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32 LoN L. Swift CHAPTER 1. Introduction. Agricultural efficiency is determined largely by the system of land tenure under which farming is conducted. In Oregon, as in the United States as a whole, the percentage of tenancy has been increasing since 1880, the year in which the first data was collected on this subject. The proportion of rented farms in Oregon in 1880 was 14. i per cent of the total number of farms in the State; by 1900 this percentage had increased to 17.8. The increase of tenant farming in the United States during the same period was much greater than in Oregon, rising from 25.5 per cent in 1880 to 35.3 per cent in 1900. As soon as the desirable government land that is available for homestead entry or desert entry is all taken up, as is already practically the case, tenant farming will increase rapidly. The high price of land will make it impossible for the farmer of small means to secure a farm of his own and an ever increas- ing number will endeavor to rent. No argument is required to prove that tenant farming is undesirable. Landowners universally acknowledge that the farmer should own the land he tills. A tenant, who is merely concerned with gaining returns from a tract of land for one or five years, has little interest in improving the soil and pro- viding for its future efficiency. Farming requires interest of the farmer in the welfare of the farm to insure the best re- sults both for present and future; and contract or agreement, no matter how strict and specific, can not take the place of direct personal interest. Tenants are seldom found who' have the same concern in preserving and increasing the productivity of a rented farm that men do in a farm of their own. Life leases or personal contact of owners and tenants may slightly

alleviate difficulties that would otherwise arise, but no system----