Full text: Modern business geography

Modern Business Geography 
Still another important reason for our leadership as a farming coun- 
try is the ease with which the crops are marketed. 
How our system of transportation aids farming. Railways and 
sometimes waterways take the farm products quite cheaply to most 
parts of our country where they are needed either as food or as raw 
materials for manufacturing industries. For products to be exported, 
there are excellent harbors facing the east, south, and west ; and Europe, 
the most important of the world’s markets, is not far from our shores. 
Our transportation facilities, however, are still far from perfect; 
for though the railroads are excellent, the building of good roads has 
only begun. Fortunately the farms in most sections rarely lie more 
than eight or ten miles from the railroads, and automobiles are rapidly 
becoming the farmer’s means of taking his products to market. 
In a new country one of the most difficult problems is to establish 
means of cheap transportation so that the surplus products can be 
marketed profitably. Millions of bushels of wheat were allowed to 
spoil in the early days of our western states and of the Canadian 
West, because the cost of hauling over the roadless prairies to the 
distant railroad was more than the wheat was worth. 
In advanced countries the government tries to aid farming in every 
possible way. Credit must be given to the Department of Agricul- 
ture of our own government for its work in helping the country to a 
leading position in agriculture. 
Work of the Department of Agriculture. Members of the De- 
partment are sent to foreign countries to seek new kinds of seeds, 
plants, and breeds of animals better suited to the climate and soil 
of the various parts of the country than those now grown here. 
Other members are scattered over the country at state and Fed- 
eral stations, where they raise all kinds of useful plants and animals 
and try to improve them. Some investigators are working out ways 
of protecting crops from frost and of suppressing animal diseases and 
the ravages of insect pests. Still others study weather and soils in 
relation to crops. 
Educational work. State governments as well as the national 
government take an active part in aiding the farmer. Most of them 
have departments of agriculture, and also agricultural colleges, 
which have long been partly supported by the Federal government. 
In many states the elements of agriculture are taught in the schools.

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