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Agricultural Education.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00000206/00001
Finding Guide: A Guide to the Peter Henry Rolfs Collection
 Material Information
Title: Agricultural Education.
Series Title: Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Physical Description: Unknown
Physical Location:
Box: 1
Divider: Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
Folder: Agricultural Education.
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida -- Experimentation.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Brazil -- Minas Gerais.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
Citrus fruit industry -- Brazil.
Leprosy -- Research -- Brazil.
Minas Gerais (Brazil) -- Rural conditions.
Escola Superior de Agricultura e Veterinaria do Estado de Minas Gerais.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
University of Florida. Herbarium.
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: AA00000206:00001

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SAgrieultural Education as Influenced by Scientific Work,


Someone has defined a farmer as a man who

liv-e in the country and spends his money in the city; P.nd ari

agriculturist is a r.an who lives in the city and spend. his

.oricney in the co;uLtry. I should l.ke to paraj-phra'.se this by

sayin.l- that te.o fiarmpr is a man who roTs the lind to produce a

crop, while the agrioui..ti-rist is a man who produces a crop annd

adds to the fertilvty ofhli land.

Agriculture, though tl.e ;-,ost primitive of industries, has

long remained in the most priJmitive -.state. As l:ng' aa' we pt-.
-., .. r. P.r', . e Sa
essed large areas of unoccupied terrd oryr it was qnna.es ary to

give any thought to tr,,P conservation of soil fertility.


Th -elerients need for trop production were supplied on vacant
l-nds
lands more rapidly tiLan thi,.. c,'.ild be expended on the tilled A

There was no occasion for an,. one to wantn" his -rain power on

problems of every day fnarm projects. Wien one farm or section

of a farm :ec:ume strile, another was simply placed into ser-

vice and the worn out field allowed to rc-caperate by natural

methods. Our hillsides were washed by gullie,, our lower lands

covered with alluvium, our once fertile haimocks rtduoed to

sterility, And finally the time came when; such practices failed

S"to yieJd sufficient returns, It was then we had to expend

more of our grey matter on questions as to how to more cheaply






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produce our Agricultural crops. The more crowded sections of

Europe were reduced to this condition somewhat earlier than the


sparsely settled America. That people will not use their brains


unless they have to has been abundantly illustrated by the fact


those of the Eastern population of the United States have flock-


ed Westward, and settled up the rich lands in the interior of


the country, leaving behind years and decades of improvements on


the old farms and starting on the unoccupied lands of the West.

Here only to build up homes, deplete the soil and then move


again. If in the place of wasting vL& oaf this musj64ar energy '

a-oertain amount of brain ew.rry.^"Ifat 1 i. ,.
WES ; .j. t

very few of the old Eastern farms would have 'been' snbo'aned.


We now find the anomalous conditions of Eastern farms, with


their improvements, selling for less than the Western lands with


out' any improvements. These conditions, however, have been


rapidly changing during the last decade,


.The Westerner,, however, by his migration seems to have


profited more by this peculiar condition than his Eastern

brother.


To find the best types of Agricultural Colleges and the-


best generally informed agriculturists, we must go to the newer


sections of the United States. As much as three decades ago

Michigan, then ,a far western State, p:;aced her Agricultural






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College on the high plain of educational efficiency, and for

many years this college proved to be a model upon which were

founded many of the western Agricultural Colleges, many of the


southern Agricultural Colleges, and she also had a very strong

modifying influence in remodeling the older eastern agricul-

tural colleges. Many of these newer colleges, which were mod-

eled after the Michigan college, profited by the experience and

varied their institutions so as to meet more perfectly the local

conditions. We now find that some of these daughter colleges

have quite outstripped their mother, both in equipment and in

general training facilities. : .:. .-.

