8Agriculture - Grow A Fucking Acre Of Corn
A common staple among 1911 badges is bullshit requirements, asking you to "be able" to do something without actually proving you can do it. The first Merit Badge for Agriculture is a good example:
3. Be able to identify and describe common weeds of the community and tell how best to eliminate them.
4. Be able to identify the common insects and tell how best to handle them.
5. Have a practical knowledge of plowing, cultivating, drilling, hedging, and draining.
6. Have a working knowledge of farm machinery, haymaking, reaping, loading, and stacking.
It asks Scouts to know some basics about crop husbandry, and that's about it. There's not even any quantitative guides given. I'm sure I could name a handful of insects and weeds and the ways to handle them (mosquitoes, ants, daffodils; BURN THEM ALL!). I don't know dick about haymaking and reaping, which, at first glance, sound less like farming terms and more like the Mass Effect: Andromeda quests that I always ignore.
Oops, I skipped steps 1 and 2. Let's me just scroll up and see-
1. State different tests with grains.
2. Grow at least an acre of corn which produces 25 per cent. better than the general average.
Holy shit. The first Boy Scouts had to grow a fucking acre of corn to get this badge? I'm not even a hundred percent sure how much that is, but unless you already own a working farm, that's like ... impossible right? I just looked it up. An acre is 16 tennis courts. 16 tennis courts of corn. And if your Dad was a farmer, everyone would know you just cheated. I mean, how would you grow any cornfield bigger than a garden without that infrastructure already in place? "At least an acre." That's the bare minimum, boys. Sorry about any other activities that you wanted to take part in this year.
I didn't even mention that apparently this child would have to produce a yield 25 percent better than the general average. So what if little Jimmy produces corn at 24 percent better than the general average? Guess what, you just wasted 60 to 100 days planting and harvesting 40 bushels of corn. Fuck you, Jimmy. No merit badge for you. Try again next crop.