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There is great promise in the fact that whole classes of graduates of agricultural colleges go back to the farms, having learned how to make them profitable.
-SECRETARY JAMES WILSON, in Year Book, 1911.
0. H. KELLEY.
The National Grange, or Order of Patrons of Husbandry, a secret order of farmers that has enormously benefited agriculture, was founded by Mr. Kelley in December, 1867. Its immediate purpose was to reunite the people of the North and the South, and in this effort it was very successful. The permanent work of the Grange, however, has been to help farmers become better fitted for their work and to make better neighbors of them.
To this end the local granges hold social gatherings, banquets, lectures, and literary and musical programs. The Grange has also been very successful in making the farmer's dollar go farther. In various sections it conducts cooperative buying operations for its members and maintains mutual fire and life insurance companies. It is now working out a plan for cooperative selling of its members' farm products.
In the legislation of benefit to farmers which the Grange has had an influence in passing are the laws bettering agricultural colleges, establishing an agricultural experiment station in every State and Territory, making the head of the Department of Agriculture a Cabinet officer, creating the Interstate Commerce Commission, reforming the tax system in many States, favoring pure food and dairy products, and establishing rural free delivery.
The Patrons of Husbandry is said to have been the first secret organization to place woman on a plane of perfect equality with man. The order is now in about 30 States, and it has a very large membership.
HORACE GREELEY (1811-1872).
As the first great editor of a daily paper printed for the general public to open his columns to agricultural topics and to advocate better farming methods, Horace Greeley gave a great stimulus to the betterment of the farmer's condition. In addition to writing many editorials in his newspaper, “ The New York Tribune," on country life, Mr. Greeley founded an “ agricultural department,” appointing Solon Robinson as the Tribune's agricultural editor.
GREGOR MENDEL (1822–1882). In the quiet of his cloister garden, Father Mendel, Abbot of Brünn, conducted with peas a series of experiments from which he deduced laws that provide the foundation for our exact knowledge of the physical processes of heredity. His work is not only the scientific basis of plant and animal breeding, but also of the new science, eugenics, which aims to produce a more intelligent and more vigorous race of human beings. Curiously, Father Mendel's important contribution to knowledge attracted no attention till 1900, when it was rediscovered by three distinguished botanists at the same time by Hugo de Vries, C. Correns, and E. Tschermak. But so rapidly have his ideas spread that it is now asserted that this pious, modest priest will finally have as great an influence upon the practical aspects of science applied to plant and animal breeding as the great Darwin who formulated the theory of evolution.
LIBERTY HYDE BAILEY (1858- ).
Dr. Bailey's great services to the cause of better farming have been of an educational character. He has held various chairs of horticulture and agriculture; he has lectured before the general public on the same subjects; he has edited magazines which are leading the back-to-the-soil movement; and he has written a number of textbooks upon the practical study of the subject. In addition, he is the editor of the standard encyclopedias on agriculture and horticulture. Dr. Bailey was until this year director of the New York State College of Agriculture, at Cornell University, and was chairman of President Roosevelt's Commission on Country Life.
WILBUR OLIN ATWATER (1844–1907).
Dr. Atwater was the first to investigate profoundly the nutrition of plants as applied to agricultural improvement. He secured funds and induced the State of Connecticut to organize the first agricultural experiment station in the United States. He was director of this station from 1875 to 1887. Due to the demonstrations made by him the Hatch Bill was passed by Congress, which made it possible for each State and Territory to have a similar experiment station. Dr. Atwater not only investigated the nutrition of plants, but made thorough researches into the nutritive value of a great variety of food products.
The experiment stations have led to vast savings and equally vast increases in the yield of farm crops. Pests have been combated, checked, exterminated; farming methods have been improved; new varieties of plants and animals have been introduced; and rural economies and cooperation have been inaugurated as the result of their work. At the lowest calculation, the agricultural experiment stations have increased farm products fully 10 per cent annually and farm values have increased correspondingly.
STEPHEN M. BABCOCK (1843– ). Largely because of his researches as agricultural chief and chemist at the University of Wisconsin, that State is among the foremost in agricultural wealth. The institution with which he was associated has become a model of service to a whole Commonwealth.
The Babcock tester for butter fat in milk has revolutionized dairying. A separate account with each cow becomes possible and necessary. When the unprofitable cow is discovered a whole chain of inquiries is started. Better feeding may be needed, or gentler treatment, or new dairy methods; and many times it is found that the only remedy is a new cow of better breed. The beauty of it all is that a child can make the test, and thus the school and farm may cooperate.
DAVID DICKSON (1809–1885). Known as “tne first millionaire farmer of the South,” he developed many improvements in the agricultural practice of that section in addition to perfecting a number of farm implements. Starting at the age of 35 with $25,000, which he had made in business, he bought 266 acres of land in Georgia, and by the application of business principles he increased the productivity of the soil manyfold. He devised the method of breaking the land deep and cultivating shallow, using the so-called Dickson formula as a fertilizer. He practiced seed selection and developed the first prolific variety of cotton, known as “ Dickson's cluster.” He was also inventor of the “ Dickson sweep," a plow adapted for sandy soil, which at the same time lessened the number of furrows necessary in cultivating a crop. Mr. Dickson wrote “ David Dickson's System of Farming," a work which has done much to improve agricultural methods.
HAPPY THE MAN,
Happy the man whose wish and care
A few paternal acres ,bound,
In his own ground:
Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
Whose flocks supply him with attire;
In winter fire:
Blest, who can unconcern'dly find
Hours, days, and years slide soft away;
Quiet by day:
Sound sleep by night, study and ease,
Together mixt, sweet recreation;
THE HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
There are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
In a fellowless firmament;
Where highways never ran;
And be a friend to man.
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
As good or as bad as I.
Or hurl the cynic's ban;
And be a friend to man.
I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
And stretches away to the night.
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Like a man who dwells alone.
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by--
Wise, foolish-so am I.
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
-SAM WALTER Foss. LITTLE BROWN HANDS.
They drive home the cows from the pasture,
They toss the new hay in the meadow,
They wave from the tall rocking tree tops,
Those who toil bravely are strongest,
The pen of the author and statesman,
-M. H. KROUT,