite part of each convention's program, and has given the agents an opportunity of obtaining standard methods for judging agricultural, livestock, and home economics products. The next step has been the training of local judges by the agents themselves. Both coöperators and demonstrators, who had shown the greatest amount of interest in the work, and who were interested in fairs were selected and coached by the agents. They have proven to be good judges.
In this work the people of the communities, as well as the county agents, have been helped materially by the publication of official score cards, which are now used in judging at all fairs. The publication of this material constituted the third step in the standardization of judging. It has made the judging work uniform and educational.
It may not be amiss to say that the work of these judges, both the county agents and the local people, in judging, demonstrating, advising, lecturing, exhibiting, and superintending judging contests, has been the factor that made the fair work such an unqualified success. The people themselves have wanted it, and they have done everything possible to make it successful. In a great many instances these workers, especially the county farm and home demonstration agents, initiated the fairs of their communities. They spared neither time nor energy in canvassing communities, in organizing committees, in securing funds for their share of the premium lists, in publishing these lists, in arousing enthusiasm, community spirit and coöperation, and in reality making these fairs a permanent type of rural organization.
They arranged the exhibits, they built the stands for the crops and the pens for the livestock; they arranged the programs and helped secure the speakers. In most instances they acted as the ex officio leaders and heads of the enterprises. In 1917, before the ruling against a large number of fairs in any one county went into effect, there was a great deal of good-natured rivalry and competition between several counties, leading in the largest number of fairs; two counties had thirteen each and the ten leading counties totaled 72 fairs.
|Number of Fairs in United States (estimated)||3,000|
|Number of Fairs in North Carolina (1918)||251|
|Attendance at all of the Fairs in United States (estimated)||10,000,000|
|Attendance at all of the Fairs in North Carolina (1917)||676,000|
|Number of Exhibitors at Fairs in North Carolina (1917)||45,350|
|Number of Judges Scheduled for Fairs in North Carolina (1918):|
|Amount of State aid offered by State Department of Agriculture to Fairs (1918):|
The following description of a typical community fair is taken from the July 28, 1917, issue of School and Society, which contained an article by the writer of this circular, entitled "The Community Fair--A Factor in Rural Education":
". . . With a rapidity than can scarcely be chronicled in actual time, rural United States is driving away ignorance, superstition, jealousy, selfish political dogmatism, petty neighborhood rivalry, prejudice, and bias. In their places are coming the spirit of coöperation, the breadth of learning and culture, the wisdom of experience and information, the broad-gauged feeling of tolerance, the desire to work for common good. As a working factor in bringing about this change the Community Fair is playing a big part in Rural Education.
"While the Community Fair, as an educational institution, is not typical of one section of the United States any more than it is of another, yet it is probably not an exaggeration to say that it thrives in the South more industrially than it does elsewhere. The South lends cheer and hospitality to the educational program of the Community Fair. It adds a tone of social importance to the program of instructive numbers. Because the South considers the Community Fair something more than a method of visual agricultural instruction is one reason why
Community Fairs flourish here. And then, too, the South is making gigantic strides agriculturally, a phenomenal progress since the reconstruction days, and is gladly seizing every opportunity to promote all institutions and organizations which influence rural education.
"I studied some Community Fairs in North Carolina recently, and I am describing them because they are tangible exponents of the progressive and responsive attitude of southern rural communities. The same era of progress is markedly noticeable in every southern state, where agricultural colleges are becoming the leading institutions of learning, helpful in service and purpose, radiating knowledge through their extension departments, and using the Community Fair as a medium for disseminating this information.
"There will come a time soon when every rural community will have a Community Fair. Centered around the rural school as the most public and democratic type of the community center, featured distinctly by agricultural and livestock products, supplemented attractively with school and community exhibits, furnishing a real and a local interest, the Community Fair is becoming one of the large educational factors of progressive rural development.
"Wherever Community Fairs are emphasized will be found a representation of the various agencies which are interested in agricultural development. The United States county farm demonstration agents assist in arranging the exhibits and in making out the premium lists. Specialists from the extension services of the agricultural colleges and the State departments of agriculture participate in the program. The states help financially by contributing generously to the prize lists. The home demonstration agents of the Federal Department of Agriculture and the rural school supervisors from the State Department of Education show the local teachers how to arrange the products of the school, home, and kitchen in the most attractive way.
