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Postcard from the Past: Celebrating Agriculture

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Just by pure luck, as I was recently researching my files, I came across an interesting letter around the same time as my Wyoming Livestock Roundup arrived in the mail. 

One of the headlines in the March 16 Wyoming Livestock Roundup is “Celebrating Agriculture: ACA encourages individuals to celebrate National Agriculture Week.” 

With such a coincidence, I had to pass the following letter along to Postcard from the Past readers. Enjoy!

The White House, Washington, May 10, 1907

To the Stockman of Wyoming, in Convention at Wheatland,

It is with great pleasure I send you my greetings. I am deeply interested in all of the problems which confront you and am anxious to have your assistance in solving them in a way which will protect the interests of stockmen and bring the greatest prosperity to the people in general.

Public sentiment in favor of the conservative use of all of the natural resources of the country is rapidly growing stronger, and in my opinion, the time has come when definite action must be taken toward a proper control in the use of the public grazing lands.

I regret very much the hardship that necessarily follows the removal of all fences which have been constructed in violation of the law, because I am fully aware the best use of much of public grazing lands can only be secured by fencing it. 

But, the law gives me no alternative, and I will continue to enforce it until such time as action is taken by Congress which will provide a means of properly regulating grazing on public range.

I am particularly anxious every legitimate means shall be taken to encourage the establishment of homes upon the public domain. In all legislation affecting the use of the public lands, the interests of the homestead settler must be carefully guarded. In every case, the homesteader must be given first consideration.

With this proviso, I will appreciate very much your advice as to the best practical methods of regulating the use of the public lands for grazing purposes. 

We all want to make sure of the proper care and improvement of public lands for the greatest benefit of all concerned, and we all want a grazing system may be put into operation with the least inconvenience to the stockmen who are now occupying the range.

Theodore Roosevelt

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