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Farriery. Instruction in this subject is given by means of an itinerant teacher whose whole time is employed in the county. The instructor visited 16 centres during the year and gave practical demonstrations in the local forges for a fortnight at each centre. The average attendance at each forge was four.
Horticulture.-Instruction is given in this subject by means of lectures, demonstrations, and visits to allotments and gardens by the county staff instructor. Courses of three to five lectures each were given at 15 centres. In addition, 58 pioneer lectures were given. The average attendance at all these lectures was 30.
School or other Gardens.-There were gardens attached to 29 Elementary Day schools, eight of which were worked on the collective plot system and 21 on the individual plot system. The total number of pupils who received instruction was 300. In addition, there were nine county trial allotments with an average acreage of 40 poles each.
Manual Processes.-Instruction was given in the process of sheep-shearing. Three courses were held for three days each at three centres. The average attendance was 30.
School and other Gardens.
Training of Elementary School Teachers.
See Harper-Adams Agricultural College (page 52).
Organisation. The agricultural education work of this county is conducted mainly through the staff employed at the HarperAdams Agricultural College.
School or College.-The above college receives a large annual grant from the County Council, and most of the agricultural work in the county is carried on through that institution. The Radbrook Domestic School for girls, situated near Shrewsbury, is also subsidised by the County Council, and there is a fixed dairy school there to which some pupils from the itinerant school are sent for further instruction.
Field Experiments. In addition to the work on the college farm, experiments on the manuring of potatoes were conducted at six centres, on potato varieties at three centres, and on varieties of mangolds at one centre.
Experimental Farm.-The experimental work carried out on the farm attached to the Harper-Adams College is for the benefit of this county and the county of Stafford.
Dairying. An itinerant school is maintained by the county at which instruction is given in butter-making and soft-cheese making. Fifteen classes were held at eight centres, each class lasting ten days. The average attendance at each class was ten, and it is stated that much benefit has resulted from these classes. Two pupils from each class were selected and sent, by means of scholarships, to the Radbrook School (see above) for further instruction.
Agriculture.-Instruction is given in this subject by means of lectures, demonstrations and visits of advice to farms. Courses of one to four lectures were given at seven centres to an average attendance of 31. There is no great demand for agricultural lectures. The Committee's work is growing rather in the direction of the provision of increased instruction in Dairying, which is readily made use of.
Field Experiments.-These were carried out on 18 different farms. Five were on the manuring of meadow hay, five on the manuring of potatoes, six on the manuring of mangolds, four on the manuring of swedes, and one experiment on varieties of mangolds. A further experiment was also carried out on the improvement of rough moorland pasture through the application of certain common fertilisers; the improvement being determined by the relative gain in live weight of sheep pastured thereon.
Four of the lectures enumerated under the previous heading were specially explanatory of the results of the above experiments. Experimental Farm.
Dairying. A cheese school is maintained by the county and has hitherto been conducted by the Bath and West of England Society for the County Council. The school is situated at a different farm each year, and is open from the beginning of April to the end of October. Pupils are taken for any period from one day to four weeks, the latter being the length of the full course. Altogether 45 pupils attended the school, ten of whom were holders of scholarships from the County Council.
An itinerant school is also maintained by the county at which instruction is given in butter-making, soft-cheese making, milk. testing, &c. The number of centres visited was nine, and one to four courses of ten days' instruction each was given at each centre. The school was conducted altogether for 11 months, and during that time 23 courses of instruction were given to a total attendance of students of 195.
A small grant was made to the Mid-Somerset Agricultural Society for instruction given in milk-testing.
Poultry Keeping.-Instruction is given in this subject by means of lectures, demonstrations and visits of advice to poultrykeepers. Courses of one to six lectures were given at 18 centres, to an average attendance of 39. The local interest in these lectures is fairly well maintained.
Manual Processes.-Instruction was given in the processes of hedging and ditching at 15 centres, and of thatching at five The length of each course varied from three or more days, and the total attendance was 115.
This instruction was given through three local agricultural societies who received grants for the purpose.
Horticulture.-Instruction is given in this subject by means of lectures, demonstrations and visits of advice to gardens and orchards. Courses of three to six lectures were given at 17 centres to an average attendance of 30. The interest in gardening and orchard lectures is well maintained considering that this work has been going on without intermission for nine years, while the demand for practical demonstrations in the gardens and orchards increases rather than otherwise. The instructor's services are also in great demand as a judge for cottage flower shows, allotments and the like.
School and other Gardens.-There were seven gardens attached to Elementary Day schools in this county, four of which were worked on the collective plot system. Instruction was given to 129 pupils. In addition there were 16 Evening school gardens at which 216 pupils received instruction. School garden work is in a very healthy condition in this county. There are also three demonstration gardens attached to three Secondary schools taking the rural science course.