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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)

Sloan, I. C.
Agricultural education,   pp. 273-280

Page 276

and the question is now presented whether it is wort-h the 
while of the legislature to add another failureto the many 
that are scattered through the other states. 
What is the plan proposed by the gentlemen who have 
volunteered to take this project. in charge in> behalf of the 
farmers'of the states. So far as I understand the same, 
they propose to have the state acquire a farm of five or six 
hundred aeres, to erect buildings at an expense of say $100.,- 
000 to commence with., expend $.,)-0~000 more in.fitting up the 
premises., -purchasing stock and imp.Lements; employ say 
half a dozen professQrs and teachers., a proper iiumber of 
foremen and laborers, and then invite the, sons of the far- 
mers of the state to attend and receive an agricultural edu- 
cation.. which shall fit them to become succes.sful farmers 
But when this point is reached the question is what are 
they going to teach their students.. Is it to be manual- träin- 
ing in the practieal operations of husbandry; are they to be 
taught how properly to feed eattle, milk cows, use agricul- 
tural machinery, plow, sow, plant, reap, and seeure crops, 
make butter and cheese, raise stock and market the . prod- 
uets of the farm. , While instruction in all these - things is 
no doubt useful and desirable in the prosecution of the art 
of farming they will yet be probably better known by 
young men of 18 years of agewho have been brought up 
on farms than to any professor whose serviees ean be pro- 
eured in an agricultural college, and yet I understand the 
scheme embraces this kind of instruction at least to a lim- 
ited degree by requiring from two to four hours manual 
labor per day frem each of the stü dents. However desirable 
the kind of teaching may be, few I think -would believe 
that it'is neces'sary to establish an independent college to 
impart this kind'of practieal knowledge. A few lectures or 
ä few hours instruction in each branch of farming would 
undoubtedly exhaust the kn owledge of the professor and, 
fill the eapacity of the student to the utmost. But I believe 
that training in. the manual processes of farming is re- 
garded by the advocates of the new plan as of niinor im- 
portance., and that the, great desideratum is to have the 
theoretieal and selentifie principles of agriculture taught, 

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