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Vol. 12, No. 10


The Texas Agricultural Experiment Sta­
tion initiated an intensive study on the agri­
cultural resources and opportunities for fur­
ther development in east Texas. As a part of
this work, Bardin H. Nelson made a study
of attitudes of high school seniors toward
opportunities and social services in an east
Texas county. All of the white senior girls
and boys in the county, 127 boys and 107
girls, were interviewed during the first half of
1956. Of the 234 students, 78 were classi­
fied as rural farm youth, 72 as rural nonfarm
youth, and 84 as urbanites.
Two methods were used in obtaining an
insight into the attitudes of the high school
seniors: (a) an attitude scale and (b) a per­
sonal interview of the depth type, which
included various counseling methods.
The survey revealed that the students had
very favorable attitudes toward rural life
and most institutional services provided by
<___ the local area. The three general areas which
the students felt were inadequate in their
home county were job opportunities, oppor­
tunities to obtain special training or skills,
and recreational opportunities and programs.
On the basis of the students’ responses,
Professor Nelson made some suggestions for
action programs, which concentrate on sev­
eral aspects of the problems facing the
1. A counseling service, with particular
reference to employment opportunities.

October 15, 1957

2. Training programs to develop special
skills, particularly for youth not going to
3. A public relations program to inform
students of local efforts to attract industry
and acquaint them with plans for growth and
development of the local area.
4. Increased emphasis on part-time farm­
ing as an acceptable means of combining
the advantages of off-farm employment with
those of farm life.
Summarized responses from the study on
such questions as farm ownership versus
town jobs, supplemental farm enterprises,
employment in home county, and the school
program are as follows.
Farm Ownership versus Town Job

Male students were asked the question, “If
you were ready to begin your life’s work and
had a choice of the following two situations,
which would you choose: (1) an average job
in a town or city or (2) to own and operate
your own farm?” Girls were asked which of
these two situations they would prefer their
future husbands to select.
Of the 47 boys who lived on farms, 32 in­
dicated their preference for the average job
in town, while 10 out of the 15 who selected
the other alternative gave qualified answers.
Seven of the 10 who made qualified answers
indicated that they would farm only if they
could begin with the right setup. Only 2 of



the 31 girls who lived on farms preferred to
have their husbands farm.
Among the 71 rural nonfarm boys and
girls, only 4 indicated a preference for farm­
ing, and even these 4 added significant quali­
fications. Also, only 4 of the 84 urban stu­
dents selected ownership and operation of a
farm. Some reasons given for not choosing
farming as an occupation included low in­
come, risks involved, large capital required,
hard work, and long hours.
Supplemental Farm Enterprises

Twenty-one of the 47 farm boys indicated
that broiler production has been helpful to
farmers in the county; 9 of the boys had neg­
ative attitudes about broiler production,
while the remaining 17 were either neutral
or uncertain. Generally all except 6 of the
students felt that broiler production offered
little permanent hope to farm people, and
none of the students thought that the broiler
business offered an occupational opportunity
for him personally.
Attitudes of 28 of the 47 farm boys were
favorable toward dairy farming, while 5 were
negative and 14 were either neutral or did
not know. The big investment required and
the long hours involved were the basis of
the negative attitudes.
All of the farm boys indicated a very
strong reaction against the idea of borrowing
money to go into either dairying or broiler
production, because the returns are too small
and uncertain for the risks involved. Analysis
of the attitudes of the students indicated
that they were determined not to become
burdened with debts or other long-term obli­
gations, except for a car, home, and
The Texas A. & M. study analyzed the
attitudes of students with respect to other
supplementary or full-time employment op­
portunities in the community. Of the 47 rural
farm boys, 33 had strong inclinations against
pulpwood cutting and sawmill work. Two of
the boys stated that it did pay well, but it
was hard work. The remaining 12 youngsters
indicated that they were not familiar enough

