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
ý c422 7 9 AGRicULTURALEDUCATION. The truth is that when men becrin to theorize in reomard to the practical methods o' f f ä ;rining, howe'e«ý "- wise and experi- enced they may be, their utterances not. only become worth- less but they are worse. They mislead farmers to their injury' and loss nine times out of ten. But do not misunder- stand me. I am not opposed to the expenditure of money for -the purpose of condacting experiments with the object of eliciting facts which may aid ao-ricultural industry, but I believethat those, experiments are now carried as far as is eitber useful or profitable. The chernical analysis of foods, experiments in feeding-, the investigation of the structure and modes of growth of vegetation if persisted in long, enouorh may result in some knowledge that may be of prac- tical. value to farmers. At all 'events they add to the store of interesting seientifie knowledge. In regard to the land I believe there is now möre of al kinds contained in the University farm than has been or can be put. to any profitable use. If no protitable use ean be made of a moderate sized farm what right hav-e we to expeet that such use will be made of a large o.ne. The truth is that the value of learninom derived from the teaching- of schools is. greatly overe'stirnated except in the purely sc'*entific branches of knowledge; the kind of knowl- edge contained in the text books of schools. is of the Most useless kind in the practical affairs of life. The main claim made for the study to which - the youth of the country are required to apply their time in schools,- i' that it diseiplines and strengthens the mind. In my judgment it would-»be far better to diseipline and strengthen the mind in acquir- ing the knowledge useful in aetual pursuits of life in which young men intend to enomaore when they strike out -for thern- selves.' This evidently wo-uld.-not permit all,'however vari- ous their f uture avocatio ns are to be, to apply many years of their life in pursuing the S-ame formulas of study, learn- ing the same things without regard to their f uture pursuits in life. Schools make scholars, but expe'rience in busin ess affairs brinos wisdorn, which makes'men successf ul in every sta- tion 'in life, fromý the day laborer to the highest field of
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