The Press: Farming by the Book

As a boy on the poverty-stricken farm land of Chatham County, N.C., Clarence H. Poe got a proposition from his uncle. "If you'll pick the leftover cotton in that patch," he was told, "I'll give you a year's subscription to the Progressive Farmer." It did not seem much of an offer to a spirited, twelve-year-old North Carolina farm boy. The Progressive Farmer was a struggling, eight-page weekly with only about 5,000 readers. But it changed Poe's life. He got the subscription, and became so interested in the Farmer that, at 17, he joined the staff of the magazine as a writer....