Book Farming

New farming tools and techniques were made known to farmers via publications like "Wallaces' Farmer." Henry A. Wallace was the owner and publisher of the ag magazine. He was also the U.S. secretary of agriculture.


New farming methods cropped up rapidly: developments in tractors, hybrid seeds, erosion control, fertilizers. To catch up on the latest, farmers turned to such journals as: Successful Farming, The Iowa Homestead and Wallaces’ Farmer. Two of the editors of Wallaces’ Farmer were appointed U.S. Sectaries of Agriculture. First came Henry C. Wallace in 1921, a reformer in agricultural marketing, and later his son, Henry A. Wallace, who brought the New Deal to agriculture during the depression of the 30s. Many of the new farming ideas were developed at the Iowa State Agricultural College, a national leader in agricultural research. Each year thousands of rural youth packed their bags for Ames to study: animal husbandry, agronomy, veterinary medicine and home economics; expanding the knowledge they had learned growing up on the farm. Many farmers didn’t put much stock in ‘book farming.’ They were reluctant to trade a lifetime of experience for experiments conducted on some test plot in Ames. But the prospect of higher profits prompted some to try the new methods and their neighbors watched with interests.

The Iowa Heritage Roots in the Soil



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Media Artifacts

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