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Jewish Agricultural Society Completes 50 Years of Service; Established 3,000 Families

The Jewish Agricultural Society, which was formed some 50 years ago, today issued its annual report reviewing a half-century of service in promoting the cause of Jewish farming in the United States.

The report disclosed that the Society has granted $11,500,000 in farm loans to Jewish farmers in 41 states since its founding in 1900. It has settled on farms more than 3,000 families, representing close to 20,000 individuals. According to the records of the Society only 132 of the more than 1,200 families settled during the past 10 years have left their farms, a record that compares favorably with mortality rates in business.

During 1949 the Jewish Agricultural Society granted more than $500,000 in loans to farmers in 16 states. About three-quarters of that amount went to new farmers, refugees, DP’s and veterans. Last year 271 families were settled on farms in California, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Ohio.

“The loan policy of the Jewish Agricultural Society differs from that of the usual farm loan institution,” Dr. Gabriel Davidson, executive head of the Society, declared. “The latter looks principally to security and appraises mainly the farm. The Society evaluates the farmer just as carefully and weighs likewise the purpose for which a loan is to be used. Loans have been denied where their purposes appeared unwise, even though the security was of the best. On the other hand, loans have been granted against poor security where they could be put to constructive purpose or where they bridged emergencies.”

The Society’s department of agricultural education and extension maintains a staff of agricultural experts who bring to Jewish farmers in the more populous farming districts in the Northeast, Midwest and Pacific Coast states, agricultural information on every conceivable branch of farming.

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