Samuel Armor.

History of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present online

. (page 24 of 191)
Online LibrarySamuel ArmorHistory of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 24 of 191)
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paign was conducted under the leadership of the Farm Advisor, assisted by
membership committees in each of the Centers. It is planned to have another
membership drive in the early part of next year, with the end in view of doubling
the present membership.

Owing to the fact that the Farm Bureau has been a new organization in
the county, and owing to the large number of other organizations and attrac-
tions which exist in this highly developed community, the Farm Bureau found
existence in its early history rather doubtful but, with the cooperation of a
strong Board of Directors, who have encouraged the Farm Advisor from the
very beginning, the institution has made great strides during the past year,
and has established for itself a permanent home in the hearts and needs of the
farmers of the county. There has been a continuous and untiring campaign
of education to bring the farmer of this highly developed county to the appre-
ciation of his need of such an organization as represented by the Farm Bureau,
but now that it has established a firm foothold, there is no doubt in the minds
of the officers of the organization that the Farm Bureau will become stronger
year by year, and become the organization through which the farmers of the
county will obtain their due representation and voice their sentiments as they
have never been able to do before. Especially, with the organization of a
State Farm Bureau Federation, do the Farm Bureau members feel that their
organization in this county, as well as throughout the state, is going to help solve
the large problems and issues facing agricultural interests, and it is this one
step in the experience and development of the Farm Bureau work that we feel
will insure the permanency of the organization. Its mission as far as Orange
County is concerned will be to take up the larger issues of legislation and repre-
sentation among the other great classes of the state and nation. It is on this
strong argument, as well as the projection of local county projects, that the next
campaign for membership will be based.

The average farmer of this county is a man of education and business abilitx .
especially among the citrus growers, where we find a large percentage of doctors.



178 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

educators and professional men, and necessarily the Farm Bureau has been
called upon to present highly specialized subjects in its monthly meetings, and
for this reason it is most urgent that the University, the Experiment Station and
the U. S. Department of Agriculture be called upon to meet this specialized
demand. It is not possible for the County Agent to become so specialized in all
the industries of the county, which include orange growing, lemon growing, sugar
beet, bean and truck crop growing, besides the many other highly specialized
minor industries which have developed in the county. In order to do justice to the
work, therefore, the Farm Advisor deems it necessary to meet these special
demands by calling upon experts of the various state and government depart-
ments, which is a condition that has to be met by most of the southern counties
of this state where the crops grown are so highly specialized.

Agriculturally speaking. Orange County may be divided into two main
sections: the northern third specializes almost entirely on citrus fruits and
walnuts, while the southern two-thirds is devoted to growing beans, .sugar
beets, grains, as well as dairying. As far as the Farm Bureau is concerned
with relation of these two divisions, the interests and demands on the Farm
Advisor of these respective parts are widely different, and it has been his aim
to meet them accordingly.

The high values of farming lands of this county, ranging from $200 to $5,000
per acre, make intensive farming necessary. Double cropping is the general rule
on most of the lands devoted to annual crops. The citrus sections present many
highly specialized problems, including soil fertilizers, control of tree diseases,
including gummosis, scaly bark, oak rot fungus: control of orchard insects and
pests, irrigation, drainage, cover cropping, pruning, rejuvenation. of old trees,
bud selection and numerous other phases. The Farm Bureau is endeavoring to
meet these problems every day by educational meetings, field demonstrations and
personal visits to the farm.

In the southern farming section a wide range of conditions and problems
confronts the farmer, the most important of which are alkali reclamation, drain-
age, irrigation, moisture conservation, soil and crop tests, seed selection and weed
eradication. Like other counties in this portion of the state. Orange County
presents agricultural problems of more or less local character. Projects which
are proposed for general California conditions are not in main applicable to
our local conditions. For example, our climatic and moisture conditions do
not favor the growing of wheat; stock raising is carried on in a very limited
way; sheep and hogs have not found much favor Ijecause of the scarcity of
feed, as well as higher returns brought by other crops. On the other hand,
any project relating to the increase of citrus yields, bean or beet crops, have
received the heartiest reception.

