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Report from Russia E-W Zeebox dean of the summer session at the University of Minnesota and 10 other university faculty members recently completed a 30 day 9000 mile trip through the Soviet Union. The trip was financed by a grant from the Hill family foundation of St. Paul. While in Russia Dean Zebari interviewed his colleagues and obtained their firsthand impressions for this program. Now here is Dean Zeb on. The back reporting from Marco in the hill you know I get today a Dr. Philip Ruddock professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota now completed a nine to ten miles of travel within the borders of the economic and I'd like to ask him a few rather general questions about the agricultural economy and then either similarity to route between the agricultural economy of this nation and the United States.
Yes there are. Doctors are a great many similarities. In fact by the similarities by the differences if we depart from the political aspect if we look at the production at the type of crops the products produced. The way to go about producing there's more similarity between this nation. The Soviet Union and the United States between the United States and any of the countries from Russia across Western Europe. Knowing that you came to Western Europe and spent a good deal of time there that you have spent time there in the past I was about to ask you concerning contrasts noticeable immediately as you crossed from Western Europe into the Soviet Union and if so what were some of the major contrasts. Yes they're immediately noticeable. By that I mean within two miles you can tell you're in a different country. The field of machinery that you will
see from the rail tracks or from the airplane will be larger sized equipment. And in many respects the movement of goods. The use of trucks the size of the trucks are all more similar to those we have in the United States. That is true in the rest of Europe to any extent at all or is out of collectivization here. Sure of course they have large sized fields. We have large sized farms and this is more like it to an agricultural economy stretching from westward across the Atlantic to the United States. In between these two great countries Western Europe are made up of many small farms small equipment having intensive production because one of the almost incredibly naive questions raised our collective farm by an observer. We did not actually mean but some of those
questions we listened to. I didn't. Curious about the misunderstandings which exist I think fairly generally about the nature of the collective. But I wonder knowing that you have visited several collective farms and widely scattered parts of this nation I wondered whether you'd be willing to say a little bit about this organization. Yeah I might just comment on the observations we didn't have a chance to make you know we came here from Poland by rail nor through the back doors of the Baltic states to Leningrad. Then from Leningrad south again by rail to. And from Kiev to Kharkov then to rub off on the down river. Then up to Moscow and then up to your cook in far eastern Siberia. We had opportunities to inspect and to interview the managers collective farms in the Ukraine.
And in the more arid region of the river basin near Austar. And then the manager of a large state farm in Siberia. This is a rather unique experience isn't it. Most Americans do not circulate get to state farms although a good many of them of course do see collectives I think that's true. I think it's been unique in another respect. We not only saw these farms and so to speak as a tourist but we did have opportunities for extensive talks and by extensive I mean two three or four hour talks with the managers of these farms we found them quite interested in American agriculture and quite willing to ask questions. Quite proud of what they've achieved and they have achieved a lot. We should not forget that fact. Would it be relevant do you think to take 30 seconds or at the most minute to distinguish between the collective of the state. The collective was put together as a compromise
between peasant type holding that had prevailed in Russia and that prevails today in Western Europe. On the one hand. And the. Purer form of socialistic agriculture represented by what we would call a factory in the field. In other words all the labor hired labor the manager of a manager hired by the state to run the farm. This is the state bar. Your collective comes in between. It is made up of the members who have at least nominally put all their land voluntarily and we must never forget that the degree of voluntary action this was not very great and who have joined together to to operate a far agriculture production enterprise. They are paid in terms of the number of work units that they put in you know the worst in terms of the labor nor. And if they work many
hours long they could exceed their labor nor any additional income. The laborer on a stake bar on the other hand is paid a straight salary. Is not paid in terms of work day nor yet the biggest difference. Yes and I think this is a very clear cut differentiation and I'm grateful for it the collective farmer frequently also has an opportunity to augment his income so the sale of a small garden product to his own right each collective farmer is allowed a small plot of land around his house and it averages about 4 camps of an acre at least and in some of the farms it will run up to an acre or an acre and a half or. Even more in a few cases from. He can produce seeds for a few chickens perhaps for a pig or two and a good many of them have cows and especially crops. We saw for example you will recall a great many vegetables being
produced in the Ukraine. How awful lot and a lot of the food comes from these household plots in general. Meat dairy products poultry and eggs. Fruit and vegetables are produced on these small private parts and are sold in the towns in what we would call farmer markets. That's about to go that route you were saying. If I do the proper inference that there was a great deal here which impressed you very much. There were other areas in which you felt rather substantial mistakes were being made. Magnitude either from our point of view or from the point of view of the Soviet Union itself. I wonder whether you comment briefly on that. Well it's a big country. It's an enormous country. And it's run by central direction from Moscow. We're sitting here in the center of the. Pulse beat this nation.
