Page images
PDF
EPUB

communication with the telegraphic wires would enable us to predict the approach of storms, and to cantion tlie farmer in time of barvest and Laying, and the fruit gruwer at the time of frosts, of the impending danger. Thus the magnetic teleyraph and the daily newspaper shonld be engaged in the immediate service of the American farmer.

3. The Botany of Illinois, both as of interest in itself and as an indication of the character of soils and climates, should be carefully examined in the interest of Industrial science. The economical value of our timber trees and the districts best snited to their growth, and to the growth of trees not native, could thus be measurably determined.

4. The Zoology of our State-especially its Entomology and animals injnrious and useful to the farmer and fruit grower—also claims a thorough examination, although the State Entomologist will, in bis department, no doubt do all that need be done in that bebalf. But the habits of birds as insect and fruit eaters, for instance, need farther examination to determine the facts and the policy to be pursued by the grower of grapes and cherries.

Under all these heads of Economical Science much can be done by merely gathering up facts and observations now isolated, and putting them into new relations, whilst many new facts can be obtained by calling the attention of persons of scientific tastes to the class of facts that we desire to know. There will remain more or less deficiences to be supplied by our own observations, at the University and elsewhere.

II. This brings up the subject of Experimental Stations or points in different parts of the State, where meteorological observations, chemical analyses, and experiments of more or less practical character, can be carried on simultaneously and in unison with similar experiments and observations at the Industrial University. The advantaye of these Stations in Germany was noticed and commented upon by President Pugh, of the Pennsylvania Agricultural College, and latterly by Prof. Johnson, of Yale, in bis valuable hand-book entitled “How Crops Grow.” Prof. Johnson cites the efforts of Scotch and English agricultorists in this direction, adds: “It is, however, in Germany, that the most expensive and well organized efforts have been made by associations of agriculturists, to help their practices by developing theory. In 1851 the Agricultural Society of Leipsic (Leipziger Oeconomische Societaet) established an Agricultural Experiment Station on its farm at Maeckern, near that city. This example was soon imitated in other parts of Germany and the neighboring countries; and at the present writing, 1867, there are of similar Experiment Stations in operation—in Prussia, 10; in Saxony, 4; in Bavaria, 3; in Austria, 3; in Brunswick, Hesse, Thuringia, Anhalt, Wirtemberg, Baden and Sweden, 1 each; making a total of 26, chiefly sustained by, and operating in, the interest of the agriculturists of those countries. These Stations give constant employment to 60 chemists and vegetable physiologists, of whom a large number are occupied largely or exclusively with theoretical investigations ; while the work of others is devoted to more practical matters, as testing the value of commercial fertilizers. Since 1859 a journal (Die Landwirthschaftlichen Versuchs Stationen-Agricultural Experiment Stations) has been published as the organ of these establishments, and the nine volumes now completed, together with the numerous reports of the Stations themselves, have largely contributed the facts that are made use of in the following pages.”

“Such a Station,” according to Dr. Pugh, "should embrace a farm for experiments in the growth of crops, a chemical laboratory for examining them, and stalls, stables, etc., adapted to feeding animals, with a view of estimating the value of different kinds of food for cattle.” Perhaps the least expensive method of estabJishing such Stations in Ilinois, is to seek out our most intelligent and inquiring farmers, in different parts of the State, who in their own farms have already most of the means of experiment. Supply these men with meteorological instruments, and they can easily furnish meteorological reports. Supply them with seed and instructions as to the character of an experiment, and they can carry it out in a practical way. The same would be true with experiments in feeding, etc. As practical chemists, they would not often be competent; but, with this exception, our more intelligent farmers can be used as experimenters. Such men should be paid for their services an amount sufficient to insure the thorough performance of the duties wherewith they are charged, withont detriment to their private interests. If practicable, as it may be in some cases, to bring into juxtaposition with such an experimental farmer, a college or high school, with its chemical apparatus and professor, and a meteorological observer, we could thus ensure a better quality of work in the division of labor. Probably such may, soouer or later, be the case at Chicago, Galesburg, Bloomington, Jacksonville, Alton, Irvington, and other points. These Stations, however, should at first go to the men and the communities who can appreciate their advantages; where enthusiasts will labor from their love of the subject, and where farmers will be willing to contribute something to support in their midst an attempt to throw the lights of science upon their arts of agriculture.

III. In accordance with the Congressional and Legislative acts the collection of State Industrial and Economical Statistics, is made a part of the duty of the Board of Trustees, and devolved upon the Corresponding Secretary. This can hardly be efficiently done without some grant of power under State law, or better, some State provision for a Statistical Bureau, from which the kind of statistics needed can be drawn. And in view of the strongly expressed opinions of our State Agricultural Society, and of our State Board of Equalization of Taxes, it may be hoped that the Dext Legislature will make provision for an annual collection of statistics, embracing the progress of Agriculture, Manufactures, Coinmerce, and other industrial pursuits, as well as vital and social statistics.

