Franklin D. Roosevelt

A Letter on the Improvement of Agriculture.

December 08, 1933

My dear Mr. O'Neal:

I wish that I could have come to your meeting. I should have liked this opportunity of facing the members of the American Farm Bureau Federation and telling them, as man to man, how much I appreciate their warm support of the Administration program.

The members of the Farm Bureau know, as I do, that the maladjustment between supply and demand has been years in the making, and that it cannot be corrected overnight. Nevertheless, in a few short months the whole complexion of the agricultural outlook has been changed. Money is getting into the hands of the people who need it; it is coming from higher prices for the things farmers have to sell; it is coming in the form of Government checks for those cooperating producers who are willing to swap a hazardous present for immediate improvement and a stable future. This money is paying bills; it is putting men back to work in the cities producing the things that farmers buy, and enabling those men in turn to buy things that farmers produce. The process has already gone a long way in the South among the cotton and tobacco growers; wheat growers are beginning to experience it now, and the farmers of the corn belt will soon be in a position to experience it from the corn-hog adjustment campaign.

But, in all candor, I think a brief moment of gratification is enough; we seem to be on our way, but we are not yet out of the woods and it is of the utmost importance that we guard against letting a rise in farm income tempt us to forget the realities of supply and demand.

For it is only with full cooperation on the part of the farmers that the success of the program can be assured. That program is worthy of your complete confidence and support, for it looks not alone to immediate relief, but to a sustained prosperity based on sane principles.

Very sincerely yours,

Edward A. O'Neal, Esq.,


American Farm Bureau Federation,

Chicago, Illinois.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, A Letter on the Improvement of Agriculture. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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