This section is from the book "Scouting For Rural Boys. A Manual For Leaders", by Boy scouts of America. See also: Outdoor Adventure Manual: Essential Scouting Skills for the Great Outdoors.
Looking ahead to the future, as it involves agriculture and the farm family, one is impressed with several trends:
1. The increase of farm home comforts, conveniences, safety and sanitary provisions in addition to mail delivery, telephones, radio, good roads and increased electrification.
2. The mechanical improvements which enable one man to cover 10 to 20 times the acreage previously covered.
3. The discovery and adaptation of new uses for old farm products is a new and ever widening field, in which inventions and chemical research are constantly making advancement.
4. The increased and continuing aid extended to the farm and the farm home by the State and Federal agricultural research agencies and the County agent, 4-H Club Leader, Home Demonstration Agent and subject matter specialists of all kinds.
5. The multiplication of opportunities for agricultural education through State Universities, State Agricultural Colleges, and Experiment Stations with their regular college courses, as well as short courses, farmer's institutes, field demonstrations and their wealth of agricultural literature. These opportunities extend also into over eleven thousand vocational high schools in which agricultural teachers give instruction on farming and related agricultural subjects.
6. States, counties, townships and independent school districts and their leaders are responding to the influence of higher standards of elementary-school opportunity, whether in the consolidated school or in an "improved" two or more room centralized school.
7. The stream of rural young people going into nearby high schools is one of the significant trends of rural communities. Two out of every three young people of the regular high school ages are in high schools in the United States.
8. The new cooperation between the town and country has a future promise that the various social agencies and the opportunities they represent shall no longer be available only to town and city boys and girls-but are now to be brought to the open country, even as the Boy Scouts of America has already entered upon with such striking results.
9. With the higher birth rates of rural areas and the resultant higher percentage of young people under 21 years of age in the rural population, the need for continuing and expanding of all rural programs for young people is evident everywhere - all this promises to be a widening rather than a narrowing field of service.
Every well-informed leader knows that American agriculture, as it applies to farming, professional leadership, scientific research or its many businesses, has greater promise because of the following factors and influences now at work.
THE BEAUTY OF THE FARM HOME
Removal of millions of acres of farm land from production and the improving of other millions by better management, erosion and flood control, dust-bowl management and the conservation of our water and moisture areas; farming, with its present long-term, low-interest credit on the part of both the federal government and loan agencies, makes it possible for more people to start farming and carry on than heretofore; the extension of better highways into the farm areas will be of tremendous advantage in the marketing of farm products; the large number of new kinds of farm power machinery now available will make it possible to work more acres, do the job better with less man-power than heretofore. This is important because there is a real problem in the getting of sufficient labor on a farm during the rush periods, and at a price that farmers can afford to pay; the increase and greater use of farm products in industry; farm products used for power in the propelling of automobiles, tractors, diesel engines as well as the various uses of farm products in all kinds of manufacturing industries; good roads and fast transportation will make it possible for many people to have their life work interests in the city, and to live on a subsistence basis, where the whole family may make a real contribution to the cost of living through garden, orchard, poultry and livestock.
The fact that farm families are more than self-perpetuating, with the birth rate of 3.7 per married couple, as against the birth rate of 1.6 of city families, emphasizes the importance of Scout organizations everywhere doing their share of training rural boys and helping the farm families of America, for in the not far distant future these young people are not only to carry on the increased enterprises of agriculture and for an increased population, but they must also contribute about 50% of the people who will live in the towns and cities of America.
This then presents a challenge to all Scout Leaders, Scouters and Scout organizations in our effort to extend the service of Scouting and to make the program available to every farm boy, as well as to the boys of towns and villages throughout the United States and its possessions.