October 1, 1915
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PROBLEM IN FLORIDA.
Gentlemen of the Athaenaeum Club and Visitors:
I am presenting to you tonight a brief paper on the sub-
ject as stated above. r former essays before the Club
have been of nmuch greater length than the paper of tonight.
I expect to confine myself pretty closely to the twenty
minutes allowed by our Constitution for such a paper.
I trust therefore, while the paper will leave mnch unsaid
that I would like to present, that each member will sup-
ply this deficiency in his own mind, and that where the
essay is faulty or the thought may not have been brought
out clarly, that this may be taken up in the discussion
that follows the reading of the paper
As an introduction to my essay- tonight, I wish to
briefly re-state the titles of qy former papers with
some comments. The first paper was presented on Jan-
uary 25th, 1907, on Agricultural Education in Florida.
This was a brief review of the general status of higher
agrictl tural education in the State to approximately
that date. Up to that time no special fund had been
received from the Legislature to enable the institution
to carry on Farmers' Institute work in the State at large.
Such extension work 1as had been done by the institution
was by means of funds that were diverted from their in-
tended channels. This amount of money was smaJl, but
it was sufficient to enable a few zealous agricultural
missionaries to undertake some Farmers' Institute work
in various parts of the State.. In this paper I indi-
cated very strongly that the next step in the develop-
ment of the University was to present our claim for funds
with which to hold Farmers, Institutes. At that meet-
ing, which was held in the parlor of the President's home,
only one man in the Club agreed with me that it would be
possible to utilize finds of this kind satisfactorily to
the people of the State. The Legislature which con-
vened in the spring of 1907 allotted the sum of $5000
annually for carrying on Farmers' Institutes. Only a
portion of this became available since the funds in the
State treasury were not sufficient to provide for all the
disbur.3ements allowed by the Legislature.
My second paper was presented to the Club on
February 21st, 1908 on the subject of Educational Advance-
ment in Florida. I will quote the conclusions reached
1. We have developed from a monarchial form of gov-
ernment and must not expect to find a "ready to wear"
democracy, but will have to fight to get it. The Uni-
versity of F3orida is the logical leader, and we as the
active exponents, fail in our trust if we assume the at-
titude of camp followers.
2. The old AgriculturaJ College had her opportunity.
She passed it up and thereby was discredited. She failed
to grasp her opportunity, though she was given twenty
years to make good. The t.iiLe for success was ripe; the
place was also there, but the man was the one element
wanting. (In t-is co action, I will mark par nthet-
Icall that we missed b3 a very narrow margin getting Dr.
Curti and lat r Dr. Bai ey.)
3. The pressure is now upon us. Two million mouths
to be fed have been added annually since 1900. This
rate of increase will be accelerated in an arithmetical
progression. The time and the opportunity are here.
Are we the right men for the work?
What are we going individuall2Y to relieve .this
pressure? Or are e we almly sitting like the fly on
the buggy jheel? Everything about us is changing.
Even the ibea of what constitutes an education has
greatly chan ed in the last ifty years.
My third paper was presented to the Club on March
29th, 1912, in which I discussed the University and Ex-
tension.. As the conclusions of that paper adL have a
direct bearing on the thought I wish to present tonight,
I wi1l quote them as a whole.
1. The University of PForida is a public ser-
2. We, you and I, individually, are responsible
for our share of the work.
3. The opportunity is knocking at our door. If
we hear the knock well and good. If we do not, the op-
portunity is gone forever.
4. The thought and education of our State rmst be
melded and it should be done by the University.
(a) Tnought should be molded along pro-
gressive lines, not along recessive lines.
(b) Thought must be molded by educational
(c) Every department in the University should
make its presence felt in every corner
of the State.
(d) The Correspondence Course is the cheap-
est and most accessible means.
(e) Excuses and exp2laations cannot,recover
5. Some of the present dangers.
(a) The establishment of independent voca-
tional High .Schools.
(b) The rapid development of Extension De-
partments of endowed Institutions in
Florida. (rt is easier to hold a fort
than to re-take it).