General agricultural education has been somewhat slow in


coming, but the event is as certain as it is slow. There is


a steady and progressive increment in agricultural education

from year to year, the movement is pushed along first by one ele-


ment then by another. More than twenty years ago, when the

Florida Agricultural College was established, the whole sub-

ject of agriculture was taught by one man in addition te his


duties as Professor of Greek. The tid e of Greek and Agricul-

ture was .certainly unique in the history of our Agricultural


CollegesB Fbo this very modest beginning, however, the sub-

ject has been gradually expanded until at the present time

we have nearly a score of men whose entire.time is devoted






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directly to this subject. Twenty years ago such an officer as


State Chemist was scarcely dreamed of, and the Commissioner of


Agriculture for the State of Florida, was only as an appointive


officer with many conflicting duties, mainly outside of Agricul-


ture. Today a visit to Tallahassee would show a lively, hust-


ling, busy office, gathering useful information and distribut-


ing it to the agriculturists and others of the State. Our Com-


missioner of Agriculture is ably seconded by the State Chemist


and by their united efforts they are driving from our quarters


fraudulent fertilizers and feed concerns and protecting the hen-

est dealer as well as the honest p.W;c- r .Qf thosp.ae4,. -* -.-

Our able State Chemist with his two assistants, both of whom


are trained in Universities, stand constantly ready to supply


the needed information to every farmer in the State, I have


thus briefly outlined the general situation of agriculture in


Florida, and will new take up some specific illustrations, which


might be greatly multiplied to show how'~Irectly scientific


investigations bear upon our agricultural welfare in the State


of Florida. ,he illustrations I am us*ng' have been drawn from

work done by men in the United States Department of Agriculture,


as well as those employed directly as State officers. All of


these men have, pade it a rule to work directly upon economic

agricultural problems, especially as related to the State Qf,
.







-5-


Florida, regardless of the source from which their compensation


came. As a matter of fact, the salaries received were in


all cases very inadequate to the results obtained. These


workers have caught the spirit of investigation and enthusiasm


that goes with true scientific investigation, forgetting entire-


ly the matter of pecuniary reward, and taking as their reward


for th.e greater part, the coommendations from their fellow


workers.





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Pineapple Growing. The soil upon which pineapples are grown


in Florida is so extremely sterile, that in all other portions

of the world no crops are grown on soils of similar character.


The typical pineapple field of Florida is merely a sand dune,


this character of soil stretches along the East Coast for manr ..


miles, also on the west coast, especially on the Gulf islands.


The native vegetation on the pineapple ;and is the typical


sand dune flora, consisting in our State, principally of the


spruce pine, technically known as Pinus Clausa. Chemical analy.


sis of this soil shows that it is composed of over ninety nine ,


per cent of sand and insoluble matter ..,T.Upon such .soil no .gg,7-,-

culturist in an. other country would have the hardihood to at-


tempt to grow a crop, even in the most densely populated Europ-


ean country this sort of land is considered waste land. In

Florida, h.e;ever, the price of this land before it is cleared is


held at from ten to two hundred dollars an acre, varying in


price with the location. The agricultural pursuits carried on


on this lana would have been practically impossible fifty years


ago, even twenty years ago the possibility of raising pineapples


on this land was a very doubtful questi n. ,The fact that it is


possible to grow pineapples on this soanl ustthe present time


cannot be doubted when we remember thlt 750 thousand crates of

pineapples are produced annually on this charracter of soil.






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Naturally our, friends who are familiar with the fertile lands,


and especially those who have farmed on the alluvial T'ottoms


will l1ok upon this as a somewhat visionary time of agricul-


ture. When you remember, however, that these pineapples are ,


shipped into the northern market in direct competition with the

Cuban and Mexican crops, grown on the fertile lands of these


countries, you will wonder how it is possible for the Florida


pineapple grower to exist, or anyone to exist under these con-


ditions. Fine painted houses, towns and even small cities


have sprung up in the last twenty years with the pineapple <

growing as the basis of their prosperity,. ..
^. .. .. .. ..? .. .. .. ..- ,

1Not only are pineapples grown on this soil, but in the


hands of the experienced agriculturist, pineapples of the most


superior quality are produced under the conditions. Fruit


plants as we all know, take the nourishment from the soil, it


is a matter of indifference to them whether the nourishment


the take from the soil produces an excellent fruit or an in-


ferior one. The pineapple grower ha3 learned from experience


and from scientific men how to grow a quality of fruit in his

field that possesses all the desired qualities and none of the


undesired ones. In the alluvial lands the condition of the


season plays a very important part on the production of quality


in these fruits. The pineapple grower places nothing in the








o-8-



soil that is deleterious, therefore the pineapple under no con-


dition of weather can secure anything that will make any but


the first quality fruit.


