“The average Tennessee farmer gets up in the morning by the alarm of an Illinois clock (Big Ben), buttons his Chicago suspenders to Detroit overalls, washes his face with Cincinnati soap in a Pennsylvania pan. Sits down to a Grand Rapids table and eats Chicago meat, Indiana hominy, fried in Kansas lard on a Saint Louis stove. He then lights his New York lantern and goes out to the barn and puts an Indianapolis bridle on a mule fed by Iowa corn and plows the farm, covered with Ohio mortgage, with a South Bend plow, and when bedtime comes he reads a chapter in the Bible printed in Boston and says a prayer written in Jerusalem. Crawls under a blanket made in New Jersey only to be kept awake all night by the barks and wails of a Tennessee yellow hound dog, the only home product on the place. And then wonders why he cannot make money.”
I would say that the above is what the boys like to term self explanatory.
I recently found this hand written paper attributed to my great grandfather, and I typed it as written. I cannot say for certain if he wrote it, or if it was the equivalent of a shared Facebook post from the early 1900s that he copied and added his two cents on at the end.
What’s fascinating to me during the current Made in America Week, is how much we have and have not changed. I also wonder what he would think of our global market where 95% of the world’s consumers live outside U.S. borders.
Now even more goods and services and market forces influence the profitability of farmers in Tennessee and elsewhere. Our milk stays here occasionally, but more often it is processed at a plant nearly three hours away. It makes you wonder, like my great grandfather, where local begins and ends.