Florida Needs College Graduates.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00000206/00054
Finding Guide: A Guide to the Peter Henry Rolfs Collection
 Material Information
Title: Florida Needs College Graduates.
Series Title: Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Physical Description: Unknown
Physical Location:
Box: 2
Divider: Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
Folder: Florida Needs College Graduates.
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.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: AA00000206:00054

Full Text


By P. H. Rolfs

Director, Agriciultural Erxperiment Station

Gainesvillo, rila.

Often in talking to friends in the forth I find they speak

of P]lorida much as one would speak of a city or small county. It

is likewise evident from a large number of the lettore we receive

that few people realize hlo large Florida reallrys. T o from

Ponsacola, the westernmost city to Key ''.ost, the southernmost city

in the State, one has to traverse nine hundraed miles of railroad.

It is also a surprioo to people to finda that we have boT-ieoan 1000

and 1200 miles of seacoast, giving us a huge stretch o- country ad-

jacent to ealt water.

Another fact that eeome to be overloolod is that Floridla has

a very substantial agriculture. During the yoar 1913, for instance,

the corn crop of Florida was second only to the citrus crop, and

yet I dare say that not one person out of a thousand north of the

Ohio River could answer definitely whether corn tas ever f6oinf

/ **

as a real farm crop in florida. The fact that Florida is

notorious for producing citrus fruits and tropical fruits

accounts for this.

Mtch trucking is dons at a time of the year when the weather

is too cola .in more northern States to perMit this, and conoequent-

ly a great deal of publicity results from these winter track crops

being shipped north from Florida. Those uintor crops bring a

large mount 'of money to the Stato annually, affording employrmint

to a large inmbor of laborers, and very frequently taking the

carrying power of the railroads to the limits.

Citrus growing is, however, the one industry that has been

carried to the furthest degree of perfection in the State. To a

large extent it has been reduced to a rule-of-thumb method, so

that all one has to do is to use good business judgment in making

an investment. There is no more difficulty or uncertainty about

making a succesO of citrus growing in Florida than thore is of

making a success of a cotton factory, a machine shop, or a. oloo-

trio works. There is, of course, abundant room for good juAgment

and personal ingenuity,

North florida the Transition Region

Tho region lying between St. Augustine on the east and Pensa-

cola on the weet may be spoken of as North Plorit,. This is a trans-

itional region botreen mb-tropioal Florida and the more tonerrate

regions to tho northward. Here we find the cotton field, the

corn field and general farming predominating, v.ith a few citrus

groves scattered among them in favored roions whore lose froozing

occur. The elevation of this region does not exceed 310 feet.

There is a decided variation in the amount of cold cue to unimovm

factors. Throughout tiis region largo acreage of pecan orchards

are planted. The Satsuma orange, the most hardly of our citrue

fruits, grows here to its greatest perfection. 'Wre there no waa-

mer rorTions of Florida a much larger proportion ef this area wou3

be used for the hardier citrus fruits.

Central Florida the Begjinnig of the Citrus Area

Beginning with the isthmae part of the State and extending

down well into the peninsula we find es area that was formerly

devoted in great part to citrus growing. This was where citrud

groves were most abundant before the disastrous froezee of '94 and

'95. In this region the firnt otensivo orchards rowro planted,

and thoro can still be fonmld ,oroe of the groves that s~rvivoi

those freeze, and are now considorod valuable property. Sonm

fian groves aro to be found on the oast icde of tih St. Jomns River,

stretching northward almost to Jacktolonillo. Central Florida,

howover, has been givon over largely to trnk1ckicr and gonoerl farm-

ing. As winter tran-k orops we find mainly, hardy vogetabloo, such

as cabibae, loteaco, colory, aun cau.lifloaer. For late print

marlots tendor vegetables are grown. In this region, too, 'o fii

frequontIly that though the general farmer does sorme trnckinm' as a

side issao, yet Ie carries on geora l farming to maintain hi: s2lf

end his family. In aso;e localities growing pOW reoniniates

to such ani :xtont as to exclude almost all tru-okcinzl or go' oral

farmilk; Twhile in others trucking predoninatos so much as to .auso

people to almost lose sight of citrus gMrowing4 and general farraing.

