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
278 WISCONSIN'STATÜ AaiZýICULTURAL SOCIETY. In regard to dralinage it is now being urged that where it is extensively -practiced i t cäuses- disastrous. floods in all the streams in time of heavy rain's, and destructive drouophts during the dryer portions of the summer. In regard to gen- ,er.al farm management any go - od farmer can give some generalLidea of it but each far has necessarily to be man- aged according to kind and quality of soil and the contlomura- tion of surface,; and as to book-keeping, a commereial ,college is, I suppose, the proper place to learn that. I have gone through this test of what is designated as agri.cultural knowledge for the purpose of inquiring where a professor competent to teach this uneertain and unsettled bra*nch'of knowledge can be found. As to the other branches.. botany, chemistry and veterinary surgery and medieine, they a're all established sciences Önly incidentally conneeted with agriculture and wholly inapplicable to the practic-al ,operatiöns. of farmers. Within a comparatively modern period great expectations were awakened by the application of chemical analysis to - agriculture, and. it was fondly hoped by many that farming could be brought within the:Reld of seience that by analysis of soil and erops, and especiapy by the manufacture of a.rtific > al fertilizers, the great problem of the uniformly profitable cultiv"ation of the. soil was tobe solved.,'but every intelligent read.er of agricultural literature well knows how such hopes have been utterly disappointed. No intelligent and honest teacher will now even advise any farmer to use on any crop any one of the multitude of artifieial fertilizers with the expeetation of deriving a profit from the use. The adviee of all honest men in such .'eases is try a little and if it proves successful 1 0 then cautiously inerease the use No one now pretends to know what the result will be on a ,given erop on any soil. Notwithstanding what I have said of the course of in.- struction recoaimp~Anded in this report which may be re- garded by some as eritieism, I believe it to be the most practieal and usef al course that ean be named, but it shows the poverty of resburces which exist for the purpose of teaching what is by courtesy called agricultural science.
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