The Farm Bureau and the Farm Advisor are endeavoring to cooperate
with all the farm industries of the county, bringing to their attention the latest
information on the various projects involved. This is being done by means of
practical field demonstrations, showing the application of methods, or results
brought about by scientific application. Excursions have been a popular means
of bringing the Orange Cotuity farmer in touch with the best agricultural prac-
tices. The Farm Bureau has conducted several excursions to the Citrus Experi-
ment Station at Riverside, as well as local county excursions pointing out the
best practices of practical farmers.

Another educational feature of the Farm Bureau work is the publication of
a Farm Bureau Weekly, which is incorporated in the largest paper in the county.
During the first year, the Farm Bureau issued a standard sized Farm Bureau
Monthly, which reached only the membership of the Farm Bureau. In order
to bring the purpose of this organization before a larger number of readers,
the Board of Directors proposed a plan of supplying agricultural news items.
Farm Bureau write-ups and other material of special interest to the farmers of
the county, to the management of the Santa Ana Register, which has the largest



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 179

circulation of the county, approximately 6,000 subscribers, liy incorporating
the Farm Bureau news in this paper each Wednesday of the week, the Directors
of the Farm Bureau feel that the Farm Bureau will get a much larger Dublicity
for information which it can disseminate, which will be of greater influence
throughout the county, resulting from the increased circulation.

From time to time the County Itinerants are called together by the Farm
Advisor for the purpose of discussing the correlation of the various depart-
ments. These conferences include the County Horticultural Commissioner,
County Librarian, County School Superintendent, Forest Supervisor, County
Sealer of Weights and the Farm Advisor. The County Horticultural Commis-
sioner and the County Farm Advisor have cooperated very closely with the
extension of their work throughout the county, inasmuch as a large portion of
the work of the Farm Advisor is with the horticultural interests of the county.

When the Pacific Telephone Company raised its rates in March and May,
1919, and also discontinued the free toll service between nearby towns, the Farm
Bureau initiated a movement to organize a county-wide mutual telephone associa-
tion, through which they hoped to lower the rates, get more satisfactory service,
and give a county-wide free toll exchange. After considerable agitation through
the Farm Centers of the county, committees were appointed representing each
district to work out a plan of organization. They soon got the business men of
the county interested in this movement and, together with the Associated Cham-
bers of Commerce, the Farm Bureau has appointed an Executive Committee and
retained attorneys, who have obtained a state charter and county franchise for
the organization of a county mutual telephone association. The name of this
organization is known as the "Farmers and Merchants Association." The com-
mittee has had to surmount many obstacles during the year in order to meet the
opposition created by the telephone monopolists and the Railroad Commission,
but it feels now that it has progressed far enough along to start actual construc-
tion and operation. According to present plans the first unit of the exchange will
be constructed at Garden Grove. The Farm Center of Garden Grove is raising
funds for the construction of this unit. It is expected that this will be extended
over the entire county. The committees have worked out a feasible plan of
finance, which may be paid out in monthly installments by the telephone users.
When the organization and construction have been completed there will be
approximately 10,000 phones in the system.

As was reported in the last annual report of the Farm .Advisor, considerable
effort had been made by the Farm Bureau in proposing legislation for the con-
servation of large quantities of water which are being annually wasted through
the artesian belts of Orange County and other artesian sections of the state. The
legislative committee of the Farm Bureau compiled a bill, with the assistance of
its attorneys, which was presented by the assemblyman of this district, referred
to the conservation committee of both the House and the Senate, and brought
on the legislative floors several times during the session of the last legislature.
The Farm Bureau sent delegations to Sacramento to work in the interests of
this conservation law. Assembly Bill No. 6, but were met with a strong lobby
from the opposing elements, backed by the wealthy gim clubs of the state. The
bill met with a defeat of forty-two to twenty-five. This defeat, however, has
only increased the determination of the Farm Bureau members of this county
to see the same law through at the next legislature, and experience during the
past year will give them better preparation for a continued fight. It is expected
that this will be one of the issues taken up by the legislative committee of the
State Federation of Farm Bureaus, as it is one of paramount importance in the
arid regions of this state where water is of such high value and importance.