It may be considered by some that as Floridians we may


be over zealous as to the quality of the pineapples, if this is


so, this enthusiasm has extended itself through the fruit to


the consumers thereof. The consumer who probably cares very


little whether the fruit is grown in Florida or Porto Rico still


pays a very handsome bonus to ,secure the fruit which we ship


into the market. As an illustration of this I may cite the

fact that two years ago Dade County pineapples sold at whole-


sale market in St. Louis bringing $4.60 a orate, while Cuban


pineapples selling on the same day and in the same market


brought $1.50 a crate. It is not likely that the retail "Dago,


spent any mYoney on sympathy or sentiment, but he bought the


fruit which would bring him "de mon." It should not be infer-


red that I wish to maintain that every crate of fruit shipped


from a Florida pineapple field brings the top market price, be-


cause we will have some inferior agriculturists, who inspite of


better knowledge will do poor work.



t "










i .-9-


In preparing our fruit for market, the pineapples are now

almost entirely shipped in what is known as the half barrel

crate, this weighs about eighty or ninety pounds. The pine-

apples in the field are sized according to the nuriber that it

requires to fill these crates, in the nLarket vernacular they are

known as 12s, 18s, 24s, 30s, 36s, 42s, and 48e, the figure a ig-

nifying the number it takes to fill one of these crates.

The retail markets exhibit preference for certain sizes, for


example, a year ago the 24s were bringing the top market, this

year the 30a were pretty generally in the lead. It is there-

fore desirable for the pineapple grower to be able to grow that

size which is bringing the best money. Our Experiment Station

Chemist has demonstrated that it is within the power of the

pineapple grower to produce the aize pineapple he desires, with-

in certain limits, As our 24s and 30s are pretty sure to bring

the best price it is more desirable to produce these sizes

than those that are very jiuch larger or very much smaller,, con-

sequently by manipulating our fertilizers proper, we have it in

our power to' produce more of these sizes than any other. All

of these would be entirely beyond our control if our fields

were located o' fertilee soil, likewise the production of the

highest aroma anr the tenderest pulp would depend entirely upon
the climatic conditions of the year.






-10-


Citrus Withertip. Among the achievements of scientific work,

in connection with the citrus disease, we may mention that of

the withertip. I will not burden you with a historical resume

on this fungus disease nor with the technical description of it,

but wish to call your attention to the fact that we have here a

disease in the citrus orchards in mant respects like that of the

black rot of the apple. This fungus attacks the bloom, twigs

and fruit, in fact it may infect the tree at any stage of its

growth. Fifteen years ago the disease was practically unknown

in Florida. The fungus has been present for many years, but

in previous years its effects were not worth noticing. Its

virulent character, however, has become very pernicious since

the memorable freezes of 1894 and t95. Previous to these years

the disease was practically unknown excepting to scientists.

Since that time it has been increasing in virulence until almost

every citrus grower in the State has become painfully aware of


its presence.

Five year ago the United Sta~tesDepartment of Agriculture

sent a Botanist to this State to investigate the citrus diseases

immediately upon his arrival it was found that this was one of

the most serious troubles confronting the citrus grower.


I will not burden you with a recital of the details in connect-










-11-


ion with this disease, the immense amount of labor necessary


to understand it toohnically, frequent disappointments, and


many surprises. At the end of five years, however, it has


been made possible for the citrus grower to protect his crops


cheaply and certainly against this insiduous foe.














*-*' .-.: 1. .. ,*'*',*,* *.'- .






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Fighting Seale Insects. Th-ere is scarcely anyone in the

United States today connected with agriculture, either scientif-

ically or practically, who has not come in active contact with

some of the scale insects, especially the San Jose acale.

