SEGMENT: CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS, ACTIVITIES, & ORGANIZATIONS

Luke Bridger>NIU Collection>NIU Collection, Segment 5

SEGMENT: CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS, ACTIVITIES, & ORGANIZATIONS,

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CHANGES IN FARMING METHODS
More land in cultivation the more tractors were needed. Five-bottom plow (Allis-Chalmers) was the largest. Had several tractors, mainly Allis-Chalmers. Most tractors were three-bottom plow tractors. Testing programs for soil nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate, potash). Tested land regularly. Applied what was recommended. Started this in late 1950's. In beginning of career farming was diversified (manure & crop rotation) & did not need more fertilizer. Nutrients replenished through crop rotation, "seeding so much", spreading of manure, & letting fields lie fallow. As farming became more intensive ("heavier production of crops") started soil testing & increased application of fertilizers. Use of chemicals became way of life for farmer. Farming mainly same as always, although after he quit no-till introduced, & now son does a lot of no-till.
EDUCATION
Went to Genoa grade & high school. Sons interested in agriculture & in college they studied agriculture. 1 son became a teacher & then banker. 1 son went to Kishwaukee College & now farms. 1 daughter studied math. 1 daughter also studied math & got her master's degree is now with IBM.
CHILDREN'S ACTIVITIES
Boys played football & some basketball. Girls involved in different school activities. 1 daughter was valedictorian. 1 son was president of class for 5 years (8th grade through high school).
CHURCH ACTIVITIES
Belonged to Methodist church in Genoa. Baptized Episcopalian because parents were English. Always went to closest church & closest school. Always lived in country & joined nearest (Protestant) church. Wife belongs to church circles.
ORGANIZATIONS
Wife belongs to home extension club. Luke belongs to Men's Club & Senior Citizens. Luke was chairman of administration board of church, He & wife both were Sunday school teachers & active in church. 4-H