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camot be advantageously applied on account of the cost, bare shown how the agricultural products of Massachusetts may be very largely increased, with a fair prospect of a reasonable profit. As every improvement in agriculture adds directly to the welfare of the people, not only in our own State, but wherever it may be adopted; and as the question for consideration by the legislature is, not whether there shall be a State College at Amherst, but whether the Massachu-. setts Agricultural College shall be so maintained as to accomplish worthily the objects of its establishment, — there seems to be no sufficient ground for the refusal of the small annual appropriation required. Is it wise for the legislature to break up the successful system of instruction and training which is now in operation as the result of fifteen years of experiment? Can the Commonwealth afford to lose a large part of the benefits which should be derived from an investment of more than half a million dollars in an institution for scientific and practical education, by neglecting to defray its necessary current expenses? If the very moderate sum of five thousand dollars per annum be furnished, the College can go on with its four-years' course of instruction, and, while receiving students of rather limited attainments, may send forth graduates deserving the name of educated men. It can also perform a great amount of most important work as an experimental station, and gradually bring its farm and gardens into such a condition of excellence as to be models for the imitation of both its students and the public generally.
The only way in which the cost of carrying on the College can be reduced materially is to shorten the course to three years, and raise the standard of admission to a point which would make it necessary for students to spend a year or two in some preparatory school of a high grade. By this change, the services of one professor might be dispensed with: but the diminution in the number of students would probably reduce the income from tuition to a considerable extent; so that the net gain would be slight. As the salaries of the officers are now ten per cent less than those paid by Amherst College, it is not practicable to economize largely in this direction.
The obligation of the State to sustain the College is very clear, and the pecuniary advantage of doing so is equally obvious. The Trustees, therefore, earnestly appeal to the legislature for that material aid which the best interests of the Institution under their charge, and the good name of Massachusetts, seem to them to demand.
SAPPORO AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE. At the beginning of the year 1876 the Trustees were · called to perform a most unexpected, but most important, duty in connection with agricultural education. The Japanese Government having determined to establish an agricultural college, and having selected the Massachusetts College as a model, very naturally looked to its faculty and graduates for advice and assistance. His Excellency Yoshida Kiyonari, Japanese minister at. Washington, was especially desirous of procuring the services of President Clark, if only for a single year, to aid in locating, organizing, and starting the new institution. Accordingly, the Trustees, by a unanimous vote, granted him leave of absence from May 15, 1876, to Sept. 1, 1877; at which time he resumed his duties at Amherst.
The first professors selected for the Japanese college were William Wheeler of the class of 1871, David P. Penhallow of the class of 1873, and William P. Brooks, valedictorian in 1875. These gentlemen have proved themselves eminently qualified for the duties assigned them, and have given entire satisfaction to both the officers of the governnent and their Japanese pupils.
The college is located at Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido, in latitude 43° N., in the valley of the great river Ishcari. The soil of the college farm is a fine black loam, underlaid with beds of yellow loam and gravel, and is admirably suited for tillage. The climate here is delightful, and especially favorable for vegetation. The ground is rarely frozen in winter, but covered with abundance of snow during four or five months. The summers are bright and warm, with plentiful rains; and autumnal frosts hardly appear before the snow. The following crops were successfully cultivated on the farm in 1876; viz., rice, wheat, barley, maize, oats, millet, Timothy, clover, beans, pease, Chinese indigo, hemp, flax, potatoes, sweet-potatoes, beets, turnips, field-radishes, carrots, cabbages, tomatoes, egg-plant, ginseng, white and paper mulberries, and
a great variety of American and foreign fruit-trees and useful and ornamental plants. The farming of the past season has produced very satisfactory results. Professor Brooks reports that he has raised, among other things, two thousand bushels of excellent corn, two thousand bushels of Early Rose potatoes, one hundred and twenty tons of hay, and more sugar-beets, turnips, and carrots than he can store in his root cellar.
The college farm consists of two hundred and fifty acres, one hundred of which are devoted to pasture, and fifty to timber. The barn is one hundred by fifty feet, with one L sixty by thirty feet, and another forty by thirty feet, and a cellar one hundred by fifty feet, and ten feet deep. The farm is supplied with imported stock, and agricultural machines and implements of all sorts. At Sapporo excellent labor costs twenty cents per day, and the annual allowance for ordinary farm expenses is $15,350; while Massachusetts often fails to make any provision for the working-expenses of her College farm of nearly four hundred acres, though labor here costs five times as much.
