Public Papers and Letters of Oliver Max Gardner: Governor of North Carolina, 1929-1933

By Edwin Gill; David Leroy Corbitt | Go to book overview

administration in the fight against the gaunt spectre of hunger which stalks this land.

In 1930 the Federal government estimated that this movement added $16,500,000 to the wealth of the State by the increased production of food and feed crops. In 1931 it added well over $20,000,000 again. It reduced tobacco acreage, reduced cotton acreage substantially, and increased the acreage planted to every food crop and feed crop. It added 10,000,000 bushels of corn.

Live-at-home farming has furnished the reserve out of which many people have been fed and kept in good health during the winter through which we have just passed. Every dollar of this new wealth has come directly from the soil. A basic underlying factor in the prosperity of this State--the source of its profits--is our unmatchable soil. In my judgment, one controlling factor in our struggle to lift ourselves from the depression and to reach a solid basis of normal prosperity has been our ability to cultivate, to develop, to woo the soil.

Planting time is again upon us; and I take this opportunity of appealing to the industrious, intelligent, patriotic men and women of the soil to make the liveat-home program a permanent agricultural policy of this State. Plant cotton, plant tobacco, plant peanuts, plant cash crops, to be sure, but first plant sufficient food and feed crops for the needs of your own families, your own stock--an amount sufficient to sustain your own farm unit. Cut your acreage of cotton and tobacco. Remember that you may be planting six cent cotton and eight cent tobacco, and plant accordingly.

This kind of farming establishes in the eyes of all of us the fundamental value of land--of North Carolina land. Outside of his immediate family, the Anglo- Saxon has always thought more of land than of anything else. This is his social inheritance. He has

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