"The teachers themselves urge the boys and girls to painstaking effort in preparing school exhibits for the fairs. This is considered a part of the prescribed program of school work. Members of the Boys' and Girls' Agricultural and Canning Clubs bring their products to the Community Fair; farmers and their wives vie with one another in a good-natured spirit of friendly rivalry, in showing the things they have grown and made. There are speeches and lectures, musical numbers and recitational features, discussions and conferences, and a composite view of the entire Community Fair, focused into a single mental image, would be symbolical of Progress, Education, and Happiness.
"Shorn of the cheap and vulgar midway amusements which detract from the real purpose of fairs, educational and informative in their scope, bringing folks together in the best of community spirit and coöperation, the rejuvenation of the Community Fair brings back the old type of real agricultural fairs, with plowing matches, auction sales of cattle, judging of livestock and farm products, farmers' meetings, boys' and
girls' rallies, and those group meetings and discussions of things pertaining to farm life. There were many Community Fairs in North Carolina last fall; it was a delightful pleasure to visit them.
"At Moss Hill and Sharon, two farming neighborhoods in one of the State's best agricultural counties, I visited typical Community Fairs that feasted the eye, delighted the heart, inspired the mind, and drove home the desire to describe. The weather was charming, a genial mixture of sunshine and bracing air. The school houses were located on beautiful, natural sites, amidst upstanding, towering pines, enshrouded in meshes of that most graceful of lichens, the so-called Spanish Moss. They looked like the patriarchs of old. Out in the road and in the neighboring fields were clustered the wagons, buggies and automobiles. The school grounds were congested with folks. I did not anticipate so many at a Community Fair. Those who do not believe in the possibilities of rural coöperation should attend Community Fairs in North Carolina.
"The schoolhouses were dressed up in their very best. A temporary platform had been constructed in each case, draped with the Stars and Stripes, esthetically beautified with ferns and mosses. There was even a player-piano, hauled out from the city especially for the occasion. The chairs were grouped around for the presiding officers and the speakers. Temporary benches had been made for the day, arranged in an amphitheatre around the platform. Beyond the benches, out among the trees and in the fields, were the pens for the livestock and poultry. Overhead was the bluest of blue skies, with just a touch here and there of fleecy, shimmering, cumulus clouds. It was a perfect day!
"For the morning session of the day a pretty, dainty program had been arranged for the children. They were dressed in their best. Teachers and parents were proud of the appearance they made. The boys had scoured their faces and hands, had brushed their clothes, blackened their boots and plastered down their hair. The girls were in spotless white, with here and there a ribbon of outstanding hue. They marched in single file, then in pairs, keeping accurate time and rhythm while their teacher played the accompaniment. Then came the songs and recitations, the vocal and instrumental solos, the clever little monologues and catchy sketches.
"While it is true that social and recreative features are very important phases of the Community Fair, and that one of the most fundamental purposes of the Community Fair is to bring country people together, yet the fair would lose its significance and its value if the program did not contain something instructional and informative. This must be essentially so, because every institution in the country, tangible or abstract, concrete or intangible, including the Community Fair, depends for its existence and success upon the degree of material prosperity which the country enjoys. To have left out the agricultural addresses and discussions
from the program which I am describing would have made the day incomplete and lacking.
"Representatives from the Agricultural College and from the State Department of Agriculture had come to assist the county agent and the home demonstration agent with the program. It was the most carefully attended series of lectures that I have ever heard. Surely these country people in North Carolina give a living denial to the statement we see so often that 'coöperation among rural people is a never-to-be-attained myth, glorious in its conception, but impractical in its usage.' For here were all of the folks of the community, interested in one another, rubbing shoulders, swapping experiences, molding individual thoughts and opinions into one concentrated, unified idea and working toward one goal, the ultimate development of the community in which they lived.
"My musings were rudely shattered by the ringing of the school bell. The morning program had been finished. It was dinner time and the meal was ready. What a feast met my eye! Where are those who say that southern farmers are not diversifying? There was barbecued pig, fried sweet potatoes, fried chicken, corn bread, hot biscuits that fairly melted in your mouth, piping hot coffee, home-canned preserves, and cakes of all sizes, tastes and descriptions. The assembly had broken up into small groups of four and five. Tablecloths were spread on the ground, baskets were unpacked, the old colored 'uncles' went from one group to another, carrying the barbecued pig and the coffee, and we fell to the task.
"It is surprising how much companionship may be created through the medium of a good dinner. Keen appetites are first aroused and then satisfied. A geniality is produced. Folks look upon one another with a more smiling degree of intimacy than they did before. Human colds and frosts melt before the thawing approach of congenial conversation. Suspicions are thrust aside and forgotten in the atmosphere of appeased and satisfied physical hunger. Folks begin to discuss the things in which they are interested.
