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The Ohio State Fair has become one of the fixed institutions of our State, and being founded upon the true principal, that of extending every possible encouragement for a higher development of the interests connected with agriculture and mechanic arts, deserves encouragement, and the hearty support of our whole people. No one institution has done more to advance the interests of productive industry than the Ohio State Fair.
These annual exhibitions call together the best products of the farm, the factory, and the household, and the facilities thus offered for com parison and competition creates an incentive for greater improvement, and opens an avenue for the dissemination of useful knowledge pertaining to the agricultural and mechanical interests. The State Fair has been the means of improving the various breeds of farm animals until, to day, the State of Ohio stands pre eminent in the matter of stock breeding, while the untold good yet to be accomplished through its agency may be valued at millions.
Gentlemen of the Convention, it is my pleasant privilege to congratulate you upon the success of the State Fair of 1879.
After the organization of the present Board, it became evident to each member that he would have to put forth every possible endeavor for the success of the exhibition, in order to relieve the Board from the financial embarrassment under which it had been, unavoidably, laboring for several years past. The cause of said financial embarrassment, I am happy to state, was not incurred through the mismanagement of the State Board, but the result of circumstances uncontrollable, and which are well known to the members of this Convention.
At the beginning of the year, the treasury was without funds, and the Board in debt in the sum of about ten thousand dollars. The first thing, therefore, to be considered was the securing of a sufficient amount of money to carry the Board until the opening of the gates of the annual exhibition. The amount necessary for canceling the debt of the Board, and for printing, advertising, and the many other incidentals preparatory to the Fair, was borrowed on a note signed by the individual members of the Board.
The necessary funds secured, the most active preparations were begun for the annual exhibition; every possible means were brought to bear for its success; the county societies were early enlisted, and, I must be permitted to remark, did their work, nobly, nearly every county in the State being well represented.
At the first meeting of the present Board, it was decided to hold the Fair the second week in September, but at a subsequent meeting the date was changed to the last week in August. The change avoided conAiction with other fairs, and was believeď to be a better time for a general attendance of the farmers of the State.
In all the work pertaining to the State Fair I was accorded the hearty support of each officer and member of the Board, and the result of unanimity and judicious management was a successful exhibition, and an outpouring of people unprecedented in the Board's history.
Every department was well represented. The number of entries was in excess of those of former years, and the character of the articles and animals on exhibition of the highest order.
The ex ibits were favored each day with a close examination on the part of the thousands of visitors, and a manifest interest continued up to the very last moment. The State Fair of 1879 will long be remembered, and its good results realized by the people in every section of the State.
To-day the State Board of Agriculture is without debt, and continued encouragement on the part of the people, and a proper recognition by our State legislators, will enable it to continue in the good work begun more than a quarter of a century ago, the results of which are to be seen on every hand.
For a concise statement of the finances, I refer you to the report of the Treasurer.
There is yet another matter to which I desire to refer, which, when properly considered, is of exceeding great importance.
The law. requires that the President of each county agricultural society in the State shall furnish to the State Board at the time of this Convention, annually, a written report of the condition of agriculture in his county. Not merely to comply with the law should this report be made, but for the great benefits derived by so doing.
These county reports are intended for publication in the Ohio Agricultural Report, and if properly made, setting forth the true condition of agriculture in the county, furnish a safe guide for persons seeking regions adapted to any particular branch of agriculture or stock breeding, as well as a perpetual record. When these reports are incomplete, persons referring to them for information are necessarily mieled, and in many instances a county whose agriculture is somewhat limited, in com. parison with that of other counties, gets the credit and benefit from having made a complete report, while the more renowned agricultural county suffers for having created a misapprehension by an incomplete report of its agricultural condition.
These reports should embrace the kinds of crops mostly cultivated and best adapted to the soil; facilities for marketing, with current prices; the characteristics of the seasons, and, when insects have destroyed any particular crop or crops, the amount and kind of injury done, and the best means employed for destroying the object of the injury. They should state the extent of tile-draining and the benefits derived there. from; should touch upon the timbers of the county and for wha; purpose they are being used; should embrace to what extent stock breeding is carried on, the kind of breeds predominant and best adapted to the farm, with the character of improvements made since their introduction. In fact, I might go on and state the numberless items that could be written up in these reports, but it is sufficient to say that nothing should be omitted that in any way relates to the agriculture of a county, or that will give a record to the State.
