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South Dakota Agricultural College, West Virginia University, University of Wisconsin, and University of Wyoming.
Cooperation is effected by the land-grant colleges in 10 States by agreement of directors of extension, in 3 by a committee of cooperative schools, and in 2 by State department control. Cooperative procedures followed most effectively are—making known to the people the services offered by other institutions and referring requests to the proper sources of information. Participation of faculties in service with other institutions is also practiced successfully. Less frequently employed cooperations are the division of subjectmatter fields according to institutional emphasis and geographical zoning of the State for economy in administration.
In the consideration of the future development of extension services of the land-grant colleges it is evident that the problem should be viewed broadly with reference to changing ecor.omic and social conditions. The population of the State in relation to its area, the State's industries, its probable future industrial and social progress, the educational functions of the institutions and their place in the State's scheme of education, the strength of the institutions in faculty personnel and in organized units of service, and the financial resources of the State are all factors of supreme importance. These conditions require that Smith-Lever extension and general extension be viewed by public authority and by administrators of land-grant colleges as a common problem. A satisfactory development of these services, from the standpoint of the State as a whole, will assure a proper balance in achieving the common objectives of vocational, humanistic, and social education for the people.
Agriculture in the United States to-day is probably unexcelled for the efficiency with which human effort is used in the production of food and raw materials. At the present time about one-fourth of the population is producing food and farm products for all our own people and a surplus for export. Call said that in colonial times more than 95 per cent of all producers were farmers and yet there was produced scarcely more than enough to feed and clothe the people. In 1850 the average farm worker cultivated 1 acre where now he cultivates almost 3 with greater efficiency. Agricultural production was more than 14 per cent greater in the period 1922–1926 than in the period 1917-1921, despite the fact that the acreage of crop land was not increased.
The frontier of agriculture in the United States is a thing of the past. It is now largely a matter of historic interest. An illuminating paper by Farrell a describes this situation.
As late as 1858, an article in the North American Review * spoke of the Missouri River as the eastern boundary of a “ vast desert nearly 1,000 miles in breadth, which it was proposed to traverse, if at all, with caravans of camels. A geography written by Woodbridge and Willard and published in 1824, had this to say of the region : “From longitude 96°, or a meridian of Council Bluffs, to the Chippewa Mountains is a desert region of more than 100 miles in length and breadth.
Agreeable to the best intelligence we have, the country, both northward and southward of that described, commencing near the source of the Sabine and Colorado, and extending to the northern boundary of the United States, is throughout of a similar character.
There little possibility that it can ever become the residence of an agricultural nation.'
The States of Kansas and Nebraska are midway between the north and south boundaries of this “ desert.” They are approximately representative of the region. Together they contain more than 3,000,000 people. In 1925 they harvested crops from more than 40,000,000 acres of land. The crops were worth
1 Call, L. E The Increased Efficiency of American Agriculture, Science, Vol. LXIX, Jan. 18, 1929.
2 Farrell, F. D. A Desert Becomes a Garden. Sigman XI Quarterly, March, 1926.
• Barrows, William. The United States of Yesterday and of To-morrow, 1883, pp. 102 and 133.
$800,000,000 and in addition they had about $500,000,000 worth of Jivestock. In the same year the two States were using nearly a million motor cars, supported 1,100 newspapers, and ranked high in number of students sent to college per 1,000 of population.
These comparisons serve to present in a measure the results of the remarkable changes that have occurred in agricultural geography; in the improvement of old crops and the introduction and creation of valuable new ones; in improved methods of soil management; in the development of more productive herds and flocks; in the methods of control for plant and animal pests and diseases; in new methods and practices for processing, storing, transportation, and distribution of agricultural products; in new uses for agricultural products; and in the advent of the “ mechanical age” in agriculture.
Responsibility for this metamorphosis may be traced largely to the agricultural experiment stations established in every State in the Union and to the Federal Department of Agriculture. For the application of science to the problems of agriculture in its many phases they form a national system that changed a desert into a garden. Farrell further describes this great change as due to the
Application by an indomitable people of the results of research in agriculture and mechanical science. Patient research in field and laboratory and exploration of every country in search of useful plants have produced new facts, new plants, new machines. These have been early taken up by the people having the spirit of the pioneer and their use has been fruitful.