with the work to know how they would
like it.
Nearly every student interviewed indi­
cated that industrial development in the com­
munity will determine the county’s progress.
This attitude illustrated the lack of faith they
have in the future of agriculture in the area.
Many reasons were advanced as to why in­
dustry had not developed more rapidly. The
broad classifications of half of the respond­
ents’ reasons fell into three categories. Fortyfour believed that the city council and other
people had blocked industrial development;
35 students thought that the lack of adequate
water was a limiting factor; and 15 of the
seniors believed that the necessary changes
and developments were hindered because
too many people were set in their ways and
were unwilling to change. These varied re­
sponses, according to the study, revealed that
a significant proportion of the students had
little appreciation for the adult business and
industrial leaders of the area.
Employment in Home County versus Elsewhere

Thirty of the 47 farm boys preferred em­
ployment in their home county, 16 preferred
work elsewhere, while 1 was undecided. The
general attitude of the rural farm girls did
not differ materially from that of the boys
as 21 of the 31 girls preferred to work in the
home county, 7 preferred employment else­
where, and 3 were undecided. The urban
boys and girls were more critical of the em­
ployment situation in the home county than
were the rural farm or rural nonfarm young­
sters. Slightly more than half of the urban
group stated that they would prefer to work
elsewhere. Although a significant proportion
of all students desired work in their home
community, many had grave doubts about
the availability of job opportunities and
many felt that the better-paying jobs were
not available locally.
School Program

The programs and facilities of the high
schools in the area were rated adequate by
132 seniors and very adequate by 18; an
inadequate rating was given by 62 students,


and very inadequate, by 7. The lack of
course offerings was the primary weakness
cited by more than three-fourths of the stu­
dents. The interviewer sensed that the stu­
dents’ strong appreciation of higher educa­
tion as a means for obtaining acceptable em­
ployment played a large part in determining
their attitudes toward their schools.
Generally, the students had very favorable
reactions toward 4-H Club and vocational
agriculture programs, but they expressed
strong opinions that vocational agriculture
should include more shop or industrial train­
ing, or that separate industrial educational
courses should be established.
Additives in Cattle Rations

In extended feeding trials, combinations
of stilbestrol and antibiotics in yearling steer
rations resulted in higher, more economical
gains and heavier carcasses than either stil­
bestrol or antibiotics alone, report animal
husbandmen at the Texas A gricultural
Experiment Station.
In a 96-day feeding trial, only slightly
higher gains were noted when cattle were fed
dual combinations of stilbestrol and terramycin, aureomycin, or ilotycin; but in a 140day test, specialists detected a decided ad­
vantage of the antibiotic additives. During
the 140 days, steers receiving rations con­
taining both stilbestrol and an antibiotic
gained an average of 29 pounds more than
those fed stilbestrol alone and 94 pounds
more than a control group receiving neither
form of supplement. Carcass weights of steers
fed combinations of stilbestrol and antibio­
tics generally were more satisfactory than
those of animals fed single additives.
Additional feeding tests reaffirm earlier
research results that feed additives promote
faster gains. In a 96-day experiment, yearling
steers fed only stilbestrol at the rate of 10
milligrams per head daily weighed an aver­
age of 44 pounds more when marketed than
a control group receiving none. The average
carcass weight was 31 pounds heavier. In
similar tests extended to 140 days, stilbes-


trol-fed steers weighed an average of 65
pounds more when marketed than the control
group and dressed out 31 pounds heavier.
Cattle fed only the antibiotics terramycin,
aureomycin, or ilotycin at a daily rate of 75
milligrams per head made higher gains than
the control animals but lower gains than stilbestrol-fed cattle in either the 96-day or the
140-day tests.
Texas Goat Outlook Good