"And so it was here. As I went from group to group, greeting friends and acquaintances here and there, joining in the conversation for a moment or two, I could feel the rumblings of movements for consolidated schools, for better salaries for those deserving teachers, for more earnest consideration of and attention to the work of the county farm and home demonstration agents, for a better and more homogeneous support of the school, for a unified, coöperative agricultural community. How true is the old adage that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. We must first satisfy the physical wants and needs of our rural people; then we can look forward to and anticipate other changes which are equally vital and necessary.
"Dinner was over and they were preparing for the parade. One cannot think of a fair without a parade. The right kind of a parade is an educational factor. Parades and side-shows can be both entertaining
and instructive. It goes without saying that they should always be elevating and decent. The one large, general objection to many county and State fairs is that they do not really represent and carry out the fundamental purpose of fairs. They are entertaining and not instructive, and in a great many instances the form of entertainment is questionable. Community fairs are so much more commendable, just for that very reason, in that they present educational and valuable programs, because of the clean type of entertainment with which they are associated, and because of the fact that their educational policies are clearly defined.
"And so, down the pike came the boys and girls, driving and leading their exhibits and floats. A prize had been offered for the most original and attractive float, and the boys and girls had placed an unusual amount of work and thought upon their individual parts of the exhibit. Members of the agricultural clubs, mounted on horses, with crimson sashes tied across their jackets, acted as marshals. A prouder set of leaders never came down the country road. Their steeds had been resurrected from the corn fields and old pastures, but what difference did that make? This was their parade, their fair, their day! Pigs had been oiled and brushed until they fairly shone and glistened. Calves had been curried and cleaned up until they scarcely knew themselves. Colts pranced around and shied nervously, as they came down the road. Even the poultry knew that they were on exhibition, accustomed as they are to being displayed.
"The educational value of an exhibit, to the exhibitor, I feel, largely lies in the amount of constructive thought and labor placed upon the making of it. To the spectator the value of an exhibit is measured by the information it gives. The magnetic thing about exhibits at small Community Fairs is that they are personal from all viewpoints. The exhibitor enjoys pardonable pride and egotism in showing the product he has grown, raised, or made, to his personal friends, feeling in their intimate, responsive admiration, encouragement and stimulation for greater effort. And in the same way the spectator would rather, by far, see the exhibits his immediate friends and acquaintances are showing, because of the easier and more intelligent criticism he can make, knowing the personal background of it all.
"The parade this day was something more than a mere collection of personal exhibits. It was a large family, of many parts, in which every part was representative of some community institution, the whole being coöperatively welded together into one unit. It is not necessary to have an Aladdin's lamp to produce a thoroughly enjoyable and worth-while Community Fair parade. A vivid imagination, an optimistic vision, farm wagons, livestock, farm produce, the products of the home and school, a bit of bunting here and there, a happy crowd of good, wholesome country folks, smiling participants, the local school band--and you hear yourself saying in the old familiar way, 'Here comes the parade.'
"And then came the judging of the livestock and farm products, the products of the class-room and kitchen. This was the 'school' phase of the fair. In a good many instances the farmers and stockmen who were attending the fair had come from long distances and at a personal sacrifice of time and work, especially to take in this part of the program. Many had brought their stock and products with them early in the day, entering them in the competition. During the day, every now and then, a handful of men would stroll off the edge of the school grounds, select an 'easy sitting' log, bite off a huge but apparantly comfortable chew of North Carolina's best tobacco, and then argue about the good qualities of their respective stock and crops. I was too busy with my work in judging the livestock to note what the women were doing, but it is safe to assume that they were equally proud of the products they had entered.
"It was an easy matter, therefore, to arouse interest in the judging; especially when the scoring and placing of the stock and products were accompanied by reasons and explanations. I am of the definite opinion that in this phase of fair activities, which, after all, is the real, fundamental basis for holding fairs, the Community Fair is far superior to the county or State type of organization. At the smaller fairs the men and women actually obtain an opportunity of hearing concrete discussions, based personally on the very stock and products that they themselves have brought to the fair. It really combines the extension service short course with the most effective laboratory material that can be obtained, the farmers' and farmers' wives' own personal products.
"Questions now come in a deluge from all sides. Usually the farmer is not a loquacious person. He is content with letting 'the other fellow' do all of the talking. But when his animal is being criticized, or when his corn is being scored heavily he wants to know the why and the wherefore. And the answer that he receives is correlated with the quality of his product in a way that makes this visual instruction the strongest feature of the Community Fair. He compares his colt with his neighbor's animal; his neighbor's cow looks more 'typey' than his; he failed to win first prize for the best ten ears of corn because his sample lacked uniformity; his pig is not developed as a 'six months' pig should be.
