Ralph L. Patty

Document Type







farmstead, arranging buildings, farm management

Publication Date



Cooperative Extension Service, South Dakota State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts

Circular No.





A convenient and time-saving arrangement of the buildings in a farmstead is important to efficient agricultural production as is the factory arrangement in efficient industrial production. A good arrangement of buildings coupled with well-chosen equipment around the farmstead will reduce the time and labor of the farm operator to a surprising extent. A carefully worked-out study was made in a mid-western state to find out how many steps are saved on a well-planned farm. Instruments were used that accurately recorded the distance walked by the operator in doing similar work on the many farms studied, so their answer should be entirely reliable. It was found that the average farm operator walked 99 miles each month in doing the daily chores. This is a trifle over three miles a day. The man on the farm with the poorest arrangement of buildings walked 135 miles each month, while the man on the best arranged place walked only 49 miles a month. If these figures are multiplied by 12 for the 12 months in a year, it will be found that the man on the best arranged farm walked 600 miles less, in a year's time, than the average of his neighbors. The amount of time required to walk these extra miles can be used advantageously by the owner in repairing machinery and equipment and in caring for the lawn and planting around the farm home. As efficiency increases in the farming operations, more time will be spent in better living conditions on the farm. While it is probable that in the future the tendency will be toward larger farming units, there will no doubt remain many farms of the subsistence type. The suggestions and principles outlined in this circular can always be used in locating the buildings for efficiency in any farmstead arrangement, be it large or small.