A Champion of the Foothills

Here’s an inspiring read for youngsters with an interest in farming: A Champion of the Foothills by Lewis Edwin Theiss.

Ned Higgins grew up on his father’s run-down farm, firmly believing that it will never amount to anything.  His sole ambition is to find a paying city job that will enable him to buy a gun and a new dress for his mother.  Then one night his eye falls on a headline in a newspaper: “Alabama Boy Raises 232 Bushels of Corn to the Acre.”

In that instant Ned’s life changes.  He determines to learn how to make farming pay.  His visions grow with time, and soon his new goal is to become a breeder of superior seed corn.

There are plenty of things future farmers can learn from A Champion of the Foothills, particularly about soil health, green manures, and corn breeding.  But much of the book’s value comes from its emphasis on the principle so aptly stated by E. S. Teagarden, author of Growing Corn Successfully:

Do well whatever is attempted and best results will always follow, whether it is growing corn for the general crop, or for seed, or any other work to be done on the farm, whether in connection with growing crops or raising stock, or in any other of the many departments of farm work.

Whether read as a lesson in diligence, a look at the basics of corn breeding, or simply an enjoyable story of one boy’s success, A Champion of the Foothills is well worth adding to the family library.

And for the icing on the cake: it’s in the public domain and available for free download!