It is a very interesting fact, that, in 1876, there were three model and experimental farms in Japan, under the charge of Japanese officers who had been educated at the Massachusetts College.
One of these farms, near Hakodate, contains five thousand acres, and is under the direction of Mr. Youchi, who has under him eleven officers, and nearly one hundred permanent laborers. He is allowed forty thousand dollars annually for his ordinary expenses, and gives away to the farmers of the province, or sells to them at a nominal price, a large part of the products of his farm. He raises annually ten thousand grafted fruit-trees and a million or more forest-trees for planting. He has an admirable plantation of Chinese mulberries, containing one hundred thousand trees for growing silk, and about one thousand sheep for the production of Wool. Fine horses, neat-cattle, and swine also receive careful attention, many valuable animals having been imported from the United States. The government farms for
farms for the improvement of agriculture u the province of Hokkaido, with a population of less than wo hundred thousand, are sustained at an annual cost of
more than a hundred thousand dollars, besides the maintenance of the new agricultural college, which requires thirty thousand dollars per annum. Is it too much for Massachusetts to appropriate five thousand dollars a year for the support of her single College and its farm ?
The Japanese Government has contracted with a Californian of large experience to introduce eighty thousand sheep into one district on the island of Nippon, and has already enclosed six thousand acres of land for a stock farm. The wild prairie soil is being broken up, and cultivated grasses and forage plants being introduced, while suitable, barns, sheds, and offices are in process of construction. During the year 1877 the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars was expended in Kentucky and California in the purchase of Thoroughbred and Norman horses, well-bred asses, and Shorthorn and Jersey cattle, for this single farm.
This establishment is designed not only to increase the supply, and improve the quality, of the valuable domestic animals of the empire, but also to serve as a practical school of agriculture for a large number of young men who perform the necessary labor, under the direction and instruction of American superintendents.
Among the many interesting and valuable results to be achieved by the Massachusetts professors at Hokkaido is the discovery of new and useful plants, and their introduction into the United States. Seeds of about thirty species of desirable trees, shrubs, woody climbers, and herbaceous plants, were collected in the autumn of 1877, and forwarded by President Clark to the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, where they are now growing. Among these are two specially worthy of notice, — the one for its fine foliage and flowers, and the other for its vigorous growth, its beautiful leaves and blossoms, and its excellent fruit. The first is called Schizophragma hydrangeoides, and is a woody climber, attaching itself to the trunks and branches of trees by aerial rootlets, and often clothing them from the ground to their tops with a mass of verdure, upon the outside of which, in midsummer, appear large cymes of white flowers. The main stem of this species is often found with a diameter of six inches, and doubtless frequently attains the age of more than one hundred years, as specimens have been collected which had a
diameter of more than eleven inches. The largest stems are almost always hollow; and the entire bark is separated from the wood every year by a thin layer of cork, as in the grapevine. All persons who are familiar with the admirable qualities of the Hydrangea paniculata, which is abundant in the same forests on the island of Yezo, will be interested to know that this closely-allied climber has been introduced into our country.
The second species is called Actinidia polygama, and belongs to the same family with the tea and the camellia. It is a twining plant, sending out shoots from ten to twenty feet in length in a single season, and rapidly reaching the summits of the highest trees. The stem grows to a great size, and assumes the most grotesque forms. Sometimes a single vine will coil itself with surprising regularity about the trunk of a forest-tree, like a huge anaconda ; and, again, two or more branches will twist about each other, forming an immense living cable, ten or twelve inches in diameter, and often rising from the earth to branches fifty feet above it without any apparent aid. The wood of this species is remarkably soft and porous, resembling that of the grape, and is often used by the Ainos for the manufacture of shallow dishes, which are usually ornamented with sculpturings. The large ducts of this wood are filled with innumerable microscopic needles of calcium oxalate. The younger vines and branches form an excellent substitute for ropes, especially when steamed in their own sap, and twisted while not. This is ingeniously done by the Japanese by coiling the vines, and laying them upon fires of wood so arranged as to heat without burning them.
The inflorescence and foliage are handsome; the flowers being white, and arranged in loose racemes several inches long. The fruit, however, is worthy of special attention, it veing edible, and highly esteemed by both bears and men. The clusters of ripe berries resemble somewhat those of the Walaga grape in size, form, and color; but the seeds are
kily very minute, though numerous. The flavor of the cokuwa, as the Japanese ca
ese call it, is quite peculiar, but agree
especially after it has been slightly touched by the frost. The pulp is soft, juicy, and sweet,
a slight astringency, but scarcely any acidity, when
able to most per