My fourth paper was on the Everglades, the Polit-
ical Significance of its Present Aspect, and was present-
ed to the Mlub on January 9th, 1914. This was a paper
illustrat&ed..iy stereopticon views taken from the vast
region-known as the Everglades. The last point made in
my summary has a direct bearing on the paper I present
tonight; this one reads: "The drainage of the Everglades
is one of the great civic problems of the time."
This hasty review of rny former papers brings il.
discussion up to the point where we want to take it up
Element.s Affecting the Education Prob]em
In ny paper of March 29, 1912, I made the follow-
ing statement: "Both of these institutions [church and
schoolJ need to be re-vitalized and made true educational
axd spiritual centers". It is of course with the school
that we are especia32y concerned. The elements that
are entering into the vitalizing of the education prob-
lem in Florida are,
(1) The Agricultural College, having four men giving
all of their time to strictly agricultural teaching.
(2) The iExtension Division with five men, located at
the University, giving all of their time to Extension di-
rection and teaching. Thirty-eight County Agents who
give all of their time to direct teaching in the field.
Four'women agents located at Tallahassee giving all of
their time toward directing and conducting the women's
side of the work. Twenty-three County Agents giving full
time for not less than six months and some of them for
eleven months, making a total of sixty-nine adults giv-
ing all of their time to the furtherance of extension work
in the State, in addition to four persons in clerical
positions, making a total of seventy-three.
(3) The Experiment Station, which is well understood
by all members present, devoting its.entire time to in-
vestlgational work, with seventeen salaried employees.
(4) The Plant Board Work, the newest of the projects
in the development of our agricultural education problem
and ideas, came into being as a result of the Acts of trhe
last Legislature. The Plant Board gives a large amount
of. time to the direction of its work in the line of police
duties. The Legislative Act, however, provides also for
a certain line of research. These lines of police duty
arid research will have a greater or less effect upon the
educational problem in the State.
I will not bring into this discussion the work
done by the Commissioner of Agriculture in the enforcement
of certain regulations, nor the work done by the Board of"
Health in carrying out the directions of the law govern-
ing that body.
The latest project taken up by the Extension Di-
vision is that of the Agricultural News Service. This
Agricultural News Service is gotten out weekly, and every
member of the .Athenaeum Club has received, or should
have received, copies of this weekly. At first sight
it would seem as if this effort was hardly worth the
while, but to those of us who have been in the forefront
in having to provide people in the State and out of the
State with accurate agricultural information, it is a
matter of considerable moment. If we take the summary
of what this News Service in the aggregate means we will
have a clearer understanding of the force of the Agricul-
tural News Service. It is sent out to all newspapers
in the State, every one of which is at liberty.to make as
many clippings from it for their weekly or daily paper as
they choose. We are concerned mainly with the weekly
papers, since these reach a constituency that we have
heretofore been unable to reach. Last week Mr. Beeler
summarized the results of the work; it showed that sixty-
seven in-State weekly papers made one or more clippings
from the News Service. There were others that made clippings
from the News Servics, but those could not be counted in
since we did not have exchanges or complimentary copies
from them to use in making up the actual data. These
sixty-seven weeklies have a weekly circulation of 171,573.
For the main part these statistics are based on affidavits
as to their circulation. This means that a very large
number of people in the State of Florida get accurate ag-"
ricultural information, prepared from authoritative
sources. In additions to the in-State papers there are
at least three weeklies outside of the State, with a com-
bined weekly circulataon of 168,494, that are using
c ippings from the News notes and giving out of the State
people agricultural information from a known and. author-
I have now placed before you somewhat fully the
various elements that make up the complicated maze of
the agricultural education problem in Florida. To see
this problem clearly it will need careful analysis of all
the elements entering into it. ~fft wf yn .--Iwr
possiblein a brief wif an hour were allotted to
its presentation. That the problem is not clearly ander-
stood by all the members of the Athenaeum Club is certified
I by a letter from a young member whose nom de plume is
I. B. Gown. The occasion of the letter was ny five-minute
talk at the close of Dr. Berger's essay on the history of
Citrus Canker, read before the Athenaeum Club on October
29th, 1914. I. B. Gown says: "Now Professor, you love
to crow so" this gives the key note to the point of the
letter. It also gives me an opportunity to disclaim
any intentional guilt in this direction.
