A reader shares the story of growing up with agriculture news in the Capper’s Farmer magazine.
The cover of the June 1948 issue of Capper's Farmer shows a young girl after getting a haircut by her barber.
I was born in the early 1940s, when times were tough and people didn’t spend their hard-earned money on foolish things. This was especially true of my dad, who was notorious for saying “no” to anything that wasn’t a necessity for the family.
I remember a Capper’s Farmer salesman stopping by our farm one day, showing my dad a copy of the magazine. Dad loved it, but he told the salesman we didn’t have money to spend on a magazine. The salesman then suggested a barter – a magazine subscription for a couple of plump hens. Dad was just about to agree to the deal, when Mom walked out with a plate of fresh-baked molasses cookies. Before Dad agreed, the salesman changed his offer, asking for one hen and a dozen cookies instead. My folks looked at each other, and then Dad told the salesman it was a deal. From that day forward, Dad never missed an issue of Capper’s Farmer – and that same salesman never missed an opportunity to stop by our farm for small talk and homemade cookies.
Providing for six children, money was always tight for my folks, but Dad was always willing to part with a hen, and some cookies, for a subscription to Capper’s Farmer, saying it was worth it, because the magazine was “rich in agriculture news, and it was full of educational, informative and entertaining advice to help the average man get ahead in the world.”
As soon as my folks finished reading the magazine, my three older brothers and I read it from cover to cover, and we used a lot of the information for school assignments.
When my dad passed away several years ago, among his possessions we found a good number of Capper’s Farmer magazines, all of them stored neatly in an antique trunk, in order by date, along with important documents and all of the letters written by my folks to each other while Dad was deployed. The issues he kept must have been special to him for some reason, so they’re now in my cedar chest.
Recently, while standing in the checkout line at our local Dollar General, I spotted the “new” Capper’s Farmer. I couldn’t believe my eyes, and like my dad all those years ago, I just had to have it.
The recipes and photographs of food made me hungry, and I was thrilled to find that it’s still full of educational and informative articles. I especially enjoyed “Pages From the Past,” even though 1929 was a few years before my time. I know my dad would be happy to know that his favorite magazine is still in print – and still offering sound advice to the average man (and woman) for getting ahead.
I’m now a subscriber to your great magazine, and I can’t wait to get my next issue. Don’t tell my wife, but I’m glad she sent me to the Dollar General that day, or I wouldn’t have rediscovered the beloved magazine I grew up with.
Thank you for continuing to produce such an outstanding magazine.
Thanks for sharing this great memory, John. We love hearing stories like yours, and we’re glad you rediscovered us. We’ll do our best to keep educating and entertaining folks. – Editors
Capper’s Farmer welcomes letters from our readers. If you’d like to comment on an article or share your opinions, send us an email (with photos, jpegs at least 300 dpi, if available) to firstname.lastname@example.org, send a letter via the USPS to Capper’s Farmer Editorial, Rural Free Delivery, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609, or post your comment on Facebook. (Electronic and social media submissions are more likely to generate a timely response.)
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