It is however, unusual for the gonoral farmer to 0dicardv. all idea

aS raising frait or truck.

South Florida the TrooPial Frait RegfAen

Begining at at Abot the latitude of Tampa, (28 cegroos) we

find a region given ovor almost entirely to fruit growing mad toh

raising of truol. crops for the early spring market, or, in the

southward, to the growing of tender vogetablos for tlhe midwinter

Liorket. Uile enora l farmers are found in this region they are

ezcertions. In Sou.th Florifp. thoro ntill occur 3Jrgo areas used.

as stock ranges. T2hso, horovor, are being crowded further bacik

as the lan. bewco~!os more valuablo eail. io taken up for intensive fonms

of agriculture.

Opportunities for Colloo Graduates

Among tho irmany pornone rwho have emigrated to the State are

collo~on g~rair1.tos T7ho havo talen up their work io rot a profoosional

mon or as an~rioultunr&lists. In nearly over ease whore a thorough

course !is beon tlken in the agricultural college, the gra'.uato will

be four making s0ood, one way or another. Of course, no amount of

college exercises will endao anyone with that quality knorn as -

common-sense. It seomEs, homovor, that a larger !,eroontago of theso

non take a con-on-sonse fiew of lifo and the nceosity for showing

that they are really capable of accomplishing something, than one

will find almost anywhere else. Scores of college gaduateBs, not

only with the bachelor's degree "bt also with higher degrees, have

co"n to the State and started in rith the severoujt kimd of labor,

mach as grublbing stumrps. The college -raeduate who bas the grit

to dig stumps if nothing moro attractive offers itself, will very

promptly find that ih 1o ill not bo permitted to wamte his "ti,:io and

energy in that direction, but wtill soon bo "fired" from his position

into something a great deal better. The Doint I wa-nt to makh is

this, that a large number of our agricurwltul collag-e graduates do

not expect thle onployer to take thior word for it thattthey Tr-ll

make .good, but areo roay to tak ,ke hold oF anything and hc.A that they

can make ;ood in vwhatovor positions they may be placed.

Great Demand for College Lien

The population of Florida during,: tlh l.c:t consul deecado increased.

S4 per cent. This is P larger ino'oanc than occ'uxod oafnwvhoro oast

of tlh l iasisaippi in tho anam decade, Nat-urnlly the largest

influx to the State consisted of men who woreo making invocrt.onts,

as the possibilities are cnperior to those occurring in other

States. These -pooplo ca!'1. for a larro amount of help, either in

the form of labor or as managers, superintiondonts 0and naitneors.

Since there could be no possibility of developing a- suMicient

amount of this class of help locally, it must be brought in from

outside. A certain amount of Ical erverienoo is nocoseoary.

The college graduate who has servCe his a-npronticeship at digging

stu-ta ean has graduated into handling ae squad of a half dozon men,

or having charge of a few acres of land, is zqickly entryasted with

the handling of a lx.rgor undertaking.

Several of our more progressive counties are also hiring men of

this type to servo in the ca-pacity of County Advisers. Those aro O

men w.ho have i.areo a good showing in the State, havo Ihad exporionce,

amd are capable of acvis',irng not only the noer-comer s- to t wliat ar

his best lies of Govelopmtnt, but also of instructing older residents

in the newer agriculture. The salary paid to the County adviser

is equal to that paid to a college professor. Such positions

enable a young man to havo a largo field of useffullnocs and .t the

same time to devolop a certain amount of property of his own in the

county, t3us making the position anu attractive one. In short,

the college gTaduate will find less competition in -lorida than

anywhere else in the east or middle west.