A movement i.s on foot at the present time by agricultural interests of
the southern counties for the conservation of winter precipitation and the protec-
•tion of the watersheds from wliich the irrigation water from our rivers and the
underground strata originate. The Farm Bureau is lending its moral and finan-



180 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

cial assistance with the other organizations of the county in bringing about a
practical plan of conserving and storing the winter waters by means of retaining
dams and reforestation. This is one of the vital issues before the county at the
present time.

ReaHzing the need of better transportation facihties. and the great demand
that the future will make on eastern shipments, the farmers of the county, includ-
ing the membership of the Farm Bureau, have assisted materially in passing the
recent County Bond Issue for the purpose of developing Newport Harbor, the
water shipping point of Orange County. Citrus associations and other marketing
associations of the county are planning an immense development in eastern .ship-
ments of fruits, walnuts, beans and other products. With the development of the
local harbor, direct steamer shipments can be made from this county to eastern
points through the Panama Canal.

Considerable educational work through the Farm Centers of the fruit sections
has been given for the purpose of acquainting the producer with the require-
ments of the new standardization fruit law which specifies the quality of all fruits
as to color, ripeness, blemishes, size, etc. This law was created for the purpose
of putting a better quality of fruit on the market, and protecting the consumer.
The grower is given a standard to go by, and in most cases he will get a better
price for his product, although there will be more waste than under the old
svstem. However, this waste may be utilized for by-products.

During the year a systematic Rodent Control campaign was carried on l)y
•the Horticultural Commissioner, cooperating with the Farm Centers located in
the general farming and grain sections. Considerable publicity work was carried
on by the Farm Bureau, and quantities of poison sold through this office. As a
result the squirrel pest has been greatly decreased. The campaign has been very
efficient and many thousands of dollars' worth of crops saved as a result.

There are now about ten boys' clubs in the county under the direct supervision
of Smith-Lever Agricultural teachers of the high schools. Several more clubs
are contemplated for the coming year. These cklbs are located at Huntington
Beach and Fullerton. During the past year the Huntington B.each club boys have
been raising pure-bred hogs very successfully. In some instances they have
taken the lead in hog raising in the neighborhood. The Fullerton clubs have
just been organized, and it is expected that they will take up pure-bred hog raising
and home gardens. Two boys were sent to the State Conference of Agricultural
Clubs at Davis in October. We have found that parents have become interested
in Farm Bureau work through the boys who participated in agricultural club
work. By extension of agricultural club work in the countv it is hoped to influ-
ence a larger Farm Bureau membership. The club boys, during the year, have
participated in a number of agricultural exhibits, showing the products of their
work. The future for the club work in Orange County looks very bright.

The Farm Advisor has assisted seventy-two boys in growing home gardens.
.\ Home Garden Campaign was started through the schools in the county in the
early part of this year. The agricultural teachers in charge have asked the direct
cooperation of the Farm Advisor. Seventy-two gardens were carried through
the year. In some cases the boys or girls keeping these gardens realized fair
profits, which have encouraged the work more than any other feature in its
connection. Another Home Garden Campaign is being outlined by the Farm
Advisor and the agricultural teachers in the county for the ensuing year.

During the year the Farm Bureau has participated in two fairs, the ( )range
County Fair at Huntington Beach and the Southern California Fair at River-
side. At both of these fairs, booths were maintained by the Farm Bureau, giving
information concerning the agricultural extension work in the county and offering
information to the many farmers calling at the booth. This feature has proven
to be not only of educational value to the farmer, but also has meant consider-
able publicity for the Farm Bureau. The Directors have approved of making
this a permanent, annual event.



HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY 181

A large area of the agricultural lands of the southern and western part of
the county is subject to the rise of alkaline salts and high water table. The
Farm Bureau has pointed out the best methods of meeting this situation through
the installation of drainage systems. Numerous Center meetings have been de-
voted to the discussion of drainage, special meetings have been called, commit-
tees appointed, and as a result four districts are in process of organization,
namely: Buena Park. Cypress. Buaro and Garden Grove. The Farm Advisor
has called upon the Division of Soil Technolog>' of the University for informa-
tion and assistance in the organization of these districts, to which this department
very nicely responded. The acreages involved in the above districts are as
follows: Buena Park, 8,000 acres; Cypress. 4.000 acres: Buaro, 1,000 acres;
Garden Grove, 4,000 acres.

Orange County is one of the pioneers in the state for drainage work, there
being already six or seven drainage districts in operation. With the intensive
use of irrigation waters over the large areas in this county, the need of drainage
would become more and more imperative. Investigational data taken in several
<listricts of the county show that the surface water table is gradually rising, and as
a consequence the alkaline salts are accumulating in great (|uantities year by
year. In order to establish a permanent form of agriculture in the irrigated dis-
tricts, tlie Farm Bureau is endeavoring to emphasize the use of drains for the
carrying off of excessive waters and carrying away the alkahnc salts in solution.
Drainage has been one of the strong projects of the Farm Bureau, which is justi-
fying its existence and showing the farmer the benefits which might be derived
from such an organization. It is the accomplishment of practical projects of
this kind that will bring the Farm Bureau closer to the practical farmer.

A\'ith the rising values of land in the Huntington Beach Mesa District, the
farmers and property owners there have come to see the need of more intensive
farming operations, but in order to bring this about they see the necessity of a
better irrigation system and more water. At their request the Farm Bureau
has called several meetings for the purpose of getting the sentiments of the people
on the formation of an Irrigation District. A splendid source of water has been
located in the near vicinity, the water rights of which have been filed on by a
Farm Bureau Committee. The district is in the process of organization. There
has been consiilerable opposition to the expense involved in the construction of
an efficient distributing system, but it will be only a matter of time, after a
number of educational meetings, when the farmer of this district will come to
realize that a nominal expenditure per acre for the development of water on his
land will pay interest in large returns, which he is not now enjoying. This
di.strict comprises approximately 3,000 acres. There is a supply of 500 miner's
inches that can be used for distributing over this system. The approximate cost
of construction will be about $100 per acre.

Although the grain industry is small in Orange County, there is some
hazard from fire during the dry season. There are about 20,000 acres of barley
and wheat, not to mention the thousands of acres of grazing land, that need fire
protection. The Farm Bureau is trying to emphasize the importance of diminish-
ing this hazard by providing efficient rural fire fighting apparatus and establishing
them at strategic points.

Besides the regular monthly Center meetings held at each Center, other
special courses of meetings are planned for the edification of certain special sub-
jects. In February. 1919, the Farm Bureau cooperated with the State Depart-
ment of Education in staging a tractor school which operated three weeks. The
first two weeks were devoted to class and shop instruction, the last week to fieM
operations. An attendance of 250 enrolled. A citrus and walnut growers' insti-
tute was arranged for December, to occupy a week, and was held at the Fullertnn
Union high school.

The Farm .\dvisor calls upon experts from the various government and state
institutions to meet the ilcmands of the growers of these specialized crops. Dur-



182 HISTORY OF ORANGE COUNTY

ing the year 213 meetings and demonstrations were held, at which 11.573 persons
attended. Men from the College of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture
assisted in seventy-three of these meetings.