"And so all down the line, he gets a visual lesson of what constitutes good crops and desirable livestock. The image stays with him, because he has seen products that were superior to his. And when the judge attaches the blue ribbon and awards the certificate of merit the owner just seems to grow somewhat taller; he straightens up, hems and haws a little, shifts the quid of tobacco in his cheek, walks over to the prize animal, slaps it caressingly, and then hides his feelings beneath the most seemingly nonchalant attitude in the world, while a thousand emotions surge within.
"The lectures and the judging are over. The boys and girls prepare for their athletic stunts. A ball game, potato and sack races, pig-calling contests, pony saddling and racing--how much these enjoyments mean to
country boys and girls, isolated from social intercourse and lonesome for it, anxious to get together, wanting to play and speak with fellow creatures. That type of rural education which omits the social element factor from its program is a onesided kind of an education.
"The day draws to a close. The school teacher's farewell speech falls unheard. Men and women and boys and girls are busy packing, hitching up and harnessing. The horses begin to paw in their anxiety for home and feed. The sun is rapidly settling down behind the western hills. The shadows come. There is a wild confusion of mixed sounds, of goodbyes, of invitations to call, or promises to come. The dust begins to rise in the road. There is a waving of hands. Wagons, buggies and automobiles go scurrying down the road. The Community Fair is over. What an educational blessing it has been to the folks of the countryside!"
The organization of fairs in North Carolina, particularly community fairs, has unquestionably been of great value to the community organizations which have followed in the wake of these fairs. Especially has this been true of those communities in which no organization work had previously been done. Sometimes difficult to get rural people interested in themselves and in their communities, the community fair has paved the way, has brought the folks together, has aroused their interest in mutual things and has taught them a method of working together and coöperating.
The problem of rural education, in the next few years, will be a problem of organization. Individual effort and isolation will give way to coöperative and joint work. Extension service workers see this change coming, perhaps, more clearly than others, because of their association with the problem of rural development, from the time it first began, to its present stage. These workers, particularly the home and farm demonstration agents, are driving toward well-developed community organization at every turn. Marketing associations, buying organizations, breeding associations, crop and livestock improvement clubs, rural credit societies and many other forms of coöperative effort will do more to solve rural problems and to create and arouse leadership than anything else. It has been the experience of these workers that fairs are splendid forerunners for such community endeavors.
One community has constructed a permanent Social Center Hall, the idea having originated out of a community fair. Another community has esablished a definite policy of turning over its receipts and its premium money to its Parents' and Teachers' League, for the purpose of bettering conditions in its school. A third community has reported the organization of breeders' associations, and the importation of registered stock. And there are many other instances of where the community fair has been the starting point in the real development of many communities in this State.
Chart F shows what fairs have accomplished for their communities. The results have been two-fold. The first has been of an agricultural character; the second of a social character. Both are important. And both are inseparable. Both mean a greater agricultural and cultural North Carolina.
Fairs Have Helped You to--
Fairs Have Helped You to--
|1. Increase your crops.||1. Improve your communities.|
|2. Increase your livestock.||2. Better your homes.|
|3. Improve your farming methods.||3. Consolidate your schools.|
|4. Improve your products in quality.||4. Build your good roads.|
|5. Market your farm products.||5. Know your neighbors.|
|6. Pull together.||6. Work together.|
North Carolina fairs are well attended by country boys and girls. Some of the best exhibits and entries at the fairs are those of the boys and girls. Particularly is this true of young people who belong to the regularly organized Agricultural and Canning Clubs. By belonging to these clubs the boys and girls are in a position to receive instruction which will enable them to grow and produce better farm products. The fair is the place where the value of such instruction may be concretely shown to advantage. In its 1919 State premium list the State Department of Agriculture recognizes that fact by offering larger and more desirable prizes to club members than to other competitors, and the effect of this plan has been to stimulate membership in the Corn, Pig, Potato, Cotton, Wheat, Calf, and Canning Clubs.
To the young people fairs mean fun and recreation as well as instruction and teaching. The day of the fair usually means a day of wholesome fun and pleasure. Games, contests, pageants, parades, and other desirable forms of amusement are always in order and are looked forward to with a great deal of anticipation. In 1918, 15 livestock judging contests for boys and girls were scheduled. Many organized forms of rural recreation have originated in the play and frolic at community fairs. The effect of the proper kind of fairs upon the boys and girls of the rural communities has been stimulating, instructive, inspiring, and wholesome.
