Date of Award

8-1947

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Master of Agriculture

Abstract

Purpose of the Study

This study "was made to ascertain facts of the conditions of Negro farmers in Harrison County and to suggest ways and means by which the agricultural agencies of the county can best be of benefit to the needy farmers. It also hopes to give stimulus to the more successful farmers of the county that they may achieve greater laurels in their chosen occupation. It will further suggest means of meeting the modern trends of scientific and mechanized farming.

Statement of the Problem

The numerous industries that sprang up in the South in the war era and their subsequent conversion to peacetime industries have brought many problems to the farmers of today. May ask themselves this question* "Shall I remain on the farm and continue to face the great uncertainties so prevalent among farmers* or snail I seek economic security in the cities with some industry?" Harrison County* whose farm population is nearly seventy percent Negro* truly is faced with the problem keeping many of its farmers on the farm.

The decrease of 1,355 farms in Harrison county from 1940 to 1945 which is revealed in figures released by the Bureau of the census reflects a national trend of recent years which is causing grave concern to students of the problem. The census report shows only 3,951 farms in the county in 1945 as compared with 5,306 in 1940. During the same period, the average acreage per farm rose from 72.8 to 92.3. Lack of labor during the war years* the more favorable margin of profit from large-scale operations than from small* the reluctance of farm youth to remain on the farm* the rise of cattle industry in EaBt Texas and the disappearance of the one-crop* small farm operator — all are factors which farm officials say have affected the trend. However* the reasons for the change are more apparent than the solution to the problem posed. The population shift and the rise of mechanized agriculture -- particularly in the cotton industry spell serious dislocations* the same officials believe. A second significant trend reflected in the census figures is abandonment of almost 34 sections of farmland* although it is reasonable to believe that the acreage involved represents submarginal operations under difficulties of the war years. All land in farms dropped from 386*415 to 364*700 acres during the period* a decrease of 21*715 acres. Even more significant* perhaps* is the reduction in cultivated acreage from 142*960 acres in 1940 to 76*734 acres in 1945* almost 50 percent. The figures cover land from which crops were harvested* or hay cut* or in orchards.

The big problem is what kind of farm program can be inaugurated for Harrison County that, will bring economic* educational* spiritual* physical* and moral uplift to the thousands of Negro farmers and their families so that they will be happy on the farm and thus contribute their full measure of good citizenship and devotion to their communities* county* state* and nation.

Committee Member

G. L. Smith

Committee Member

E. M. Norris

Publisher

Prairie View A&M College

Rights

© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization

10/18/2021

Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View

MIME Type

Application/PDF

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