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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 279

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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