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sharing agreement might draw some students away from Miller Colle­ giate, pointed to a fundamental shift in the way residents viewed the role of education. When a shared services contract was finally signed in 1978 there were still quite a few reservations on the Board and provisions were made to review the agreement annually."

Land and Agriculture

Landholding in Rhineland during the 1960's and 1970's continued the pattern set in the 1940's and 1950's. Farms continued to grow in size and the number of farms in the municipality decreased. In 1961 there had been 1,012 farms in Rhineland averaging 225 acres per farm. By 1982 there were only 646 farms which averaged 360 acres per farm." This concentration of landholding and increased scale of farming along with the high cost of land and machinery made it almost impossible for young farmers to venture into farming. The investment in land and machinery required to farm profitably was so prohibitive that some form of help was needed for a young farmer to succeed.

In the early 1970's the NDP Government's "Rural Stay Option" made an attempt to alleviate the problem by offering low interest loans and purchasing land and leasing it to farmers. This program had little effect in Rhineland, however, where the spectre of state ownership revived visions of the Soviet experience.

More effective in the long run was the return to family farming. To save on machinery and operational costs, more and more extended families began to share machinery and other resources. In this way a young person beginning to farm did not need to make any large machinery purchases, relying instead on the resources of his father or father-in-law. 16

Since 1960 there have also been a number of agricultural develop­ ments in the R.M. of Rhineland. Diversification has continued with the increase in potato, rapeseed and sunflower acreage, but Rhineland farmers again began to plant more wheat as prices rose. In the early and mid 1960's wheat began to make a comeback in the area as prices remained high and larger farm acreages made wheat more profitable. In the late 1960's and early 1970's, however, a glut on the world wheat market sent prices plummeting to their lowest level since World War II, seriously affecting farm income in Rhineland.

The wheat market recovered in 1972 when the Soviet Union suffered a major wheat crop failure resulting in increased grain pur­ chases by that country. Grain prices skyrocketed and wheat acreages in Rhineland and throughout Western Canada rose quickly to fill the