According to a recent re­
port from the Texas Agri­
cultural Experiment Sta­
tion, the future looks rela­
tively good for the State’s
goat producers. Many
farmers and ranchers are
combining cattle, sheep, and goats on the
same ranges and are obtaining better weight
gains and higher monetary returns.
Selection of heavier-fleeced bucks for
breeding herds has increased the average
mohair clip three-fourths of a pound during
the past 12 years, says Dr. John McNeely,
agricultural economist with the Texas Exper­
iment Station.
The Texas goat supply is seasonal, and
most producers sell culls and undesirable ani­
mals, regardless of price at the time of mar­
keting. There seems to be no short-term
production or marketing response to high or
low prices. Farmers buy or sell goats because
of range conditions and mohair prices. Pack­
ers vary purchases with the spread between
prices for goats and those for canner and
cutter cows.
Although about 47 percent of Texas pro­
ducers sell some goats to neighbors or indi­
vidual buyers, over half the total annual vol­
ume of goat marketings is handled through
stockyards and auctions. The marketing sea­
son begins in March and April and is rela­
tively steady through July. A larger volume
is marketed in August, September, and
Spanish-type goats are produced for meat,
brush control, or slaughter and stocker sales.



Angora goats are raised primarily for the cracked eggs, body checks, leakers, and
production of mohair but are also useful for number of clean eggs.
brush control and eventually are sold for Little difference was observed in the albu­
men quality and shell thickness of eggs from
the two groups; however, eggs from hens
Sorghum Head Smut
held in cages were more porous and weighed
slightly more than those from layers on the
During the past summer, serious infesta­ floor.
tions of grain sorghum head smut in the More light-dirty eggs were observed from
Coastal Bend area and Medina County,
Texas, were reported by Harlan Smith, plant caged hens, while the number of mediumpathologist with the State Agricultural Ex­ and heavy-dirty eggs was about the same for
tension Service. Farmers in areas where the both groups. Hens in cages produced about
three times as many cracked eggs and more
outbreaks occurred should make plans now leakers
than did layers on the floor.
to prevent further spread of the disease.
Seed treatment — effective only where
Penicillin Crackdown
soils are free of the fungus — helps prevent
introduction of head smut into areas free of Unless dairymen do a better job of keeping
the disease. Such fungicides as Arasan, Phyout of milk sold, officials of the
gon, Spergon, Dow 9B, and Delsan are rec­ antibiotics
Drug Administration have an­
ommended for seed treatment.
nounced that they will favor a complete ban
Once fields are badly infected, sorghums against penicillin udder infusions, according
should not be planted for as long a period to E. E. Anderson, Extension dairyman at
as possible, and smut-resistant varieties New Mexico A. & M. College.
should be used. According to Mr. Smith,
Martin milo is not as susceptible to head Claims are made that more than 95 per­
smut as is Combine 7078, and indications cent of all mastitis ointments contain penicil­
are that Hegari is resistant. RS 610 and the lin. In 1956, a total of 75 tons of penicillin
other Texas hybrids recently introduced are was produced for mastitis preparations, or
about one-sixth of the annual output of this
susceptible to the disease.
The plant pathologist urges farmers to use antibiotic for all purposes.
measures to prevent head smut. Seed from Under a regulation effective July 29,1957,
infected fields should not be used for plant­ ointment makers must put a warning on the
ing, and farmers in areas free of the disease package label for proper use of the prepara­
should treat all planting seed to prevent in­ tions. The warning advises farmers to with­
troduction of sorghum head smut into their hold from the human market all milk from
treated cows for 3 days after treatment. With
twice-a-day milking, this length of time is
required for the antibiotic to be washed out
Eggs Under Two Management
of the cow’s udder.
Another regulation concerns the strength
The Department of Poultry Science of the of ointments. The regulation provides that
Texas Agricultural Experiment Station re­ no single shot of mastitis ointment can con­
cently made a study of the market quality of tain more than 100,000 units of penicillin.
eggs laid by hens held in cages and the qual­
ity of those from hens on the floor. Four dif­
ferent strains of layers were used, and com­
The Agricultural News Letter is prepared in
the Research Department under the direction
parisons were made of the variations in al­
of J. Z. R , Agricultural Economist.
bumen quality, shell thickness, shell porosity,