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
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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