I enjoyed watching the NCAA FCS Semi-Final last fall between Sam Houston State and North Dakota State universities. The two universities were once Sam Houston State Teachers College and North Dakota Agricultural College in the past. They came about at a time when we only had taxpayer-funded higher education institutions for the purpose of educating and training specific professions. This isn’t saying anything against the idea or institutions of Liberal Arts Education, we just didn’t believe in forcing your neighbor to help you pay for it.
At one time we built and operated State colleges for the specific purpose of training teachers. Such as Western Carolina State Teachers College and Sam Houston State Teachers College. And there were hundreds of others across the Country. Our primary and secondary education systems were successful because we dedicated the specific resources to cause it to happen. At that time in our Country the schoolteacher was recognized as a very special member of the local society. They were responsible, in partnership with involved parents, for providing a basic education to the most productive and economically prosperous general populace in the history of mankind.
The farmers and ranchers of America fed and clothed the Country. Never before in the history of man had a society dedicated resources to the mission of educating and training men to produce more and better food and fibers for the populace. To support the advancing of agriculture there was the need for the constant improvement of the machinery to increase production. And the network of agricultural and engineering colleges was born. They weren’t operating social experiments; they were “investing assets to return profits” institutions. And the greatest expansion of profit in production in the history of man resulted. And the farmer and the industrialist were recognized as very special members of our society.
When, and how, did we lose it? When did we decide that being productive was a negative? How did we decide it was acceptable for the government to punish the producers for being successful in the marketplace, to subsidize the lazy and non-productive? These are serious questions we need to answer. This does not need to be a “national discussion”, but in the arena of what is best for our States, and in turn, our communities.
May God Bless America! And America, Bless God Again!