4-c-" I




* A

A -grt- tmany- tas .in ta2zling to y friends in the North they
speak of Florid a itl.g t ai w a n y SpIaR3
of a city or a county, Jt-e--etx; Jt is i"tdte evident from
a 2 are number of tl.e letters we receive that few people realize
otS' ta ?F rof I6! Pensaco2a, the westernmost -city li-i tli- 3ta
to aw, tle southernmost city in the State, one has to trav-
erse nine hundred miles of railroad. It is also qudit a surprise
to people to find that we have between 1000 and 1200 miles of
Lt4/ -^tL
seacoast itmei giving a stretch of country adjacent to
salt water.
Another fact that seems to be eyt r overlooked is that
Florida has pe a-3r a very substantial agriculture. During the
year 1913, for instance, the corn crop of Florida was second only
to the citrus crop and yet I dare say that not one person out of

a thousand. north of the Ohio River cnuld answer definitely whether
corn was ever grown as a real far.i crop in Florid.a. The fact
that .'lorida is u~iqe1 producing citrus fruits and tropical
fru its Ot- t a- cc uat -thi Ps
h'4" 6ruc1ling is done at s2ii a time of the year the weather is

too cold in more northern States to permit tt*.iM ?.rl
cor..-..ently a great deal of ..i arr1. wite t. .
-,, .. .... . . ...
4a++&t tthese truck crops are bein shipped forward fro-i Florida.
Ties2c' crops brir.g ft an-ijte amount of money to the State, af-r
fording employment to a large n, ber of laborers, and very fre-

quently taj-te ra s to he limits

Citrus growing i-s, however the one industry that has been carried

to the, ifes. degree of perfection in tne State. To a ve large ex-

tent i-s. nhas Deeni reduced to a rule-or-thumb metnod so that all one

has to do is to use goa business Juagment an n l
The-re is no .more difrricuity or uncertainty aoout making a suc-

cess of citrus growing in Florida than there is of making a success

of a cotton ractory,:a machine s op or an electric works. There is,

I wer, room for dby org judgment ~i.ingenuity.

north Floriaa the transitionn Region,.

The region lying between S1.. Augustine on tne -ast anda ensa-

cola on the west may De spoken of as North Florida. This is a -ozt

transitional region between sub-tropical Florida and the more tem-

perate regions to the northward. Here we find the cotton field, the

cr;rn field and general farming predominating, with a few saMt4*00

,citrus groves =T..nir .-n among tnem in favored regions where less

occurs, ft r po-r othgr rinnon -tPOP Jt rig i' arc pormiLjtt -

-*T^Jret t. Wrtt he elevation of this region sAr does not
reacIaver 310 feettheree =aaSL a decided variation Ai ~a a

ffect. Throughout this region large acreages of pecan orchards are

planted. Tne Satsuma orange, tne most hardy of our citrus fruits,

e i to greatest perfection. -iever' n''hr . ....

plan-itCa n- -~2 st.o eaB. ere tnere no warmer portions of Y'orida

S1r- ofnthis area woula be usea for the hardier

citrus nruits.

Central Florida tne Beginning of the Citrus Area.
beginning with the istnmus part or f r and extending down

well into the peninsula we heav *re area that was Vormerly devoted
* \. O

La-rgey to citrus growing. .1.:-a- ui. T.r-. r ..... T -i-t, citrus
N A 4t_. *tg46t..... u Ct
groves aboutl.. l mnp .~tsTn mvely before the disastrous freezes or

sy4 an-d '?-. -ar0 wL .r. t- re- .nrTu. i rnJ this region m= tne

i rst extensive orchardsAplanted and thereftti be round some

of the groves that p .F... those freezes ana are now consia-

ered eytV-tky valuable property. Ah .matr t' T'~aj.ome very rine

groves are to be jouna rn the east side or tne St. jo n's river stretch-

ing northward almost to JacKsonville'ikt-rgi M however, has oeen

largelr given overto trucKing arn general farming.' Pe winter truck

crr.ps we Wa find mainly W Ihardy vegetables such as cabbage, let-

tuce, celery aii cauiiiiower. For late spring markets w-w* d ~d
I 44e 9' zn tf l *
the tender vegetaolesp' In this region, too, we a irind qd-ut

frequently tnai tne general rarmer does some trucking as a side issue,
4-e- c4tkA-
-art a~ es general arming the-eEop to maintain himself arin nis family.

in som0e -Thbocltrus growing preaomlnates to suon an extent as to

exclude almost all T.rucK.ing or general arming' wnile in GLherniM-

fim. trucking predominates t -euab a extentnt to cause people to

almost lose signt or ci us growing ana general arming, m It is, Wdt.

qute unusual- ior The general farmer to discarrd all idea of raising

iruit or truck.

boutn Florii.a tne tropical Fruit Region. / '_

t.egirihL, -w-trtn aDOut tnie latituae 0o1 6i.. irn't.n . t60i ar.iu... e

icrtay we final tfai region glven over almost entirely To fruit growing
ana the raising of trucK crops for tne early -spring marKet, orwv 4-

the southward the growing i tenuer A o. lor rne miawinter market.

