Chronicles of The Farm Woman: Relief

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Farmers in ever increasing numbers are haunting the relief office.  Much independence is sacrificed as they mount those steep stairs.  When a farmer has a little money in the bank, a crib of corn and a mow of alfalfa, five or six milk cows in the back pasture, a couple of litters of pigs, 200 pullets and a cave full of fruits and vegetables, when he has all these he is as independent as nobody’s business.

Debt, first of all, shears us of much of our independence.  Especially debts that cannot be met when due.  Three years without a crop pushes us toward despair.  No grain means no chicken feed.   And this year no garden has driven us to ascend the stairs to the relief office to ask for aid.

Farmers want work.  As they apply they are referred to the WPA in Topeka.  In one specific instance the case worker made an investigation one month ago and recommended that the farmer be given work.  She supposed her recommendation had been carried out.  A near-neighbor discovered quite by accident that the last chicken had been exchanged for flour and the flour almost gone.  Somewhere in the mill this man’s name reposes – his credit gone.  Work relief, his very last hope, does not come because he has not yet been certified.

This man is a neighbor.

If I were not a Republican already this one instance would convert me.

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