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Wisconsin State Agricultural Society / Transactions of the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, including the proceedings of the state agricultural convention held in February, 1885, together with other practical papers
Vol. XXIII (1885)

Craig, A. H.
The Southeastern Wisconsin Sheep-breeders and Wool-growers Association,   pp. 165-176

Page 165

Mr. President: It is with pleasure, I present this paper 
for your consideration, an d although I may not e x-press 
thoughts wholly new to you, yet i t is hoped that some bene- 
fits may acerue by its presentation. 
This society was organized in 1863 for the purpose of 
stimulating an improvement in the sheep      of south- 
ern Wisconsin. The means adopted were novel at the 
time, but it has gradually worked itself up, until to-day it 
stands as a grand monument in the midst of thousands of 
flocks which surround it'~in every direction. These means 
were the annual publie shearings which have been continu- 
ous for twenty years; which have provoked competition- 
which have stimulated improvements, not only in the high- 
est but the lowest flocks of our seetion. It has attraeted 
almost universal attention; hundreds of reporters have 
writien up its proceedings and thousands of people of south- 
ern Wisconsin regard it as an indispensable holidav. 
To this organization., more than to any other means, does 
Wisconsin owe her popularity as a breeder of thoroughbred 
sheep as well as the valuable quality of. the wool produced. 
Not only has this society bred improvement at home, but 
its influence has been felt throughout the entire west. 
Numerous similar organizations have spr ung into existence 
and have copied our proceedings, and, to supply the de- 
mands of these new organizations, thousands of pure bred 
sheep have been drawn from the flocks of our state, which 
has still f urther encouraged home production in quality and 
I I will not dwell upon the success attained bythe constant 
and united action of our people, but I wish to call your at- 
tention to the indisputable fact that competition, no matter 
in what form.. is the great lever of improvement, the great 
wheel of progress and the secret of success. Our competi- 
tive assoeiation drew upon tlie latent talent of our inge- 
nuity. It induced, first, curiosity, then aetual competition, 

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