This pernicious little creature has fastened itself upon the

horticultural industry in every State in the Union. Probably

no other pest of the orchards has demanded so large an amount

of tribute from the toils of the orohardist. In nanrjr States it

may be said that this species of insect was directly responsible

for the inauguration of the active, practical, scientific work.

Florida as well as other States fell a viti:".ji to its ravages,

the amount of destruction wrought here was quite commensurate

with the extent of deciduous fruit growing. Florida is prob-

ably the pioneer State in th- manufacture of contact insecticid-

es, consequently these means were first employed for combatting

this dangerous pest. It was, however, soon discovered that

not
these means were,,the most economical nor the most efficient.

For a number of years we preferred to blunder along with our

spraying machines, later, however, a new idea dawned in our

cranium, we wondered why it was not practical to start a new

warfare against insects. It was soon discovered that in Flor-

ida we had a species of fungus that was parasitic upon this

other mischievous enemy, by careful 'scientific work, it was







-13-


soon demonstrated that this worst of our enemies could be con-


trolled by the use of fLingi. It has taken sometime for this


form of procedure to become acclimated in the minds of the


practical growers. The.education of the masses has gradually


gone on until at the present time the fungus remedy for S.n


Jose scale has been applied in orchards of the extent of five


hundred acres, also on smaller orchards. By keeping an exact


account of the cost of spraying and also of .the cost of applying


the fungi, it is found that the fungus treatment costs only


about ten per cent of tihe insecticidal treatment. At the


present time fully fifty per cent of our citrus growers have


stored their spraying machines carefully inside of the packing


house and are taking the fungus and distributing it through


their groves, Thus using the natural nimthod not only for com-


batting San Jose scale., .but also the nany other scale insects


that infest citrus orchards. Some of the hardy pioneers in


this method of insect warfare have not sprayed for scale insects


for ten years and yet ship fruit that brings the highest prices


in the markets,
i







-14-


Citrus Breeding. All the members of this Association are very


falniliar w.it"* the fact that in December of 1894 a very disaas-

trous freeze occurred throughout the State of Florida. A phe-


riomenon ly low temiperat tU-re w.:- re..ched thr. .,'h out t th?, fintire


southeastern United Stiats. The tremp.rature in t'.is vicinity


ranged very low aj.proaLohing 15 degror5n, fP.rther west "in the


Statlo of Florida the te',liper-titre was even lownr than this.


18 degrees, under ordinary';, cj.rict.stan.es, is -suffioien t to 1o-


foliate all of our valiaalo cities trees .nd in measure kill ;i


the smaller branches. While the temperature of 15 degrees is

sufficient to destroy all 1th0e r I-"


ger branches, it is not sufficient, however, to kill citrus


stock out right, unless this low tempvrat,..r continues for a


considerable number of.hours in succession. A mere drop to


this point and sudden recovery does not mean killing down of


citrus trees. Following this very cold weather we had very


high temperature during Januarj the defoliated condition of the


trees and high temperature together stinulated 2 very rapid


growth. In the middle of February of that year occurred another


extremely eold period in which the thermometer dropped down abott

the same temperature as it did in December. The citrus trees

having been stimulated into active growth and entirely denuded,

were in no condition to withstand such severe treatment, as a

result the second freeze totally destroyed' the citrus orch-
ards far to the south of Jaoksonville. What this











freeze meant to Florjda no one, except those *who passed thro-


ough the severe ordeal, can imagine the amount of property des-
actual
troi.ed is only a small portion of the havoc produced.

The direct loss of property to the Stc.te of Florida as result-

ing from th:s terrible freeze has been variously estimated from

sixty to eighty millions of dollars. Yet this immense loss

of wealth to the St:ate probably attracted less attention and

created less sympathy for the unfortunates, than the loss of

much less amount of property by fire.

