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Objects and Work
Office of Bxperiment Stations
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THE AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
ARKANSAS--Fayetteville: R. L..Bennett.* E. B. Voorhinees.* N.ew Brnuiit*
CALIFORNIA-Berkel : E. W. Hilgard. Station; A. Scott. : '-
CONNECTICUT-New Haven: State Station; S. W. NEW YORK-Geneva: State Station ;
Johnson.* Storrs: Storrs Station; W. 0. At- Ithacea: Cornell University Statioqnj,
DELAWARE-Newark: A. T. Neale.* NORTH CAROLINA-LRaleigh: H. B. BattiV
FLORIDA-Lake City: 0. Clute. NORTHn DAKOTA-Fargo:.- JA. H.,Wd tt4'
SGEORGlA-Experiment : R. J. Redding.' Omo- Wooster: C. E. Thorn.*
IDAHO-Moscow: C.Y. Fox. OKLAHOMA-Sti water: G.. E. Morrowf
ILLINOIS- Urbana: T. J. Burril. t OREGX- Corvallis: J. M. Bloss.
INDIANA- Lafayette: C. S. Plumb. PENNSYLVANIA-tte College :-H. P. A
IOWA-Ames : James Wilson. RHODE ISLAND-Kington : C. 0. Flag".'-
KAiSAs--Manhattan: G. T. Fairchild. SOUTH CARLoxA.-Clwemron JColege: fil.
KNTcCKr -Le;ington : M. A. Scovell. head.* .
LouIsxANA-Audubon Park, New Orleans: Sugar Sourn DAzoTA-Brookings: J. H. Shedpart
Station. Baton Rouge: State Station. Calhoun: TENxESSEE--KnosiU e : C. F. VanderfardSl
North Louisiana Station. W. C. Stubbs.* TE -Colge Station: J. H. Co.nnell... *
MANE--Orono: W. H. Jordan. .UTAH-Logan: J. H. Paul.* :
MARYLAND-College Park: e. H. Miller..* V EMNT-.Burligton: J. L. Hills.* : i
MASSACHUSETTS-ArNJherst: a. H. Goodell. VIRGNIA-Blackbburg: J.M. McBrydeoa
MICHIGABrounN- Agricultural College: C. Smith.io WASHINGTON-Pullman: E A.Stu Bryanbs.*
MINNESOTA-tu. Anthony Park: V. Liggett. WEST VIRGLNIA-NMorgant own: J.
MissAssRK PI-Agricultural College: S.M.Tracy.* WIscoNIN-Madison: W. A. Henry.* o
CMissouRmA-Columbia: H. J. Waters.* WYOMING-Laramie: A. A. JohnBO. *
MoNANA-EBozewan : S. Emery. NORTH RO H.
--MONTANA-Bozeman : S. M. Emery. *L. "_'" -*r
t President of board of direction.
SAssistant director in charge.
Chairman of council.
1I Secretary. ,.
I Acting director. .- ",
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BULLETIN No. 26 152
U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS
Agricultural Experiment Stations
Their Objects and Work
A. C. TRUE
Director of the Office of Experiment Stations
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
I' :ii :"
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS,
Washington, D. C., August 10, 1895.
SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith for publication as a bul-
letin of this Office a brief summary of the objects, organization, and
work of the agricultural experiment stations in the United States. This
publication will in a sense be supplementary to Farmers' Bulletin No 1,
The What and Why of Agricultural Experiment Stations, issued soon
after the establishment of this Office and now out of print. The com-
plexity of the organization and operations of the stations makes it
difficult to clearly present in condensed form even the main features of
this great system, but it is hoped that this bulletin will at least enable
the reader to correctly interpret the general purpose for which the sta&
tions were established and to appreciate in some degree the vastness of
the enterprise which the people of this country are maintaining in the
effort to utilize the methods and results of scientific inquiry for the
benefit of agriculture.
A. C. TRUE,
Hon. J. STERLING MORTON,
Secretary of Agriculture.
Objects of the stations............-..-.................................... .
Methods of station work........--......................-....................
History of the stations ..... ............................ ............-......
Organization of the stations.................. ...............................
Buildings and equipment.-------... ...........--.-......-.....---......------
W ork of the stations ---...---.............. ........ ...... .. ---..... .... ...
Number of station officers..--...........--.................................
Extent of station publications......-.........-......-......-- -. .... ...- ....
Ways in which the stations help the farmer....................... ............
The Office of Experiment Stations --...--..................-...............
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS.
OBJECTS OF THE STATIONS.
An agricultural experiment station is an institution in which scien-
tific and practical investigations are made with a view to improving
the methods of agriculture or introducing new crops or industries.
The primary object of an experiment station is to apply scientific prin-
ciples and methods to the problems of agriculture. It seeks to use
for the benefit of agriculture the stores of knowledge regarding the
operations of nature which science has accumulated and to employ in
the service of agriculture the trained brains and hands of scientists.
Taking advantage of whatever has been discovered in any line of sci-
entific research, the experiment station should institute investigations
to increase accurate information regarding the great principles which
underlie the growth of plants and animals and to make new applications
of well-known principles in the practical work of the farmer. It is
very important that we should keep clearly before us the conception
of the experiment station as primarily a scientific institution. This
will enable us to understand its proper functions and prevent us from
misjudging much of its work.
The importance of scientific investigations as related to the arts has
long been recognized in many industries. Hidden away in almost
every factory may be found a chemist, microscopist, or electrician busily
engaged in endeavors to solve the problems of the industrial arts.
These men are working on the materials used in the arts and have in
view practical results, but they are using scientific methods and are
employed solely because the manufacturers hope that rich rewards will
result from the application of scientific principles to practical ends.
