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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 6 (September 2, 1935)

The Contrast

The Contrast.

We have travelled far since those days of the semi-primitive life. But I question whether the excessive specialisation of the farming industry in dairying has been altogether a change for the better. The dairy-farm nowadays is often a bare comfortless-looking place.

The ground for plantations is begrudged; most of the trees are felled; there are fewer orchards. A farm in the old days was self-contained; nearly everything that the family needed except clothes and a few groceries was produced there. Intensive dairy farming means that some of the amenities that make country life pleasant and happy are sacrificed. Machinery saves labour and time; but a farmer and his family are too often slaves to machinery and cows.

I know if I were a boy again I would sooner be a youngster on a far-back Waikato farm of that era than on one of these down-to-date places where they put through a hundred cows twice daily. That, too, in spite of the speeding-up devices and wondrous inventions of this age. We were not all standardised then by radio and cinema and motor-car. But now happily there are indications that the mechanisation of rural life has reached its crest, and that the inevitable reaction has set in in many places.