‘An undue amount of reverence’ for the wisdom of ancestors

Our History: July 1892

‘An undue amount of reverence’ for the wisdom of ancestors

The front page of The Nor-West Farmer and Miller in July 1892 offered Case and Massey-Harris implements as well as money “at lowest rates and easy terms of payment.”

The editor reported on his visit on the Queen’s birthday to the lately organized farm institute at Cartier. “The Mennonite settlers east of the railroad track in that section have, in my humble opinion, an undue amount of reverence for the wisdom of their ancestors,” he wrote. “On some lines of action the old paths are safer than new, but the farmer who has become dead at the top and avoids learning anything new in this business is a shade too antiquated.”

He had more praise for the English-speaking neighbours with their “well-officered” institute and its president Mr. Wallace, who was making “a good start with sheep, though there is rather more wet land than quite suits them.”

An article reprinted from the Birtle Eye-Witness suggested Manitoba farmers should raise dairy cattle and get into the cheese business, rather than focusing on wheat which for the past few years had been “a doubtful source of profit.” Frost would not affect the dairy business, and it would “obviate the necessity of investing in the lot of expensive machinery to realize a like amount (of profit) by grain raising.”

In the Legislature, the infestation of “French weed” (stinkweed?) was a subject for discussion, one member calling on the minister of agriculture to require seeding of grass on infested land “until it can be controlled by a system of cultivation much better than now prevails.”

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