The Department of Agriculture Campaigns for Local Farmers to Increase Production for the War Effort (11 February 1915)

As the war dragged into 1915, the Dominion government encouraged Canadian farmers to increase their rates of production to feed Imperial forces. Advertisements for the government’s “Patriotism and Production” program began to appear in Waterloo Region newspapers in mid-February and continued through March. The goal of the campaign was to persuade Canadian farmers to produce higher volumes of staple foods and to preserve livestock for breeding.

The campaign also included government-sponsored, agricultural conferences, held throughout Canada. These conferences were educational in nature, including lectures from agricultural specialists, but were primarily aimed at reinforcing the campaign’s message to farmers. The Waterloo Chronicle-Telegraph reported on one such meeting at the Waterloo Town Hall which included talks by local agriculturalists on dairy production, sustainable livestock practices, and even the state of agriculture in Australia and New Zealand. The impact of these conferences on local practices may have been limited, however. The correspondent noted that both daytime and evening sessions of the conference were poorly attended.

(“Patriotism and Production: The Empire’s Call to Farmers,” Elmira Signet, 11 February 1915; “Waterloo County Farmers Urged to Increase Production,” Waterloo Chronicle-Telegraph, 11 February 1915.)