Montana veterans in farming, a study of the institutional on-farm training program
This study of the Veterans Institutional On-Farm Training Program, -under the G.I. Bill of Rights, was conducted to determine the progress that enrolled veterans had made in (l) establishment in farming, (2) establishment in home and community, and (3) reactions to present and future agricultural education programs for adults. Schedules were taken by personal interviews. One hundred Type "A", or self-proprietor farmer-veterans were chosen at random from schools that had maintained training classes for two or more years. All veterans in the survey had had at least two years of training prior to being chosen for the survey. Veterans selected were widely scattered throughout the State to give the best possible picture of the veterans progress and agricultural conditions in their respective areas. Schedules were taken largely by Field Supervisors of the Vocational Agricultural Department of the State Department of Public Instruction. The study reveals the progress made by veterans over a span of two years. In general, veterans are becoming better established in farming as shown by an increase in size of farms, a rather stable tenure status, an increase in the land used for crops, increased yields, and a decided increase in labor income and total net worth as sound investments in farming. In addition, livestock management has shown an increase in animal units per farm and increased rate of production of meat and livestock products. There is a gradual trend toward a more diversified type of farming which fits well with climatic and economic conditions for the State as a whole. Veterans are, in the main, rather well satisfied in farming, although they are conservative about their opinions on satisfaction of living conditions. The veteran does not possess strong inclinations to join civic, social, or cooperative organizations, He is more interested and active in community improvement projects and school affairs. The veteran's reaction toward the present training program is quite favorable. Eightly-six percent are interested in similar agricultural education classes for adults in the future. This interest is substantiated by a willingness of 93 percent of all veterans to pay tuition fees for an instructional program. Means of improving adult educational programs are recommended, including methods of class instruction for adults, increased on-farm individual instruction, systematic planning and development of adult classes, and means of presenting a broadened program supplemental to agricultural education.