At the time of this terrible calamity, the United States

Department of Agriculture had working in th-e State or T'lrada,.-

two of its riost energetic and highly scientific men, Drs. Web-

ber and Swingle. Their special mission in the State was that

of investigating the various diseases of citrue. It at once

bec-une apparent to tTem that all the diseases combined were not


as serious a -:'enace to citrus industry as was the lack of hardi-

ness in our citrus trees. They at once set themselves to the

task of producing citrus trees which would be able to pass

through the severe freezes unharmed. The results of their

general investigations proved very clearly that the production


of a hardy tree in any reasonable length of time could hot be


accomplished by the ordinary methods of selection, but that











which must be brought about by a radical and rapid change such

as only can be produced by hy-ridisation, they therefore,

selected the h].rdy Citrus trifoliata, which produces a worthless

fr';it, yet m.intaiins itself as far north as Philadelphia and

New York, for one of the parents., This species was used to

produce hardiness, and for the other parent they selected the

,comiion -sweet oran,.re, with its delicious fla,.vor .\nd luscious

,fruit, to give these desirable qualities to the projedy.

The results of their labor, which was begn so recently,

has met with signal Scocess. kt thii meeting I have the priv-

ilege of placing before you spccimes isf"'th ''fruit 'wio,~:h .is '

the result of these efforts. I un also exhibiting for youm

observation fruits from, each of the parent.ts

To people who are so familiar with progress in agricul-

tural development, I hardly need tp present the details of

how this w.rork bas accomplished. The great aimunt of work of

the most technical and accurate kind, the patient and pains-

taking methods, and the supreme confidence needed for so bold

and daring an under king.

The originators of this work as ,well as of all those who

are familiar with their efforts do not claim that the end has

been reached, We have here, however, an ocular demonstration

of the results brought about in ten years. 'The hybrid which







-17-


hau been produced withatanids the w4int;err temperature which is


likely to owcur in the regions south of the Appalachian moun-


taF!ins, indeed tree, of tVis variety have passed the winters suc-


cessfully, I hav-e been told, at the Georgia cx:ernimeni-t Station.


The authLora of this work, I 'hinrk at no time expected or s~tmx


cla-ned to be able to reach the ooveted end in one single bound.


I exhibit to .,'ou also the leaves and brartches of both the


resulting hybrid and of eoth of the parents. These as you


will see sh;3ow a very striking disi:milarity to either of the


parents.
"S^ :-j *R- : * ^ta M l








-18-


Tobacco Breeding. Rlorid% as is well known has for a long


time held an important place as a source of the finest grades


of tph1,acno. The c o.,wion gr.dt-e.s of tobacco are rarely ever grown


in Florida. Professor Co0by, who is with us :-~nd iill present


to us a lpapier on this subject, w.ll give us in more detailed


and 'qucci more interestinFi way than it is possible for mo to do,


the results of this most excellent work. To pass it over,


however, without a ientiol would be leaving out one of the most


important ad successful pieces )f -work carried out in Florida


by scientists in The ai d a-1rig1 ture. 4A








-19- ,



Final. The brief essay that I have prepared for you and


the rather frag-rentary wat,, in which it has been presented should


not be regarded as being at all a complete presentation of the


subject. As a matter of fact, I have only touched here and


there on some of the high points. The amount of work that is


now being done .dnd the aroi.nt of work that will be done in the


near future can only be surmised by what has been done in the


paat.


Many agencies will t"r required to carry fur,'ard the work


successfully on the high pl.;.n on which they have been so

.. ... : ..'. ,.
successfully inaugu.ratV .....A. ,


will doubt who has had anythingg to do *ith the agricultu A1.4


Florida. The resourcHs obttuinale for this lino of work have


been taxed to the utrMost. The funds available at tl. present


time might be multiplied many ;ti&as without the least danger of


anj of them being dissipated. The agents who have been in-


strutnental in bringing about these results have ao.d to take the


major portion of their comipeisation in the form of appreciation


from those for whom they have teen laboring. After ill, this


is the in,',t important reward that anyone can receive. High


salaries are useful only when they mean advancement in a par-


ticular line of work in which the .gnnt is concerned.


I e .











-.. 20-





The storing up of vast amount of wealth does not necessarily


iiiean advancement in well being and happiness.




















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