Seeing is believing. Never was this truer than in its application to Farm
Bureau work. The success of agricultural extension is in proportion to the
number of practical field demonstrations which carry the message home to the
farmer. \\'ith this in view the Farm .\dvisor planned and conducted eighty-nine
fielcl demonstrations during the past year. Five thousand seven hundred sixty-
four farmers came to these field meetings. .\s the work progresses these meetings
are becoming more popular, as is shown by the larger average attendance at dem-
onstrations this year than last. Among the subjects taken up during the year
were :

Eight cover crop demonstration plots were located in the citrus belt, covering
27S acres. Five meetings were held with an attendance of 129. These'plots show
the effect of cover crops on the physical condition of the soil, the relation of
time of seeding, amount of seed and amount of water used, to the yield.

The Bureau of Plant Industry has given assistance in diseases of the potato
and tomato. Demonstrations, showing the nature of various diseases, especially
the JNIosaic, Rhizactonia and other fungus diseases in both crops have been held.
The potato industry is very small in the county, but tomato growing for seed
is reaching large proportions.

Fusarium in peppers has been shown to be a soil disease requiring rotation
of crops. This disease is becoming more serious each year. The pepper acreage
is growing — about 6,000 acres this year.

Bean seed selection is one of our most important projects. Growers in the
past have given too little attention to the quality and pedigree of the seed from
which they expect large returns. The attention of the farmer is being brought
to the need of better seed, and selection from vigorous, prolific plants.

A cow testing department of the Bureau has been organized. There are
fourteen members with 502 cows. The cow tester visits and tests each herd once
a month. The Countv Agent is planning a series of dairymen's meetings to
bring about a closer relationship between the dairies of the county and encourage
the industry as inuch as possible. The expansion of the dairy industry is one
of the solutions of the fertilizer problems in the citrus belt. The time is coming
when the farmer will consider the stock farm a necessary adjunct to fruit
growing more than he appreciates now.

Five commercial poultry plants have been located for demonstration \)uv-
poses in the county to cooperate with the Poultry Department of the University
in keeping data as to egg production, feeds, etc. During the year there have
been thirteen culling demonstrations. There are 11,000 birds included in the
five demonstration plants. The poultry industry in the county is growing and is
deserving of considerable attention in the way of flock improvement. The farmers
are showing considerable interest in these culling deinonstrations, and as a result
we expect to improve the average flock considerably. Three poultry disease
demonstrations were held at which an expert from the Pathological Department
of the State College of .-Vgriculture demonstrated the treatment for chicken pox.

As has been explained in a former paragraph, drainage is one of the most
important projects before the Farm Bureau. Eight drainage demonstrations
have been held and four special meetings. The area in the four drainage dis-
tricts under way of organization is 18.000 acres. The Farm Advisor has con-
tinually emphasized the necessity and advantage of drainage in reclaiming alkaline
salts, the only practical means of properly carrying away the salts from the land.
About one-fourth of the farm visits made by the Farm Advisor have been in
relation to the problem of reclaiming alkaline soils.

The economical use of water and obtaining the maximum duty of irrigation
water is receiving considerable attention from the fanner in Orange County.
^^'ater is the limiting factor in the production of crops here. It is largely pumped



IITSTORY OF ORAXGE COUNTY 183

and brought in through the expensive canal system, and therefore it behooves
the farmers to arrange it so as to obtain its maximum duty, because of the high
vahie of this water. In many cases the Farm Advisor has tested soils for
moisture and found that either too much or too little had been used, owing to the
wrong method of irrigation, or the time allowed for irrigation. The use of a
soil auger has been advised in every orchard visited, to determine the depth of
moisture, penetration, and the length of time for each application. Four soil
moisture demonstrations were held during the year, at which the use of the soil
auger., various methods of water application, and the time used in running- the
water in furrows or checks were exemplified.

\\'ith the aid of the Farm Account Expert from the I'niversity. 102 books
have been started by the Farm Accountant or the Farm .Vdvisor personally. It



Online LibrarySamuel ArmorHistory of Orange County, California : with biographical sketches of the leading men and women of the county who have been identified with its earliest growth and development from the early days to the present → online text (page 24 of 191)