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annum, provided an appropriation is made by the General Assembly, to sustain the Division of Nursery and Orchard Inspection.
The motion prevailed.
The secretary reported the following action as having been taken by the Ohio Senate on March 1, 1904:
On motion of Senator Austin, the following resolution was adopted:
Resolved, That the President of the Senate be authorized to appoint a committee of five to investigate the legal obligation of the State to pay outstanding bonds issued by the State Board of Agriculture, and to determine the relation existing between the State Board of Agriculture and the State of Ohio thereto, and to further investigate what reports and accounting, if any, are submitted by the State Board of Agriculture to the State of Ohio, and to further investigate the receipts and expenditures of the State Board of Agriculture, and to report their findings, together with whatever recommendations they may see fit to make, to the Senate on March 8, 1904.
The President of the Senate appointed the following committee: L. L. H. Austin, R. W. Dunlap, O. E. Harrison, T. H. Ricketts and S. D. Crites.
On motion the Board adjourned to meet at the call of the president.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,
10:00 o'clock a. m. The Board met pursuant to the call of the president. Members all present except Messrs. Cromley and Lybarger.
The minutes of the preceding meeting were read and approved.
The president called attention to the Lawrence County Agricultural Society matter previously brought to the attention of the Board, when the secretary explained further the nature of the case and its present condition in the courts of Lawrence county. He also reported the result of an investigation by the Board as to the manner of organization of said county society.
President Carpenter made some further explanation regarding the standing of the case in court, whereupon Mr. Ganson offered the following, which was unanimously adopted:
Whereas, On the 15th day of January, 1903, and the 14th day of January, 1904, certificates under sections 3697-99 inclusive, Revised Statutes of Ohio, were issued to J. A. Bowen, president of the Lawrence County Agricultural Society; and
Whereas, Said certificates were issued upon the representation and belief that the statutes of the State of Ohio and of the rules of the Ohio
State Board of Agriculture had been complied with by said Lawrence County Agricultural Society; and
Whereas, Upon investigation it has been ascertained that said Lawrence County Agricultural Society had not prior to the date of said certificates, organized as required by the rules of said State Board, in this, to-wit: That the rules of said Ohio State Board of Agriculture require that in the organization of any such society, there must be ten members residing in not fewer than nine townships, and that there shall not be more than one member in any one township except the township in which the agricultural fair is held, and that the ten members in the organization of said Lawrence County Agricultural Society reside in five townships of the said county;
Therefore, Be it resolved by the Ohio State Board of Agriculture that the certificates heretofore issued to J. A. Bowen, President of said Lawrence County Agricultural Society, and dated January 15, 1903, and January 14, 1904, for presentation to the auditor of Lawrence county for the purpose of obtaining the per capita mentioned in section 3697, Revised Statutes of Ohio, be and the same are hereby revoked and held for naught.
The secretary called attention to the withholding of certificate for 1902, from the Montgomery County Agricultural Society on the grounds that said society had not complied with the rules, which certificate by action of this Board February 11, 1903, was directed to be withheld until said society should give evidence, in writing, that the irregularities complained of would be corrected, and that the certificate for 1903 was withheld because the report of said county society for that year had not the required affidavit attached.
In the matter of report for 1903, the secretary presented an amended report that had been received and to which was attached the proper affidavit.
In view of the fact that the Montgomery County Agricultural Society did not submit its report for 1903 until too late for the signature of the president of the State Board of Agriculture officiating for that year, Mr. Ganson moved that the president be now directed to issue to said society the certificate relative to its report for 1903, upon which to draw the county fund to which it may be entitled for the year. The motion was agreed to.
Referring to the resolution adopted by the Ohio Senate, providing for a committee to investigate the condition of the State Board of Agriculture and its relations to the State, the secretary presented the following as the report of said committee, which report was properly presented to the Senate and by motion made a part of its proceedings, March 8:
Report of the special committee of the Senate to investigate the condition of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture:
Your committee appointed to investigate conditions relative to the State Board of Agriculture felt it an incumbent duty to first inform itself concerning the work of this Board, and the Agricultural Department under its management, together with the authority and direction for the work, and afterwards the source of means and the application of the same for the expense of the work.
In examining into the history of the board and its work, we find that from 1846 to 1880, its work consisted of the preparation and publication of an annual report, containing agricultural statistics reproduced from other sources; abstracts of reports from county agricultural societies; addresses and lectures on agricultural topics, and the proceedings of the annual agricultural convention, held, agreeable to the statutes of the State, for deliberation as to the wants and prospects of agriculture.
The Board conducted during these years a general correspondence regarding the agricultural affairs of the State, but the greatest work in those years was the preparation for and the holding of the annual State
The permanent office force of the Board prior to 1880 consisted of a secretary and a clerk. The appropriations made by the State, for the expense of the office, or Agricultural Department, was usually about four thousand ($4,000.00) dollars. This covered all expenses of salaries, handling of reports, postage, express, telegraph and other contingent expenses. No part of the annual appropriation was expended for State Fair expense. It seems to have been the policy of the Board, and we believe still continues to be, to request only such appropriations from the State as were actually required for the work to be done.
