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The alterations mentioned in last year's report as being in progress have now been completed, and considerable improvement in the College premises has in consequence taken place. In view of what has been published as regards the methods adopted in Canada, special mention may be again drawn to the new “livestock" lecture room,- —a small building so arranged that an animal may be brought in, and its various points explained to a class of students. The floor is of concrete, and there are raised seats for the class.
For the last six months, the number of enquiries from farmers for advice on the purchase of seeds, manures, feeding stuffs, the purity of drinking water, and the quality of milk, has largely increased. One man has now made a permanent arrangement with the College for the analysis of his milk. There are also a number of general enquiries made, not infrequently from those who in former years were opposed to the College.
The number of students in attendance during the past session has been as follows:
Diploma Course (Agriculture or Horticulture)-
Of these, 20 came with scholarships from the Cheshire County Council, while out of the remaining 25 students, 16 came from the county at their own expense, only nine students being drawn from outside counties, of whom six came from the adjoining county, Lancashire.
It is interesting to note this growth of those who are willing to pay for their education and it is no doubt due to the fact that the age at which pupils are received has been raised, and that the institution is now conducted as a College and not as a school. Previously, parents who had no special connection with agriculture, and whose sons had no serious intention of becoming farmers, were yet willing for them to compete for county scholarships, because, if successful, they obtained for them a good, though somewhat specialised, secondary education. Now, however, that the College is conducted on other lines, not only is it filled with those who have serious intentions as regards farming, but, as shown, with those whose parents are willing to pay the necessary fees, and not seek county council aid in that respect. In fact, the whole tone of the place has been raised.
Lectures.-Poultry-keeping lectures were given by the instructor attached to the College at 28 centres, the lectures numbering four at each centre. The average attendance was 29.
It was not found possible to arrange for horticultural lectures to be given during the past winter, but, as mentioned in a previous report, the whole of the school gardens in the county are placed under the supervision of the horticultural instructor at the College, and an assistant has been appointed to give instruction at them.
Field Demonstrations.-At eight centres in the county, manurial experiments were conducted on permanent pasture, having been commenced in the year previous.
This is being well managed, and the stock is being steadily improved. Experiments are conducted with different varieties of potatoes and with other farm crops, various manurial experiments being also in progress.
This continues to grow in interest, and is of considerable value, not only to the students, but to all in the county connected with this subject. A number of plots have been laid out in one section of the garden illustrative of some of the leading Natural Orders of plants.
The total expenditure during the financial year, including the cost of the farm, amounted to £5,507. A considerable capital expenditure on the alterations was also incurred. The receipts were fees, £848; sales of farm and garden produce, £1,719; miscellaneous, £116; and the grant from the Board of Agriculture of £200. The balance, including the fees of county scholars, was met by the County Council.
Agriculture. This embraces all acts of husbandry on a farm, including dairy work, and agricultural botany, agricultural chemistry, physics of agriculture, agricultural geology, veterinary hygiene, book-keeping, mensuration and surveying, and carpentry. A full farm diary must be kept and produced whenever required. Practical farm work is compulsory.
Horticulture.-A similar course including, besides the practical work of the garden and the subject of carpentry, agricultural botany and entomology, agricultural chemistry, and a full diary. Practical work is compulsory.
Poultry-keeping.-For this certificate, all the work of hatching, rearing, feeding, cramming, killing, dressing, marketing, and