Our first issue of 1966 served as a companion guide to a five-day television short course called “This Business of Farming,” which was a joint project of the CBC, the three Prairie Departments of Agriculture and the three Prairie universities. Topics to be aired for five days included farmstead planning and beautification, wintering the beef herd, small-farm improvement, farm income stabilization and farm business organization. That issue of the Co-operator carried articles to accompany each program.
In other news, we reported on a joint project by the federal and Manitoba governments to reintroduce bison to the province. A herd of 20 was to be settled in the 500,000-acre Mawdesley Wildlife Management Area east of The Pas.
Editor Q.H. Martinson ruminated on how we were being affected by automation, including in farming, and what would happen as society moved into the “leisure” stage.
“The time is rapidly approaching when man will have to be sufficiently educated and mentally able to cope with a great deal more leisure time than he is now able to deal with in a suitable and satisfactory way.”
The editor also commented on the lack of sufficient enrolment in agricultural faculties to meet the projected need for graduates over the next 10 years. The dropout rate was of special concern — nationally there were 779 first-year students but only 503 in the fourth year. Manitoba’s record was worse — 112 in first year and only 36 in fourth year, a dropout rate of almost 66 per cent.