Youth For America 2018

 

 

WHAT IS YFA?

Youth For America is  summer retreat for young people who want to learn, have fun, and experience Monticello College for a week.  Below is a list of happenings at Youth for America.

 


INTENSE DISCUSSIONS:

1. Animal Farm, Orwell

2. The Declaration of Independence

3. Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens, DeMille and Brooks

4. Three Words of Caution, Brooks


ACTIVITIES:

  • Hikes
  • Sunrise Solitude
  • Work Parties
  • Daily Chores
  • More Hiking
  • Campus Farm Fresh Food
  • Lots of Open Sky and Fresh Air
  • Animals and Greenhouses
  • New Lifetime Friends
  • Wilderness Skills
  • Lots of Wildlife
  • Bonfires and Drums
  • Lake Trip


WHEN IS YFA?

July 9-15, 2018

 

WHERE IS YFA?

At the Monticello College Campus Monticello, Utah

 

WHO CAN COME?

Anyone 15 to 20 (call us if you have a very mature 14 year old)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER OR CALL (435) 868-8142  FOR MORE INFO

 

Farming Just Makes Sense

This post is one that will separate our readers into two groups.  You will either read it and say, “wow, that makes so much sense, I see why Monticello College has a farm and teaches the manual arts,” or you will read a part of it, become bored, and drift toward leaving the site.

Either way, I strongly encourage you to stay the course and read this post to the end.

folks-this-aint-normal_coverart_300pxJoe Salatin, in his book, Folks, This Ain’t Normal, writes a very compelling argument (for the first group) supporting the return to common sense and being grounded.

He starts on page 36:

One of my messages in this book is to try to awaken a thirst and hunger for some basic food and farming knowledge before our appetite for cerebral and academic techno-subjects crowds out all of this historically normal knowledge.

Wouldn’t it be as valuable to go process your Thanksgiving turkey, or at least spend some time with it in the field, as it is to face-paint your five-year-old and stick colored feather shaped construction paper in her hair?

Farms and food production should be, I submit, at least as important as who pierced their navel in Hollywood this week.
60328989.1584Please tell me I’m not the only one who believes this. Please.

As a culture, we think we’re well educated, but I’m not sure that what we’ve learned necessarily helps us survive.

I’m talking about the skills and knowledge contained, for example, in the Foxfire books. The back-to-the-land books of the hippie era are still some of the best living manuals out there.

Country craft and farmsteading enjoy an interest revival every time things look bleak. To me, it seems prudent to acquaint ourselves with some of this information before a meltdown occurs.

A rudimentary, basic knowledge of things won’t crowd out celebrity information or keep us from knowing how to use a cell phone. Trust me, it won’t.

I love people, and I love learning. And it seems to me that an educated person should know a few basic things about farm ecology. Not much, just a little. I offer the next examples in the spirit of explanation.

apostle-david-paul-rodgers-compares-gay-marriage-to-rooster-and-hens“You don’t have roosters with your laying hens? How do they lay eggs?” Dear folks, chickens don’t need roosters to lay eggs.

They need roosters to hatch eggs, but not to lay them. Just like women don’t need men to lay eggs; they just need a man to hatch one.

A mere century ago, not one in a hundred would have been ignorant of this common agrarian knowledge.

The next common one: “oh, there’s the bull, ‘cause he has horns.” Dear hearts, horns do not make a bull. It ain’t what’s on top of the head that counts. It’s what’s between the legs. I don’t know if horns have anything to do with horniness, but they sure don’t have anything to do with masculinity.

imagesA farmer friend of mine told me recently about a bus load of middle school children who came to his farm for a tour.

The first two boys off the bus asked, “Where is the salsa tree?” They thought they could go pick salsa, like apple and peaches.

Oh my. What do they put on SAT tests to measure this? Does anybody care?

How little can a person know about food and still make educated decisions about it? Is this knowledge going to change before they enter the voting booth? Now that’s a scary thought.

Do you know the difference between hay and straw? Straw is the stalk and leaves of a small grain plant. Stover is the leftovers of a corn plant. Hay is solar-dried forage. In order to get hay equally dried, it is windrowed to let the air blow through it and get the underneath leaves turned up to the drying sun.

downloadA windrow is a long tube of hay. A baler picks up the windrow and forms the hay into packages; round bales, little square bales, little round bales, or large square bales. Each of these has a different machine and different reason for use.