Our Secretary has made every possible endeavor to secure complete reports from the counties for the past year. Tne reports are being handed in to day, and, when they are examined, the result of his endeavors will be better known. I trust, however, that in the future the counties will pay particular attention to this matter of their reports, that none of the many readers of the Ohio Agricultural Report will be led into error on account of their incompleteness.
Gentlemen of the Convention, there are a number of important topics that will be presented for discussion to day, in which I trust you will all take part. I will, therefore, not detaia you longer. I thank you for your attention, and trust the deliberations of this Convention will prove a 1 sting benefit to the interests we represent.
Dr. J A. Warder: I do not know that I have a precedent for any such motion as I desire to make. But I feel to-day that with a great deal of propriety we can offer a vote of congratulation to the retiring President of the Ohio State Board of Agr culture for the admirable statement which he has been able to make to us in his report. A vote of congratulation may sound to you somewhat strange. It is not a vote of thanks, but a vote of congratulation that may come from all of us interested in agriculture, from the fact that we have been benefited in many ways, and that the result of last year's work, just shown in the report of the chair, is a matter upoa which we may congratulate the outgoing President.
The motion was put by Dr. Warder, and carried unanimously.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON ORDER OF BUSINESS
S. Harmount, from the Committee on Business, made the following report in reference to the order of business :
That the committee recommend 1. Tho report of the Treasurer.
2. Nominations for members the State Board of Agriculture to take place at 12 o'clock. The election of the wombers of the Board to take place at 7 o'clock. The order of essays as follows: 1. Has the time come in Obio for planting timber By Dr. John A. Warder.
2. Which are the best breeds of cows for dairy purposes? And does long continued grazing improve or exhaust the lard for dairying! By R. Baker.
3. Agricultural Exbibitions. By Indge T. C. Jones. 4. The relation of Science to Agriculture. By President Orton. 5. Which are the best breede of swine for Ohio i By Major J. M. Millikin. 6. What books should be in an Ohio farmer's library? By Dr. N. S. Townsbend. 7. Does long wool sheep breeding p y in Obio! By J. B. Dort. 8. The rise and fall of the Flax interest in Ohio. By J. M. Allen. On motion, the report was adopted.
The following abstract of the financial transactions and present condition of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture, is respectfully submitted : Cash on band at last annoal report.
$359 06 Proceeds of discount of note of the members of the Board to pay off old indebtedness
3,442 25 Annual State appropriation...
3,000 00 Sale of privileges on State Fair grounds...
3,100 25 Citizens' subscription collected
2,817 00 Per cent. collected on entries...
2,654 60 Ticket sales at annual fair
22,221 30 Total
Included in the disbursements above enumerated, there is the sum of 89,887,3t paid for premiums and expenses of 1878, lest unpaid after the fair of that disastrous year.
L. B. WING,
Treasurer. On motion of W. B. McClung, the report was received and adopted. The following address was then delivered:
HAS THE TIME COME IN OHIO FOR PLANTING FOR TIMBER?
BY DR. JOHN A. WARDER,
Mr. President and gentlemen, 'members of the Ohio Agricultural Convention of 1880 :
Having been courteously invited to appear before you and to take the affirmative in opening this discussion upon the deeply important subject of forestry, I present myself before you with the diffidence of one who must acknowledge himself a novice in the science, and crave your patience during the few moments occupied in an endeavor to discharge the assigned duty.
In the programme for the day appears this query, “Has the time arrived in Ohio to plant trees for timber ?"
In attempting a response to a question that is as yet so new to the men who themselves have aided in clearing off the dense forests that once covered the region watered by the Ohio River and its tributaries, it can hardly be expected that one who has worked with his own hands in ef. fecting that destruction, nor you who have looked upon the work as a necessity, should be prepared to pronounce upon the limit beyond which the clearing of the land should not be allowed to proceed; nor is it at all likely that you may be ready to accept, much less to adopt as your own, all of the postulates and axioms that, on such an occasion as this, might be suggested and pronounced by any one who has made systematic forestry a subject of serious investigation.
As yet little or nothing has been done among us in the way of forestry. Here and there a few trees have been planted, rather for ornament than for utility. The taste for the comfort and beauty of trees is growing, however, and of the thousands who daily travel along our great highways, few are they who cannot admiringly appreciate the improvement by tree planting about the village stations, the groups of ornamental trees clustering around the rural homesteade, the lines of trees along the country roads, and on the boundaries of cultivated fields.
These efforts of individuals to restore the sylvan beauties of the land are worthy of all praise. They are well supplemented by the Village