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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)

Beach, C. R.
Science in agriculture,   pp. 280-301


Page 281

SCIENCE iN AGRiCULTURE. 
281 
Some time ago, while taking dinner at the Park Hotel, in 
this city, I. observed a'nia-' aeross - the- t'able gazing at me 
with a look of reverential awe, akin to that with which a 
Hindoo is supposed to regard his idol. I thought the man 
slightly insane. At length he spoke. 
Do I have the honor of addressing I. C. Sloan 
I answered, No." The spell. was broken. The look of 
worshipful reverence f aded out from the man's face, but the 
vanity and self-coneeit engendered in me, by that man's 
mistake has grown into a foolhardy desire to emulate in 
some way my distinguished prototype, and so I have chosen 
this subjeet as affording an opportunity of presenting a few 
thoughts suggested by those he gave to you at your last an- 
nual meeting, under the head of '"Management of the Uni- 
versity Farm and Experimental Station," in which he claims 
that the institution which, out of courtesy, is ealled the agri- 
eultural college of Wisconsin, süpposedly d2.signed to aid or 
perfeet the agricultural edueation of farmers' sons, and such 
other persons who.. from taste, inelination or interest., may 
be inelined to make farming the oe ' upation of their lives, is 
a. failure., or if not entirely so, that the benefits have been 
extremely meagre when compared with their cost. A con- 
clusion I shall not attempt to disprove. 
In giving the reasons for this apparent failure, he tells 
you that it is because there is nothing to teach; that there is 
no such thing as science in agriculture; that the ta'sk of 
makiing brick.without straw., which the Egyptians imposed 
upon the, Israelites, was light compared with that which has 
been laid upon the regents of the university, and the profes- 
sors haviing in charge the farm and experimental sýation, 
for the purpov.-e of teaching the science of agriculture, some- 
thing which has no existence in fact. 
That in farming, we have no established demonstratable 
general prineiples which are redueeable to practiee. 'That 
in all the accumulated stores of knowledge pertaining to 
agriculture, there is nothing that could be properly dignified 
with the name of science 
That the good sense and experienc'e of the farmer is his 
only safe guide* and even that is a very uncertain gu*de.. 


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