How do you herd cows? Cows have a flight zone. Since their eyes are on the sides of their head, they have far more peripheral vision than people.

They can see about 300 degrees around themselves. If we could do that, it would be equivalent to having eyes in the back of our heads.

Depending on our approach to the cow, she either wants to go past us, turn around and stand off at us, or turn tail and run away. All these responses are a result of how we approach her flight zone.

Trees grow out, not up. They only grow up right at their buds. That is why you can put a rope on a tree and it stays at the same height. Once bark forms, the height does not change.

1-130Z31HA20-LThe cambium grows the tree horizontally, in diameter, but not vertically.

Otherwise, that hammock we stretched between those two trees this year would be a foot higher next year and a foot higher a year after that. Wouldn’t that be funny?

Farmers speak in precise language. A cow is a female who has had two calves. A first-calf heifer is a female who has had only one calf. A heifer is a female who has not calved. A bred heifer is a female who is pregnant but has not yet calved. A bull calf is a young uncastrated male.

A bull is an uncastrated male old enough to bred—and that is far from full-grown, believe me. A calf is an unweaned bovine of either sex. A heifer calf is a female calf; a bull calf is a male calf. A stocker is a weaned calf prior to finishing. A finisher is a calf almost big enough to slaughter—it’s being finished.

An open cow is one that is not pregnant. A dry cow is nonlactating. A fresh cow is one that has very recently calved, and a freshening cow is one that is just about to calve. A bull can cover (bred) about thirty to fifty cows.

Folks, that just cows. And believe it or not, virtually every American knew all this lingo a scant century ago. Every species has this same level of nomenclature.

Not long ago, common knowledge included the difference between a wether  (castrated male sheep) and a ram (breeding age male sheep). A ram lamb and ewe lamb.

[Blogger’s Note: Several of these words show up in spell check as misspellings, have we strayed that far?]

images (1)A shoat (castrated male pig) and a gilt (unbred female pig). Sow and boar.

And then you have the whole grouping thing: herd, flock, gaggle (geese).

And if that’s not enough, the birthing takes on distinctives: cows calve, sheep lamb, rabbits kindle, hogs farrow, horses foal.

Can you name four vegetables that grow underground? Potatoes, carrots, beets, salsify, parsnips, turnips. How about four that grow above ground? Corn, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, green beans, lettuce, peas, melons, squash, cucumber. Tomatoes are a fruit.

download (1)Which vegetables can handle frost? Which ones have to be planted after frost? Which ones are legumes? Which ones grow tall? Which ones need trellises? Which ones are perennials? Asparagus, rhubarb.

Everywhere children and gardening mix, the enthusiasm for learning this heritage agrarian knowledge is insatiable. To interact with nature and food in this visceral functional way is foundational to developing common sense.

When people lose touch with these cornerstones of existence, their thinking gets all screwy. Staying grounded, very literally, and staying anchored in sensibleness require relationships with food production.

 

Along with our academic and leadership goals, Monticello College has the goal of instilling common sense into each and every student by helping them develop a solid relationship with nature and food production.

Legislation Is In The Air

The Utah Legislature is in session. This is the note I sent to 16 legislators:

HB 181 HOME CONSUMPTION AND HOMEMADE FOOD ACT

And

SB 108 RAW MILK AMENDMENTS

These bills are easy.

Should I have the right to purchase food from a private party? Yes.

Am I capable of deciding if I trust the quality of the food I am purchasing? Yes again.

These bills ensure that proper labeling gives me ample information in the event that there is something wrong with the food.

This is good economics at its very heart; 2 parties engaged in what they determine to be fair trade. Bad food will not endure in a free economy.

History has shown that no amount of regulation can protect the public 100%. People do have a certain responsibility to protect themselves, these bills allow for that responsibility and choice.

The essence of free trade is that I get to purchase whatever I want with limited reasonable restrictions. These bills provide adequate precautions and restrictions.

Please vote for the free market—vote for HB 181 and SB 108.