The point of the recital of the various elements
that make up our agricultural education problem in Florida
is that we are in a stage of evolution, -- I might almost
call it revolution. We are located here at the Univer-
sity and have the finest opportunity presented to any
similar body ~f higher education in the United States,
and possibly in the world. The vitalizing agency to-
waQi== referred in my essay of March 29, 1912, is active-
ly at work. We are, consciously or unconsciously, direct-
ing and molding the trend of our education problem. We
are living under a democratic form dtr government, guided
in the main by democratic principles. AWe elect officers
to make the laws and another set of officers to enforce
these laws, and so have a vast and complicated machinery.
that'the average man does not comprehend. In a monarchial
form of government the average man sees the matter much
more clearly. The King, Kaieer or Czar, hLig' been ap-
pointed by Providence to rule over.:the nation, is -mde
. rlpam Efr I the enactment of the laws as well as
their execution. In our democratic form of government
as the needs of the State become more complex, it is
necessary to delegate the carrying out of certain laws
to a large number of different individuals. Taking our ow"'
State as an illustration, we have at least four differ-
ent sources of authority for formulating and carrying out
agricultural work, whichhae a direct or indirect bearing
on the education problem. ( ) We have the Board of Con-
trol who are charged with the handling of the work at the
University. (2) We have the Plant Board who are charged
with the responsibility of carrying out the Acts of 1915,.
(3) We have the State Board of Health, responsible for
carrying out certain other Acts, especially the matter
of dealing with glanders in horses and cholera in hogs.
(4) The State Commissioner of Agriculture, who is charged
with the enforcement of the laws governing purity of fer-
tilizers, feeds, foods and drugs, In addition to these
four different elements there are various other agencies
that come in for consideration when the whole problem is
in mind. I am referring to the various pV organiz&-
tions. These need not be taken into consideration at
the present time, since they are playing no particularly
important part in the development of our education problem,
The unification "Ari Mt ro l of the efforts of
the ffo- t, in the agricultural extension line, between
the United States Department of Agriculture and the
University of Florida, has greatly simplified the problem
in this direction. The cause in the Laws of 1915
creating the Plant Board and making them the same persons
as those who are members of the Board of Control, has
simplified the problem in that direction. The simplifi-
cation of this problem in its ultimate analysis, has for
its object prevention of duplication of work by the dif-
ferent agencies that enter into this education problem.
As a result of this simplification we are approaching a
condition which may be described as bureaucracy. As a
matter of fact the general trend of our development in the
State is pretty strongly in this direction. Bereaucratic
government may become as undesirable and oppressive as
the monarchial form and as we are tending strongly in that
direction it is more than worth our while to stop and
study the situation. The democratic form of government
is undoubtedly extremely wasteful, both in its men and
materials. The monarchial form of government when ruled
by a beneficent and far-sighted monarch may be extremely
efficient in materials and men. The democratic form of
government can approach- efficie/cy~only through sys-
tematizing its activities and setting up the bureaucratic
form. This bureaucratic form will be good for our State
so long as the individuals composing the bureau see clear-
ly the needs of the masses in formulating and projecting
the problems that arise. The bureau must see these prob-
lems clearly and work them out patiently. If its ideals
are too far in advance of the masses, failure will un-
doubtedly result from inability to carry out the program, -
an unpopular law cannot be enforced either in a County
or a State. It is our province, therefore, in the demo-
cratic form of government which is our ideal, to lead out
with our educational problems in such a way as will bring
us to the goal we are seeking. And it is this question
that I am raising tonight: how far can we go with devel-
opment in the direction of coordination and organization
without reaching the point of being a dictatorial bureau?
The development that has taken place in the last .ten
years has been little short of revolution. At frrst dis-
Cordant elements were working separately, and quiteffre-
quently at variance with one another, certainly so far as
the educational ideal was concerned. With the passage of
the Smith-Lever Bill there has come about a wonderful
change, not only in Florida but in all of the Dhlted States'
in the way of coordinating different activities in the
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