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rivers, with the double injury of depriving the land of much of its most fertile elements and filling up the bottoms of the rivers.
TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION, DEBATE, AND SPECIAL REPORTS I. What are the chief industries of your city? Of your state? . 2. Have there been any changes in the kinds of industry followed in your community during the last fifty years? What are the reasons for these changes? 3. Are there any people in your state who make a living by hunting or fishing? How does their number compare with those so engaged fifty years ago? Why? 4. Find the prices of coal and building materials ten years ago and compare them with present prices. What has caused the change? What do you think prices will be ten years from now P 5. What has been done by your state in the line of conservation of its natural resources? How may an individual aid in conservation of resources? 6. How may organizations such as the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts render services to the community in protecting forests? 7. What advantage to a community are the song-birds? How may birds be attracted to a community? What are the chief enemies of birds? How may birds be protected from their enemies?
THE PRINCIPAL INDUSTRIES OF THE UNITED STATESSTOCK-RAISING AND AGRICULTURE
Stock-Raising.—Every animal, except the turkey, now domesticated, had reached that condition in unknown antiquity. The same instinct that leads a boy to take home a wild rabbit and try to tame it operated in ancient times. Wild animals were at first probably tamed as companions rather than for economic purposes. Ever since the beginning of recorded history domestic animals have been of economic service to man. Domestic animals have not only been valuable in furnishing materials for food and clothing, but they have furnished power for transportation and machinery. Horses are still the chief reliance of farmers for ploughing, harrowing, and other farm operations, though power supplied by internalcombustion engines will soon be doing a large part of farm work. In the United States cattle and sheep raising, as the chief industry, has gradually moved westward as agriculture has claimed the land. Most of the cattle are now raised in states west of the Mississippi and on lands not well adapted to agriculture, though they are often fattened in the states of the “corn belt.” The cattle ranges have diminished in the West and with the loss of the best feeding-grounds the price of cattle has steadily increased. The raising of live stock is the principal industry in the semi-arid districts of Colorado, Montana, Texas, and Wyoming. The United States leads all nations in extent. and value of live stock. Quite distinct from the cattle-raising industry is the dairying industry. It flourishes in most parts of the United States, especially in the “corn belt,” though New York leads all states in the quantity and value of dairy products. Easy and rapid transportation to city markets is a most important consideration in reference to milk, the greatest dairy product. Agriculture.-An advance of vast importance was made when men first undertook to raise cereals and plants. Not only was the supply largely increased, but better varieties were produced by removing competition of other plants, preparing the soil, and by saving the best of the crop for seed. A larger population became possible and the institution of private property in land arose. Agriculture, until comparatively recent times, was merely scratching the surface of the ground and cultivation was of the crudest kind. By experience it was learned that certain soils were better than others, and that the same crops could not be grown year after year upon the same piece of ground, and rotation of crops was introduced as well as fertilization of the soil. Agriculture is now and always has been the most important single industry in the United States, both in the value of products and the number of persons employed. Indian corn, or maize, was extensively grown by the early settlers. It required little cultivation and would grow well upon new soil. Maize has always been the greatest of our cereal crops, and is now grown in every state of the Union, but most extensively in the “corn belt,” comprising
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and parts of Indiana and Nebraska. Corn is chiefly used as a food for live stock, though increasing quantities are being used for human consumption in the form of corn-meal, corn syrups, and salad-oils.
The following table, compiled from the Reports of the Department of Agriculture, gives some idea of the size and value of the corn production of our country.
Though not equal in quantity or value to the corn crop, wheat is the next most important cereal crop of the United
Wheat is grown in every state, but the great wheat states are Minnesota, the Dakotas, Kansas, and Nebraska. Unlike corn, of which we export comparatively small quantities, wheat is one of the large export crops of the United States. In the year 1913, there was exported
the United States 19.57 per cent of the domestic crop.
MILLIONS OF BUSHELS
WHEAT PRODUCTION OF THE UNITED STATES
During the Great War the percentage of wheat exported reached abnormal figures, being 37.31 per cent in 1915; 23.70 per cent in 1916; 31.99 per cent in 1917.
WHEAT PRODUCTION AND VALUE