The State Fair and Industrial Exposition, now authorized by Section 3693 of the Revised Statutes, we find to be a self-sustaining institution, so far as the expense of operation is concerned. Prior to 1883 it was without a permanent place of holding. In that year the State Board of Agriculture had of surplus State Fair earnings the sum of seventeen thousand two hundred and fifty-two ($17,252) dollars, with which it began the purchase of real estate for a State Fair grounds.
The surplus from subsequent fairs was also devoted to this purpose, when in 1886 the first State Fair was held on part of the grounds now occupied.
Having secured grounds with its own earnings, the State Board of Agriculture, before holding the first fair on this acquired property, requested the General Assembly to permanently protect it to the State, and forbid encumbrance in any manner without the consent of the State, and such a law was enacted May 4, 1885.
Since the original purchases, twenty-five additional acres were found to be necessary, and were secured, payment being made from the proceeds of bonds authorized by the General Assembly for fair ground improvements.
It is shown by the records of the Board that some years the receipts of the fair did not cover expenses and the Board was compelled to borrow money for payment of premiums and expenses, but the borrowed money has always been paid from the earnings of future fairs, and never by any appropriations from the State. It is quite clearly shown that all surplus earnings of the annual fairs have gone into purchase of grounds, improvements and betterments.
We find that the State has aided in the erection of buildings and the improvement of these grounds, by authorizing the issue of bonds, as follows:
By Act of May 1, 1885, $80,000; by Act of April 12, 1898, $80,000 ; by Act of March 29, 1900, $120,000 ; total, $280,000.
We find that the total cost of the State Fair grounds, with buildings and improvements, has been $557,663.
Since the original purchase of grounds by the State Board of Agriculture there has been a very great rise in real estate values in the immediate vicinity of the grounds. The fair grounds now comprise one hundred and fifteen acres. The increase in their value is placed at $399,970, making the total value of fair grounds and improvements at this time $957,633, an excess of $677,633 over and above the amount of bonds authorized by Acts of the General Assembly.
We find that of the $280,000 bonds referred to, $120,000 have already been paid by the State, leaving $160,000 still to be paid, and which, according to the conditions of the bonds, are payable $20,000 each year until paid.
The purchase of grounds as a permanent home for the Ohio Fair has proven to be a very wise transaction from a money point of view, and as a better means of promoting the agricultural and manufacturing interests of the State has placed Ohio in the front line with other progressive states.
At the close of the last calendar year, December 31, 1903, it was found that in the fund from which State Fair and other miscellaneous expenses are paid, there was a balance of $15.981, but since that date much of this balance has been expended for expenses of farmers' institutes, fertilizer inspection and other work not provided for by State appropriations, and the balance still remaining will be required for repairs and maintenance of grounds and buildings until another fair.
Recurring to the work of the Board through the Department of Agriculture, we find that in 1880 the general scope of agricultural work was enlarged and a system of work by divisions was inaugurated. ,
The first new division to be established was that of monthly crop and live stock reporting. The legislature, by increasing the appropriations to the Board, made provision to sustain this work, and afterwards added to it by an Act of the General Assembly, requiring county auditors to return direct to the secretary of agriculture, the agricultural statistics gathered each year by the township assessors..
This crop and live stock reporting work has grown from year to year. It involves a corps of correspondents from the several townships of the State, numbering about fifteen hundred persons, and an increased clerical force in the department.
The next important division established by the Board was that of county farmers' institutes. This institute work grew so rapidly in public favor and the demand for them became so great in the several counties of the State that the General Assembly, by its Act of April 26, 1890, made it a duty of the State Board of Agriculture to continue the work, and made special provisions therefor. We find that the county institutes held under the auspices of the State Board of Agriculture increased from about forty to two hundred and forty-seven last year, and we are informed that the demand is not fully met.
By Act of the General Assembly March 16, 1881, provision was made that required the secretary of the State Board of Agriculture to make an inspection and analysis of all the commercial fertilizers sold or offered for sale in Ohio. This division of the service has entailed a great amount of careful work and an increase of office force.
By Act of the General Assembly May 10, 1902, the inspection of nurseries and orchards was made a duty of the Board, and such a division was, in accordance with that Act, placed in immediate operation. It en- . tailed additional help and additional expense.
As the work of the State Board of Agriculture increased and new divisions were established, agreeable to law, in the Department of Agriculture, we find that the working force and the expense gradually increased from time to time. State appropriations were made to meet the requirements as they existed.
The annual appropriations have been increased from $6,800 in 1884 to $7,500 in 1890; to $9,000 in 1893 ; to $15.000 in 1898, and to $16,000 in 1903, besides an additional $15,000 for the two years 1902 and 1903, made especially for the expense of nursery and orchard inspection.
The paid force required to conduct the work, as it has been developed and added to by law, increased from two or three persons at the period first referred to in this report to nineteen persons in 1903, not including thirty institute lecturers employed during the institute seasons.
The books of the Board show that the appropriations annually made by the State have been expended wholly for the work of the department in the different authorized divisions of the service, including salaries of officers, clerks and inspectors, and the actual expenses of the members of the Board in department work.
No part of the State appropriations have been applied to State Fair expense; the books and accounts of that institution are kept entirely separate from the appropriation books and accounts.
Furthermore, your committee finds upon the declaration of the Attorney-General that the obligation of the State to pay the above bond