 

Food Freedom is a no-brainer. In fact it is alarming that we are even having the discussion. If you live in Utah please get involved, both of these bills are still in committee and are being heard today January 31, 2018.

Here is where you can read the bills for yourself:

 

HB 181  – HOME CONSUMPTION AND HOMEMADE FOOD ACT

 

SB 108 – RAW MILK AMENDMENTS

 

Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education

In 1951, Mortimer Adler wrote a insightful essay on education entitled, Labor, Leisure, and Liberal Education.

I have included a short excerpt, if you like it just click on the link above for the full article.

The application deadline for Monticello College is February 15, 2018. Click here to apply and qualify for a $1,000 scholarship.

Let me begin where anyone has to begin—with a tentative definition of education. Education is a practical activity. It is concerned with means to be employed or devised for the achievement of an end.

The broadest definition with which no one, I think, can disagree is that education is a process which aims at the improvement or the betterment of men, in themselves and in relation to society.

Few will quarrel with this definition because most people are willing to say that education is good; and its being good requires it to do something that is good for men. The definition says precisely this: that education improves men or makes them better.

All the quarrels that exist in educational philosophy exist because men have different conceptions of what the good life is, of what is good for man, of the conditions under which man is improved or bettered.

Within that large area of controversy about education, there is one fundamental distinction to which I should like to call to your attention.

There seem to be two ways in which men can be bettered or improved: first, with respect to special functions or talents and, second, with respect to the capacities and functions that are common to all men. Let me explain.

In civilized societies, and even in primitive societies, there is always a rudimentary, and often a very complex, division of labor. Society exists through a diversity of occupations, through different groups of men performing different functions.

In addition to the division of labor and the consequent diversity of functions, there is the simple natural fact of individual differences.

So one view of education is that which takes these individual and functional differences into consideration and says that men are made better by adjusting them to their occupations, by making them better carpenters or better dentists or better bricklayers, by improving them, in other words, in the direction of their own special talents.

The other view differs from this, in that it makes the primary aim of education the betterment of men not with respect to their differences but with respect to the similarities which all men have. According to this theory, if there are certain things that all men can do, or certain things that all men must do, it is with these that education is chiefly concerned.

Click here for the rest of the article…

Wisdom From Our Father John Adams

JOHN ADAMS

In late 1765, John Adams began writing an essay entitled, “A Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law.” He was 30 years old and just beginning to stretch his legal and political wings.

His purpose for writing this essay was to contrast the tyranny of feudal and canon law with the glorious struggle for freedom in the not-too-distant past of England and the coming efforts in America.

 

Click Here To Enroll, only 4 scholarships left.

 

You will recall that this was right around the time of the infamous Stamp Act. He recorded his thoughts at the time, depicting the Stamp Act, as an “enormous Engine, fabricated by the British Parliament, for battering down all the Rights and Liberties of America.”

What follows is an instructive excerpt from this powerful and expressive treatise of the oppressive tendencies of big government and instruction on how the citizenry should respond. It is highly applicable to our time.

“Let us banish forever from our minds, my countrymen, all such unworthy ideas of the king, his ministry and parliament. Let us not suppose that all are become luxurious, effeminate, and unreasonable, on the other side the water, as many designing persons would insinuate.

 

Let us presume, what is in fact true, that the spirit of liberty is as ardent as ever among the body of the nation, though a few individuals may be corrupted.

 

Let us take it for granted, that the same great spirit which once gave Caesar so warm a reception, which denounced hostilities against John till Magna Charta was signed, which severed the head Charles the First from his body, and drove James the Second from his kingdom, the same great spirit (may heaven preserve it till the earth shall be no more) which first seated the great-grandfather of his present most gracious majesty on the throne of Britain, — is still alive and active and warm in England; and that the same spirit in America, instead of provoking the inhabitants of that country, will endear us to them for ever, and secure their good-will.

 

This spirit, however, without knowledge, would be little better than a brutal rage. Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge.

 

Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write. Let every order and degree among the people rouse their attention and animate their resolution.“Let them all become attentive to the grounds and principles of government, ecclesiastical and civil.

