Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sidles Receives Agricultural Recognition

The Seymour Herald - 22 September 1949
By Lloyd Burlingham
Because of his leadership as a soil conservationist Peter Sidles of Jerome will be presented with the W. G. Skelly award for superior achievement in agriculture on Sept. 24. He received the unanimous vote of 10 midwestern farm leaders in charge of the awards.

The 628-acre Sidles farm is just north of Jerome and seven and a half miles west of Centerville. Appanoose is definitely not the best farming country in the rich agricultural state of Iowa. In order to do a good job of soil management and food production in this section, it takes more careful farming than is required in some parts of the state.

Sidles' land was on the poor side when he first took over, but he laid out a complete farm plan, including contouring, terracing, strip-cropping and using soil conserving rotations. He has made a notable success of fitting his program to the peculiar soil problems of the country. Pasture areas once barren and unproductive are now well covered and a source of valued grazing. Neighbors, seeing the practical results of Sidles soil care, regard him as an authority on soil conservation.
Record Speaks
Present productions include: 85 to 100 hogs, sold from 12 to 16 sows; the produce of a 40-cow beef herd; a small poultry flock, and three dairy cows. About 85 acres of corn are grown and an equal acreage of oats. Most of the rest of the farm is in pasture and in hay, a mixture of timothy, alfalfa and brome being used. New grasses are being constantly tried out, and improved strains of brome grass are used. Liming and fertilizer programs are carried out as needed and results measured.

Working with his neighbors, Sidles helped organize a soil conservation district in the county which has accomplished wonders. These people are progressive American farmers and the type who are responsible for making American agriculture the envy of the world. Their modern yet simple equation--comparing soil with money--is that "you can only take as many dollars out of a bank as those you put into it." Mr. Sidles is also a charter member of the Farm Bureau, a member of the Methodist church, an organizer of farm cooperatives, a member of the county school board and was on the FSA, Triple A and FHA boards.
Seven Sidles
There are seven Sidles in all. Mrs. Sidles, besides mothering four sons and a daughter, raises poultry, keeps a modern farm household well organized, and donates generously of her time to church work. Harry Sidles is an engineer; Paul Howard is an Iowa State College student; the daughter, Mrs. Virginia Strieff, is a nurse at Ames while her husband completes his college course, and the 17-year-old twins, Peter, Jr., and James, are active in Seymour high school and 4-H work.

During a large breakfast gathering in his home Saturday morning to which many friends and neighbors have been invited, Peter Sidles will receive his award consisting of a $100 U.S. savings bond, scroll and gold lapel pin, presented in behalf of W. O. Skelly, president of the Skelly Oil Company.

At this time, the story of his achievements will be broadcast over a NBC radio network by Lloyd Burlingham on "This Farming Business" program, following a sunrise summary of the world's latest news and that along with the American farming front.

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