Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Great War: May 21, 1917

One hundred years ago, there was a need for men to fight the war in Europe, but there was also a need for men, as well as women and teenagers, to work on farms at home. But human resources were not the only resources that were in short supply as the United States prepared to send troops to France, as evidenced by this item which appeared in the Hudson Evening Register for May 21, 1917.

According to the census taken by the New York State Food Supply commission Columbia county needs 1,163 laborers, of which 240 may be boys of high school age. It needs 140 women for household help, of which 51 may be school girls. There are fewer hired men in this county than there were last year.
The census shows 507 dairy cows wanted and 463 for sale. The heifer calves wanted number 293 with 146 for sale. The figures on sheep show 598 ewes wanted with 362 for sale. There were 166 work horses wanted and 176 for sale. Brood sows wanted numbered 88 with 75 for sale. The demand for pigs totaled 451 with 662 offered for sale.
Figures on seed gave for alfalfa 136 bushels wanted with none offered for sale; potatoes, 3,475 bushels wanted and 1,230 for sale; field beans, 306 wanted with 20 bushels for sale; buckwheat showed 1,682 bushels wanted, with 211 bushels for sale; corn, 1,194 bushels wanted and 3,436 for sale; spring wheat demands were for 312 bushels with 6 bushels offered for sale.
Further details of the census in this county and the names of those having seed and animals for sale may be secured from County Representative Roe, of the State Food Supply commission, whose headquarters are at Hudson. 
The shortage of wheat and the abundance of corn, in Columbia County as well as the rest of the country, inspired the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage people to eat more corn, with the message, "Corn Saved the Pilgrims and Fed Our Pioneers. Corn Will Help Us Feed the World."


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