It's very difficult to run a nation as large as this from a central position and as a result you have all the troubles of a big bureaucracy. You have delays you have confusion paperwork conflicting policies. Not perfectly understood clear out in Siberia or down in the Kazakhstan region. And some big mistakes have been made. I think recently one of the big winners has been the extent to which they have tried to produce corn in areas climatically not well-suited to cars. I think they even now realize that this was a mistake. Do they admit that it was a mistake not to. There's been substantial reorganization in the pattern of Soviet agriculture fairly recent but this reorganization seem to be leading toward greater efficiency. Yet it did and it's been very much evident as we have heard the Saudis get a great deal more decision making freedom has been given to the collective farm managers to the chairman of the collective. Are they
now for example on their own machinery. This is a big change because up until very recently the farm machinery was put in the so called Machine tractor stations and these were. Independently of the collective farms and were used actually as a control device to keep the sort of collective farms in line. Now these have been abolished and the machinery has been sold to the collectives. And the very proud of their machinery their machinery. It's much like you might find the case on an American bar. The farmer is now owning his own equipment. Only in this case if the collective farm as a whole but it still makes a big difference. They're no longer dependent on another organization. In my own entirely inexpert fashion I was interested the chairman of at least two collective farms of which we had an opportunity to talk speak with a kind of personal proprietary pride of this machinery. This leads directly into another
kind of question how about the quality of the machinery. It's good. And I think this is not the general impression of American visitors here. And I would like to explain that it is simpler than our farm machinery. It is in some respects more crudely made but it is rugged. I think it will have a good history of durability. Point access for repair work. In the field labor in this country. Indeed all these things I was about to say obviously exceedingly important cultural system which exist here. Sure you know it from a professional point of view I know it but a general observer evident in the collective street reach and overreach of the
United States exceeds the United States particularly in production. This seems to be a tremendous here does it. Certainly some very remote part of the United States in butter production by 1961 exceed the United States by 1965 and this sort of thing in my experience to be an especially friendly competition necessary to us and those who are not behaving in a friendly fashion but rather a genuinely competitive right. And I think everyone can benefit. We've had a good bit of fun talking with these men on this issue pointing out that we don't intend to stand still either.
Here's a field in which we could compete peacefully. A minute and a half or so remaining as we were chatting very briefly before we turned saying something about green vs. animal agriculture I wondered whether you would comment briefly about the relative efficiency of these two kinds of agriculture that make any summary statement you like about 15 sec. In general. The great agricultural production of grains for example. And in some respects expected. Their production of animal products is far behind. They have a long way to go and they know what their big problem is to build a feeding base to erect. They supply me mail order that they need in their
carbohydrate rich and protein for agricultural economy and real progress you think is being made that direct they're making some progress but here they have a big job. They are in the far north very far outside of the Corn Belt of the United States and whether or not they can produce enough feed for an animal agriculture is in my quote in my mind highly questionable. But this has been most interesting. I traveled with you a good bit and saw some of the same things you did I have learned from this brief chat and I hope that some of our listeners will as well. Ladies and Gentlemen this is a WC bar speaking from Moscow our guest today Dr. Philip Roth professor of agricultural economics at the University of Minnesota Phil thanks very much for coming in. You heard the E-W Zeebox dean of the summer session at the University of Minnesota in another recorded report from Russia. Another report will be heard next week at this time. This series is edited by station KUNM
Report from Russia
Dr. Philip M. Raup
Producing Organization
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
E.W. Ziebarth speaks to Dr. Philip Raup, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Minnesota, about the time he has spent in the Soviet Union.
Other Description
E.W. Ziebarth, Dean of the summer session at University of Minnesota, and ten other faculty members embarked upon a month-long trip through the Soviet Union. Ziebarth interviewed his peers about their thoughts on the trip.
Broadcast Date
Global Affairs
Public Affairs
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Host: Ziebarth, E. W. (Elmer William), 1910-
Interviewee: Raup, Philip M.
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Producing Organization: KUOM (Radio station : Minneapolis, Minn.)
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 59-17-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:42
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Chicago: “Report from Russia; Dr. Philip M. Raup,” 1959-01-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
MLA: “Report from Russia; Dr. Philip M. Raup.” 1959-01-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <>.
APA: Report from Russia; Dr. Philip M. Raup. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from