While general iarmers eeer in this region they are e. exception.

f-tLher- tfitai tit LrtiL-. In .t eS y sti; occur large areas ae-,c-se

4a -p2 -$ stock ranges. ihese however are being crowaea furrner back

as the lana becomes more va Luaole an aI m i it ui f;,a o taken up for

t uAsa intensive rorms of agriculture.

Opportunities ior college Graauates.

Among zte many persons wno nave emigrated to tne State are col-

lege graduates who nave taKen up tnlir worn here professionally or

n fthe) l agricultural devoepjeme. In i-itarly every case were

a tnorougL course has been taken in trie agricultural collegethe grad-

uate will be round making gooa1one way or alnoTner./lAo amount or

college exercises will enaow Pou lE I-g anyone -10 ior -:i.az mat-

mg, witn that quality ~n.e'ill known as commonei-sense. It seems,

however, tnat a large peret e tO 01o tnese Iien taKe a common-sense

view or lile and tne necessity 'or snowing that they are really cap-

able of accomiplisning sometningtnan one will 'iia almost anywhere

else. scores oi college graduates, not only with tne Wicneior's de-

gree but men witL nigner degrees, have come to tne bt.te and started

in with the severest kind or iaoor, :evea getting down t ..n p. A

ef gruboing stumps& -v nioh Imav b- r OUd--, I-vry- grea- aunQane ir-

.a-3nn--i' c A u--- ct over -tnree-lr. Tne college graduate who has

tne %rit*" tRss il to di14A~~t stumps it nothing more attractive

orrers itseli wiil very promptly fina that he will-not oe permitted

to waste his time -nd energy in tnaT, airectinn,but will soon be "rired"

rromT his position into someiT.niing tqa a gr,-eat aeal better. Tne point

I want to make'is tnis, tnat a *tas large tse oi our agricultural col-

iege graduates ac not expect tne employer to taKc tneir word for it tnat

Lney will ImaIr good, bot are reaay to Late hold of anything and show

that tney can make good iii whatever positions they may be placed.

Great Demand for College Mken.

Tne population ot' Florida during the last decade increased 4iwc r

This is a larger increase than occurred anywhere east of the Ooo*y 14

inrtans in the same decade. Naturally the largest influx to the

SLat- wu men wno -i i. investments 01 -tnd!
z <- /
=ad the possibilities ~fearr-z are mten superior to those occurring in

other States. These people call for a large amount of help, either
in the form of labor, or in te fo + er managers, superintendents and

partners. Since there could be no possibility of deve lopi this ass
o01 locally it must be brought in from outside. A certain P-

ge:rexperience is necessary but it is possible to convince ain i
nT r - r. T al tdk gnnd wrir, 1rii pporunity

-prc...t. +iteLf and Xaa 4 tne college graduate who has served his

appr'entilcesnip at digging stumps graduated into handling a squad of a

half dozen men or having charge of a rew acres of land, is quickly

entrusted with tne handling of. a larger rerii a Cea ~-

Several of our more progressive Counties are also hiring men of

this type to serve in the capacity of county]Advisers. These are

men who have made a good showing in the State, have had experience and

are capable of advising not only the new-cr.ner as to what are his best

lines .of development, but are also e of instructing older res-

idents in tne newer agriculture. Tne salary paid to tne County Ad-

viser is equal to taxL paid to a college proressork -' e -

a, young man to have a ve:~r lage fiela or userulness and at the same
time ecatijlC to develop a certain amount of property or his own

in the county, thus maKii.g the position an axos4diilgy_ attractive one.

c ; ~ ,C ^C ^P ^ 9