Graphically, this relation may be expressed as follows:
1. Our fairs have given us an opportunity to meet the farmers and their wives and children personally and to explain to them the work of our organization.
2. They have given us an opportunity to secure coöperators for demonstration work.
3. It was very advantageous to have the fine audiences before whom to give addresses, to conduct farmers' institutes and short courses and demonstrations.
4. At the fairs our specialists had an opportunity of initiating new work.
5. The fair work has been an education for the officials of the fairs.
6. Our fairs have been the public forums for the discussion, exhibition and demonstration of agricultural things of value.
County Agent J. L. Holliday of Martin County: Fairs have brought interested and disinterested people together, and have served in showing what good work is and what it is not. Fairs have brought communities together, caused farmers to make a more careful study of their business and have stimulated a more healthy sentiment in all lines of agriculture.
Secretary Owen Odum of the Coats Community Fair in Harnett County: As one result of the community fair a car-load of registered Jersey cattle has been purchased for Grove Township. Four other communities are planning for four community fairs.
Secretary J. L. Walters of the Cherokee Indian Fair in Swain County: Our fair has interested the farmers in better methods of farming, thereby tending toward increased acreage yields. It has given the farmers a better understanding of the quality of agricultural products demanded by the markets, thus causing a trend toward improved standards of production. Our fair has aroused within our boys and girls an interest in farming and is educating them toward the farm instead of away from it.
County Agent Sallie W. Hunter of Cabarrus County: Our fairs have helped me to get acquainted with new groups of women and girls, and have made a way for my work not possible before. The people attending our fairs have learned the difference between the right and the wrong way of doing many things. They are now ambitious to have their communities lined up in the very best way.
District Agent Estelle T. Smith: Our fairs have interested our people in demonstration work, resulting in better community spirit, better standards of living and further development along every line. Fairs
have a wonderful educational value. Through our fairs we have promoted more sympathy between city and country, public welfare, health, education, lightened the labor at home, stimulated home demonstration work in the county and introduced domestic science in the rural schools.
County Agent J. R. Sams of Polk County: At Mars Hill, White Rock, and Flats of Spring Creek, farmers were induced, by comparison at their fairs, to purchase better bulls, better sheep, etc.; and many farmers learned the art of judging farm products for the first time. A community just simply has a higher regard for itself after it holds a fair.
Mrs. John S. LeFevre, Secretary of White Rock Community Fair in Madison County: Our fair has interested the boys and girls in farming and gardening, making these occupations more serious and honorable. Boys have learned much about stock and field products, corn, potatoes, and peanuts. The fair has brought together the progressive farmers, who were already doing good work on their land. It has helped to make these farmers better known to their neighbors. It has waked up many who had no thought about better farming. It has helped the housewives, giving incentive to better gardening, canning, housekeeping, and handicraft.
Secretary Fred O. Scroggs of the Brasstown Community Fair in Clay County: Since holding our fair our farmers have begun to coöperate in many ways. The fair has also been a great influence upon our boys and girls, encouraging them in their school and club work. They look forward to "Fair Day" as a great day.
County Agent J. Webb Lindley of Mitchell County: Following our fair we purchased 20 purebred Shorthorn bulls.
County Agent R. K. Craven of Bladen County: Fairs in our county have created a strong sentiment for better roads.
County Agent Lulu M. Cassidy of Henderson County: In the counties in which I have worked, fairs stimulated county and community pride, aroused wholesome competition, educated the people to correct standards, furnished recreation, popularized agricultural teaching and gave the folks self-confidence.
Miss Sarah C. Lutz, Secretary of the Killian Community Fair in Catawba County: Our fair has stimulated an active interest in boys' and girls' club work. I have recently organized a boys' and girls' club, with a good enrollment.
County Agent J. H. Hampton of Cherokee County: Fairs in my county have made the people understand that a county agent has a real service to perform for the communities.
County Agent Pauline Smith of Franklin County: It has improved the cooking and canning over the county. It has also helped my people socially by bringing them togeher.
County Agent A. M. Johnson of Johnston County: Four things have been accomplished in Johnston County through fair work. People have been rightfully praised for the good work they did. Farmers have been taught that farm leadership is necessary. Fair day has been used as a much-needed vacation day for the farm folks. The raising of more and better crops and livestock has been stimulated.
Secretary C. L. Blount of the Hertford County Fair: The fair is now known as the one big thing of the county. It makes us all work together.