IV. The holding of Annual Conventions-either general, as of Farmers, or special, as of Fruit Growers, Wool Growers and Cattle Breeders—is an important aid in gathering facts and disseminating scientific knowledge, and may, perhaps, be regarded as within the province of the Corresponding Secretary. The importance of these “ Farmers’ Institutes," as they have been aptly termed, I have already insisted upon in a communication addressed to the Committee on Course of Study and Faculty of the University, and published in the Prairie Farmer of December 21st, 1867. I will ask leave to repeat my reasons in favor of such a course.

* 1. It 'breaks ground' at the best point. The people of this State look to this Institution for something of more practical value in its immediate application to every-day affairs, than other Institutions have been in the habit of furnishing. A course of lectures and discussions of this kind will show that we are endeavoring to supply that want, and gain their good will to educational schemes of less obvious, though not less real, utility.

"2. Such a course will give a start in self education to a large class who cannot or will not attend the longer courses. The young, or the middle aged man who can spend a week or two in the discussion of topics relating to his every-day business, will go home with material for thought, and theories for better practice, that will last him for years. It will have a tendency also to draw persons into the longer

cours?s, and to make them anxious that their relatives and friends should avail themselves of the advantages of this Institution. In short, such a course will create a better appreciation of industrial education.

“8. Such a course is also directly va'uable as a means of education. While it is somewhat superficial, it has a value from coming into immediate contact with the facts, practices and economies of every.day experience that can hardly be over rated. This is well expressed in the words of the late Prof. John A. Porter, in the New Eng ander for November, 1859. * The solution which we propose is the enlistment of practical men, who are not professional teachers, in the work of instruction, and their combination in such numbers, that a sma I contribution of time and labor from each shall make a sufficient aggregate to meet the object in view. The special necessity for such a system, in the case of the pursuit we are considering, grows out of the fact that there is much in agriculture which has not yet taken the form of science, and can only be acquired from practical men.'

“4. Such courses wou'd be of va'ue to the Faculty of the University in bringing them into contact with the classes whose needs and deficiencies they wish to supp y, and thus giving them a more correct idea of practical education, and the drift of things outside the academic walls. Teachers need this, above all other teachers, in an Industrial University."

V. Personal observation of the farms of our best farmers, and the manufactories of our best mechanics, would be a valuable method of getting hold of the best practical methods in the varied pursuits of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts; and through the medium of this report the result of such observations could be communicated to all who cared to know. Thus, in another way, the practices of our best grain, grass and stock growers could be communicated to all our farmers, and our methods of farming much improved. Visits lo the orchards and vineyards of our best fruit growers, would give, as they already have given, new and better ideas of Horticulture. The workshops of our mechanics would doubtless furnish other valuable material for the study of our ar isang.

By such methods as these we may, I think, fairly hope to do a great and good work for our fair and fertile State, and make her as illustrious in the intelligence and wise economy of her industries, as she already is in her natural advantages and ber political and military power.

W.O.F.

LAWS CONCERNING THE INDUSTRIAL UNIVERSITY,

LAWS OF CONGRESS.

.

AN ACT donating Public Lands to the several States and Territories which may

provide Colleges for the benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That there be granted to the several states, for the purposes hereinafter mentioned, an amount of public land, to be apportioned to each state, in quantity equal to 30,000 acres for each senator and representative in Congress to which the states are respectively entitled by the apportionment under the census of 1860: Provided, That no mineral lands shall be selected or purchased under the provisions of this act.

$ 2 And be it further enacted, that the land aforesaid, after being surveyed, shall be apportioned to the several states in sections or sub-divisions of sections not less than one-quarter of a section; and whenever there are public lands in a state, subject to sale at private entry, at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, the quantity to which said state shall be entitled, shall be selected from such lands, within the limits of such state; and the secretary of the interior is hereby directed to issue to each of the states, in which there is not the quantity of public lands subject to sale at private entry, at one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre, to which said state may be entitled under the provisions of this act, land scrip to the amount in acres for the deficiency of its distributive share; said scrip to be sold by said states, and the proceeds thereof applied to the uses and purposes prescribed in this act, and for no other use or purpose whatsoever: Provided, That in no case shall any state to which land scrip may thus be issued, be allowed to locate the same within the limits of any other state, or of any territories of the United States; but their assignees may thus locate said land scrip upon any of the unappropriated lands of the United States subject to sale at private entry, at one dollar and twenty. five cents or less per acre. And provided further, That not more than one million stres shall be located by such assignees in any one of the tsates. And provided further, That no such locations shall be made before one year from the passage of

this act.

3. And be il further enacted, That all the expenses of management, superintendence and taxes from date of selection of said lands, previous to their sales, and all expenses incurred in the management and disbursement of the moneys which may be received therefrom, shall be paid by the states to which they may belong, out of the treasury of said states, so that the entire proceeds of the sale of said laods shall be applied, without any diminution whatever, to the purposes hereinafto mentioned.

« PreviousContinue »