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The courses of instruction provided at the College are as follows::
1. Courses of 10, 20, and 30 weeks' instruction in agriculture and allied subjects, for farmers' sons, &c.
2. Courses of 6, 12, 24, and 36 weeks' instruction in the principles and practice of dairying.
3. Special courses of varying lengths of instruction in Agricultural chemistry, bacteriology, seed testing, &c., for teachers and others wishing to specialise in any branch.
4. Summer courses in rural economy, for teachers in rural elementary schools.
COURSES IN AGRICULTURE.
The instruction in agriculture is given by means of three terms each of ten weeks' duration, viz., term I., October to December; term II., January to March; and term III., March to May. These terms are so arranged as to occupy the time between corn harvest and hay harvest, when young men may be most easily spared from the farm; they are also graduated, the first term being the most elementary, leading up, through the second term, to the most
advanced term, III. Arrangements have been made with the Agricultural Department of the University of Leeds, whereby students, requiring a longer course of instruction than is provided at the Midland Agricultural and Dairy College, may go through the two or more years' courses at that College, and sit for either the Degree of B.Sc., in the University, or for the National Diploma awarded by the Royal Agricultural Society of England and the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland.
The subjects of the agricultural courses at the College are as follows:
Class B. Those requiring a commercial knowledge of dairying or factory management, such as dairymen in a large way of business, factory managers, and intending colonists.
Class C. Students wishing to become teachers of dairying, and requiring a teaching diploma.
The course for class A. extends over a period of not less than six weeks, and includes instruction in the following branches :The composition, properties, production and manipulation of milk, cream, butter, soft and hard cheese; milk record keeping; general management and common ailments of dairy stock; milk testing; separating; cream ripening; influence of ferments and bacteria on milk, butter and cheese; making up and packing butter.
The greater part of the time is spent in practical work in the dairy, and in class work in dairying, the remainder of the time being taken up with laboratory work in milk testing, and lectures on veterinary surgery, and the chemistry of milk and its products.
The course for classes B. and C. extends in each case over a period of not less than nine months, commencing in October.
A few slight alterations and additions have been made to the buildings since the last report. A new smith's shop has been erected, and a refrigerating chamber put up, the necessary plant for the latter having been generously provided by the landlord of the property.
Farmers continue to make enquiry about and seek advice on a great variety of subjects. A case which recently came up was of considerable interest, as it was that of a cake which, on analysis, was found to contain the husk of the castor oil bean in considerable quantities. Some of the animals which had eaten it died, and several calves which were having only the milk from cows eating the cake, also died. But although the Nottinghamshire County Council, in whose area the case occurred, were anxious and willing to prosecute, they were unable to get the consent of the farmer to take up the case.
Research work of a very interesting character on nitrogen assimilation continues to be conducted by the lecturer in chemistry to the College. About a ton of material made from partly sterilised soil has been prepared, and inoculated with fresh virulent nodules, bean, pea and lucerne. The soil thus prepared is being tested by means of pot culture, and also in the open field. This work has again met with the approval of the Royal Society and a grant has been made to the Lecturer in respect of the work he is doing.
The number of students at the Institute during the past year has been as follows:
All those who took the agricultural courses came with county scholarships from the contributing counties, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincoln (Lindsey), and Nottinghamshire, except five students, three of whom came from the Borough of Derby, one from Devonshire, and one from Turkey.
Of those taking dairy courses, the greater number came from the contributing counties with scholarships or from Staffordshire, which county sent 11 scholars for the six weeks' course. The rest of the students came from Cheshire, Devon, Essex, Kent, Lancashire, Somerset, Sussex, Wiltshire and Yorkshire; one came from Scotland and another from the Channel Islands, and one came from Sweden and one from Switzerland.
During the summer vacation, three courses of two weeks each were held for elementary school teachers in economic entomology, botany, management of school gardens, &c. The three courses were attended in all by 53 teachers, of whom 11 came from Derbyshire, 15 from Leicestershire, 12 from Lincolnshire (Lindsey), and 15 from Nottinghamshire.
Lectures.-In Derbyshire, a single lecture on agricultural subjects was given at eight centres, mainly on the results of experiments. The average attendance was 38. Some outdoor meetings were also held at a few centres.
Courses of four lectures each on horticulture were given at 16 centres, a single lecture being given at another centre. The average attendance at these was also 38. Outdoor summer demonstrations in gardens or at fruit stations were held at eight centres, and were attended by large numbers of persons. In Leicestershire, single lectures on the results of experiments were given at four centres to an average audience of 36, while one outdoor meeting was also given.
Courses of three lectures each in horticulture were given at two centres, the attendance averaging 35.
In Lincolnshire (Lindsey), courses of three lectures in agricultural subjects were given at four centres, a course of two lectures at another centre, while single lectures were given at six other centres. The average attendance was 25. Outdoor meetings were also held at seven centres. Courses of three lectures each in horticulture were given at four centres to an average audience of 34, while outdoor demonstrations were held at seven centres.
In Nottinghamshire, a course of four lectures in agricultural subjects was held at one centre, of three lectures at another centre, of two lectures at a further centre, while single lectures were given at seven other centres. The average attendance was 29. Outdoor meetings were held at four centres.
Courses of four lectures in horticulture were given at three centres, while outdoor summer demonstrations were held at two centres. The average attendance at the lectures was 32. A course of six lectures in Veterinary science was held at one centre, and of four lectures at another. The average attendance was 25.
Poultry-keeping instruction was provided at three centres, a course of four lectures being given at each of them. The average attendance was 58.
Field Demonstrations.-In Derbyshire, experiments on the manuring of seeds-hay, potatoes, swedes or mangolds, were carried out at seven centres, two sets of experiments being conducted at one of them. One experiment with varieties of swedes, and one with varieties of mangolds were carried out at two centres,