Early Historic Sketch of Agriculture The versatile Benjamin Franklin interested himself actively in the development of agriculture. The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1744 under his leadership, published many articles on agriculture and in his proposals for an academy in Philadelphia in 1749 he “suggested that a little gardening, planting, grafting, and inoculating be taught and practiced, and now and then excursions made to neighboring plantations of the best farmers.”+ Five years later, in 1754, the curriculum of the academy included a course in the chemistry of agriculture.
It was not until March, 1785, however, that the first agricultural organization was actually formed on the American Continent. Known as the Philadelphia Society for Promoting Agriculture, its object was a “greater increase of the products of the land within the American States.” To accomplish this purpose the society offered to print memoirs, offered prizes for experiments, improvements, and
* True, Alfred Charles.
A History of Agricultural Education in the United States.
essays. George Washington was also vitally interested in agriculture and "early determined to study and experiment with a view of improving agricultural conditions for himself and farmers generally."
During the first half of the nineteenth century many agricultural societies were formed, local fairs were held by farmers, agricultural exhibits and shows were conducted, and frequent articles designed to promote knowledge in agriculture appeared in the leading periodicals.
In 1852 it was estimated that there were about 300 active organizations in 31 States and 5 Territories, and in 1860 there were 941 agricultural organizations recorded in the books of the United States Agricultural Society. These organizations brought a considerable and growing body of the most intelligent and progressive farmers into active relations with a nation-wide movement for the advancement of agriculture. Through meetings, fairs, correspondence, publications, and articles in the agriculture and other papers, they sought to make the public feel that the interests of agriculture and farming populations were entitled to more consideration by Congress and the State legislature. They were increasingly active and influential in the efforts to establish State boards of agriculture, a national department of agriculture, the teaching of agriculture in schools and colleges, the carrying on of experiments and scientific investigations for the improvement of agriculture, and the building up of agricultural journals and books."
Origin of Agricultural Experiment Stations As a result of this public pressure, the United States Department of Agriculture was established by an act of Congress on May 15, 1862, and the National Government was enlisted in the great movement to promote agricultural education and research. The Morrill Act was also passed in the same year establishing land-grant colleges in every State to provide instruction in agriculture. From the very beginning agricultural experimentation on a small scale was conducted in the colleges. The work consisted mainly of field tests in crop varieties, soil analyses, and studies of soils and later treatment of animals and to some extent the feeding and care of animals. The meagerness of the supply of scientifically tested knowledge on agriculture was fully realized and also the tremendous possibilities for future development through the establishment of experiment stations. Hilgard, according to True
Dates the beginning of the experiment station movement in this country from the time of the meeting of the land-grant colleges at Chicago in 1871, but before this Professor Johnson and his associates at the Yale Scientific School in Connecticut had inaugurated work looking toward the establishment of such stations. The experiments of Lawes and Gilbert at Rothsamsted, England, the investigations of Boussingault in France, and the organized work of the experiment stations in Germany, had already attracted attention in this country.®
Ibid. 6 Ibid.
The first agricultural experiment station in the United States was actually established in 1875 at Wesleyan University, Middleton, Conn., by Prof. W. O. Atwater. It was later moved to New Haven and its work was merged with the Scheffield Scientific School. In the same year the
University of California decided to organize an experiment station and this was done by Professor Hilgard almost as soon as he went to the university in 1875. That year he equipped a laboratory for research in agricultural chemistry and began field experiments on deep and shallow plowing for cereals. In 1877 the North Carolina Experiment Station was established by the State legislature and located at the State University, which was then a land-grant college. In New York, the Cornell University Experiment Station was organized in 1879 by the voluntary action of the faculty of agriculture of the university, and the following year the New Jersey State Experiment Station was created in connection with the Scientific School of Rutgers University."
Within the next few years stations were established in the States of Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
The results of the experiment work of the stations, colleges, and the Department of Agriculture were widely disseminated and were received with favor. But on account of the meager and insufficient funds available, the accomplishments were limited both in extent and importance. A campaign was then inaugurated for a national system of agricultural research including the Department of Agriculture and experiment stations in every State in the Union aided by financial support from the Federal Government. A convention of delegates of the land-grant colleges which met in Washington discussed and endorsed this project and through their united action and the active support of the United States Department of Agriculture, the Grange and other supporters of agricultural advancement, the Hatch Act was passed by Congress in 1887. The terms of this act are discussed in detail in Part I of this report, which deals with the historic background of land-grant college education in the United States. In the accompanying table are presented the years in which State agricultural experiment stations were organized prior to the enactment of the Hatch Act and also the dates of organization of the stations under the terms of the act.