 

Let us study the law of nature; search into the spirit the British constitution; read the histories of ancient ages; contemplate the great examples of Greece and Rome; set before us the conduct of our own British ancestors, who have defended for us the inherent rights of mankind against foreign and domestic tyrants and usurpers, against arbitrary kings and cruel priests, in short, against the gates of earth and hell.

 

Let us read and recollect and impress upon our souls the views and ends of our own more immediate forefathers, in exchanging their native country for a dreary, inhospitable wildness.

 

Let us examine into the nature of that power, and the cruelty of that oppression, which drove them from their homes.

 

Recollect their amazing fortitude, their bitter sufferings, — the hunger, the nakedness, the cold, which they patiently endured, — the severe labors of clearing their grounds, building their houses, raising their provisions, and amidst dangers from wild beast and savage men, before they had time or money or materials for commerce.

 

Recollect the civil and religious principles and hopes and expectations which constantly supported and carried them through all hardships with patience and resignation.

 

Let us recollect it was liberty, the hope of liberty for themselves and us and ours, which conquered all discouragements, dangers, and trials. In such researches as these, let us all in our several departments cheerfully engage, — but especially the proper patrons and supporters of law, learning, and religion!

 

Let the pulpit resound with the doctrines and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear the danger of thraldom [bondage] to our consciences from ignorance, extreme poverty, and dependence, in short, from civil and political slavery.”

Additional reading: Revolutionary Writings of John Adams, www.libertyfund.org.

From Where Cometh Violence?

Karen Armstrong wrote a significant piece on terrorism that everyone should read called The Myth of Religious Violence.

For those who need a little more convincing, allow me to share a few excerpts from her article:

“The popular belief that religion is the cause of the world’s bloodiest conflicts is central to our modern conviction that faith and politics should never mix. But the messy history of their separation suggests it was never so simple.”

 

“We now take the secular state so much for granted that it is hard for us to appreciate its novelty, since before the modern period, there were no “secular” institutions and no “secular” states in our sense of the word.

‘Their creation required the development of an entirely different understanding of religion, one that was unique to the modern west. No other culture has had anything remotely like it, and before the 18th century, it would have been incomprehensible even to European Catholics.”

 

 

“Before the modern period, religion was not a separate activity, hermetically sealed off from all others; rather, it permeated all human undertakings, including economics, state-building, politics and warfare. Before 1700, it would have been impossible for people to say where, for example, “politics” ended and “religion” began.

‘The Crusades were certainly inspired by religious passion but they were also deeply political: Pope Urban II let the knights of Christendom loose on the Muslim world to extend the power of the church eastwards and create a papal monarchy that would control Christian Europe.”

 

“By the late 17th century, philosophers had devised a more urbane version of the secular ideal. For John Locke it had become self-evident that “the church itself is a thing absolutely separate and distinct from the commonwealth. The boundaries on both sides are fixed and immovable.” The separation of religion and politics – “perfectly and infinitely different from each other” – was, for Locke, written into the very nature of things.

‘But the liberal state was a radical innovation, just as revolutionary as the market economy that was developing in the west and would shortly transform the world. Because of the violent passions it aroused, Locke insisted that the segregation of “religion” from government was “above all things necessary” for the creation of a peaceful society.”

 

“After a bumpy beginning, secularism has undoubtedly been valuable to the west, but we would be wrong to regard it as a universal law. It emerged as a particular and unique feature of the historical process in Europe; it was an evolutionary adaptation to a very specific set of circumstances. In a different environment, modernity may well take other forms.

‘Many secular thinkers now regard “religion” as inherently belligerent and intolerant, and an irrational, backward and violent “other” to the peaceable and humane liberal state – an attitude with an unfortunate echo of the colonialist view of indigenous peoples as hopelessly “primitive”, mired in their benighted religious beliefs.

‘There are consequences to our failure to understand that our secularism, and its understanding of the role of religion, is exceptional. When secularisation has been applied by force, it has provoked a fundamentalist reaction – and history shows that fundamentalist movements which come under attack invariably grow even more extreme. The fruits of this error are on display across the Middle East: when we look with horror upon the travesty of Isis, we would be wise to acknowledge that its barbaric violence may be, at least in part, the offspring of policies guided by our disdain.”

 

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