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1976 to 2014: Have Times on the Farm Really Changed?

TAGS: Farm Shows
1976 to 2014: Have Times on the Farm Really Changed?
If a 1976 issue of Indiana Prairie Farmer is any indication, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

At a "Front Porch Friday" gathering – where adults sit on my front porch and talk while the kids run around and play – Brad Mahan, Rush County farmer and good friend brought me a 1976 Indiana Prairie Farmer, the Farm Progress Show edition.

It was the "biggest issue published" at that time, an article in the magazine said, surpassing a record set by the the September 20, 1975, issue. The total number of pages reached 274. It kept me busy for hours.

Related: Consumers, Technology and Nostalgia: Bringing Together the Food and Farm Story

Indiana Prairie Farmer Sept. 1976: And lest we not forget what Cap'n Stubby sez: "Generally people don't intend to lie. They just remember big."

Have you ever read an old farm magazine? While things continually change it is amazing how much things stay the same. Excluding names and dates, some articles are relevant today.

A few of my favorite snippets:

Remember grain bin safety: Don't let your farm be the site of a tragic accident

"Grain bins can be killers. Safety precautions cannot be emphasized enough. Loss of life through grain bin suffocation can occur on farms as well as at grain elevators."

Time is the key to successful AI: Beef producers must check heat twice a day

"The first thing to make AI work is heat detection. If you can't find them in heat, you can't get them bred."

Supply and Demand Always Win Out: Records show that speculation and hedging generally move together

"The volume of trading in the markets in recent years has been increasing appreciably."

I also wasn't surprised to read this quote in an article: "Battle lines for a new farm bill in 1977 are now being drawn," Earl L. Butz, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, declared. "We are being accused of having no food policy. Actually, we have the best food policy we've had in decades. It's a policy of plenty."

Didn't we just finish drawing new battle lines for a 2014 Farm Bill?

I don't personally own a soap box for feminism, a battle I choose not to fight as I am treated pretty fairly on this farm. But if I did, this copy alone would provide me with fodder for years. But we will just let that sleeping dog lie.

One question I do have: Why are there no longer farmhouse tours at the Farm Progress Show? I do actually enjoy a good farmhouse tour!

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