Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Bossier Parish Cotton; BPLHC Collection ED015.013

The May 6, 1920 issue of The Bossier Banner told of a special visitor to the newspaper’s office.

“A caller Monday afternoon was Mr. Arthur Vlanna Filho, a nineteen year old youth from the city of Belle Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas, Brazil. Mr. Filho came to Benton with Messrs. A. Curtis and J. T. McDade, of Ward One and is at present stopping with Mr. Curtis as his guest for some weeks. He is here to study the North American’s manner of growing and harvesting cotton—that chiefly, but will give attention to the growing of other crops and will also study the use of traction engines and other means of power most commonly employed on farms here in the United States.”

“While in the Banner office, Mr. Filho explained that at present his government is giving much attention to the advancement of agriculture. Last year was begun the practice of sending to the United States one student from each agricultural college that he might further his studies in his chosen calling in a foreign land. As an index of the growth of agricultural schools in the South American country, thirty youths were sent to the United States last year and forty-five this year. This young man and a number of his fellow students entered the State University at Baton Rouge, about four months ago. They came to study our methods of culture of various crops and also to give attention to any and all things that would be of benefit to one engaged in agricultural pursuits or animal husbandry. Their first task, however, was the study of English—and we must admit Mr. Filho indeed converses well for one having only a course and experience of four months.”

“Some of the crops to be studied are sugar cane, cotton, corn, rice, wheat and oats, though little of the last two crops are grown in his country, he said. But great numbers of sheep, goats and cattle are raised, and at present the introduction of Jersey cattle and the establishing of dairies is being given attention. According to Mr. Filho, some of the crops of Brazil are coffee, tea, cocoanuts, cocoa, rubber, Brazilian nuts, etc. Also, the country has vast resources in the forests of pine, cedar and cypress.”

“The caller is a son of a manufacturer in the South American city and is apparently of the gentility of the country—of good standing and considerable means, perhaps. He stated that he likes the United States, has met many good people whom he finds hospitable and inclined to help along a stranger in a strange land. But, with all that, he remains loyal to home and hopes that the day may be speeded when he may return there, competent to at least assume partial change of affairs on his father’s plantation, where he hopes to grow much of the fleecy staple.”

“Upon leaving Bossier Parish Mr. Filho will proceed to the agricultural and mechanical college located near Austin, Texas, to study tractor engineering. And our well wishes go with him.”

To learn more, visit the Bossier Parish Library History Center.

By: Ann Middleton

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