The wise employer leaves these men to work in their own way-he does
not expect that the chemist will use the blacksmith's bellows, or the
grocer's scales, or the carpenter's tools. He must have the apparatus
of the chemist and he must be free to follow the methods of the labo-
ratory rather than those of the workshop. The factory chemist may
have large wages, he may spoil much valuable material, and he may
work for months without any result that will bring a single additional
dollar into the manufacturer's treasury, but as long as there is a rea'
sonable hope that something profitable will result the chemist is kept
at his task. One day he may find out something which will
employer the advantage over his competitors and pay a thousand .
over for all the expense which the chemist has caused. There is ai
the risk of total failure, but experience has shown "that in the long
the arts have profited exceedingly by the labors of scientists. .
What manufacturers have been doing for themselves because th
found it very profitable the Government has undertaken to do for thi
farmers. Scientific investigations are necessarily expensive. Buo&
investigations as are likely to be of advantage to agriculture must- bi
conducted on so extensive a scale as to be beyond the means of the ind'.
vidual farmer. Agriculture is so fundamental to all other arts and its?
success is so vital to all classes of people that it has been deemed expei-l::: :
dient to extend governmental aid to this industry on considerations of -
the public welfare.
METHODS OF STATION WORK.
But however it may be supported, the experiment station may b.;:
briefly described as an organized effort of science to aid the farmer:. .
The ultimate object in view is the practical result which will benefit
agriculture, but the processes by which that result is to be reached will
be for the most part such as science shall suggest. To the practical
man they will often be obscure and may seem to be absurd. But he
must be content if, even after long waiting and much disappointment,
he receives benefits which he could not have obtained in any other way,
It is necessary to dwell upon this point because it is difficult for many
people to understand why the experiment stations insist upon doing so
many things which the farmer does not understand, and why even in
their simpler work which is along the line of ordinary operations of
the farm they depart oftentimes so widely from the traditional practice
of successful farmers. It is because the experiment station is not a
model farm or a money-making farm or dairy, but an institution in
which science is working in the interests of agriculture, that it is bound
to use the methods of science rather than those of the practical farmer.
There should be order and system in the work of the station-more i
thorough and rigid than the best farmers enforce-but such methods :::
should be followed as science approves. This should be the case even -:I
in the conduct of the field work of the station, which involves the use"'
to a considerable extent of the ordinary operations of the farm. Sup-r .
pose, for example, an experiment with fertilizers is to be made. The iS
field must be carefully selected, the plats accurately measured, the .
seeds tested, the fertilizers analyzed and weighed, the soil physically
and chemically examined, the growth of the crop closely watched, the i
product certainly determined and examined-a hundred things must he'- l
done which the farmer does not need to do; that is, the object should be
to make careful and accurate observations of the materials and phe-::::
nomena involved in the experiment, and to classify these observatioay4,
with a view to determining the real effects of the different fertilizers
on the crop.
Work of that kind is scientific though much simpler than is necessary
in other lines of station work. Now, it may be that at the end of the
experiment some farmer will look over the plats, and, seeing marked
differences in the results produced by different fertilizers, will say it
is plain enough that this fertilizer is good for this crop in this soil and
that fertilizer is of no benefit. In a general way an experienced farmer
may estimate the results of the experiment as well as the experiment
station officer, and for that reason he may think that all the pains
which the station takes to get an accurate record of the experiment is
largely a waste of time and money. But whoever thinks thus misses
the essential value of experiment station work. Farmers have been
going on for generations in certain practical lines, and as the result of
the irregular and haphazard efforts of intelligent men have gradually
improved the practice of their art. Experience is valuable, and he who
tries new ways of work may prove a benefactor; but the glory of our
age is that men have begun to introduce system into their schemes for
improvement and have found that by careful experimenting in accord-
ance with an orderly plan they can make much more rapid progress
and avoid many disheartening failures.
The experiment station has been established to do this work for the
farmer, and it is its duty to blaze out new paths and not to follow
the beaten track, even though to many it may seem to be a good one.
The practice of good farmers is oftentimes a false guide. The station
should not follow it unless it can see the reason for it. It must study
the matter from the other standpoint, viz, that of the investigator, and
make sure that it is right. Let us illustrate this by an example drawn
from the feeding of animals. One of the stations was examining the
rations which farmers were feeding to their milch cows. It came to
one man who was considered by his neighbors a successful feeder,
keeping his animals in good condition and making money from their
products. On examination his rations proved to be quite different from
those recommended by the feeding standards. A year later, when the
station officers made a second visit to this farmer, they found that he
had made a radical change in his rations, which now conformed quite
closely to the standards. Inquiry showed that the feeder had become
convinced that, while he was making money before, he could make
more by following the advice of the station, which was based on the
scientific principles of feeding. In that case, at least, science was a
S better guide than what seemed to be a successful practice.
* Another point to be carefully considered in judging of the work of
agricultural experiment stations relates to the nature of the scientific
investigations which they may properly undertake, and to the kind
of results which may reasonably be expected from such investigations.
L izthe thought of many people the term "science" seems to include only
what are sometimes called the "exact sciences"-that is, scie'.
on such principles and dealing with such subjects that when.
have been obtained they may be applied in a fixed way to all
cases in accordance with exact formulas. For example, the method
calculating eclipses has been definitely determined by astronomers
that it is only necessary for one to learn the mathematical formulas
processes in order to determine the time of the occurrence of
eclipse. Obviously such definiteness of results can not be expectledi
agricultural investigations. There we have to deal with the complE
problems of the air, soil, plant, and animal. Thus far science h.
advanced only a little way in the discovery of the principles goveriu..
the manifold intricate operations which are continually going on in te
world with which agriculture deals. All that the scientist can -do i$
present is to assure the farmer that his studies have brought to lightifi;
certain facts and principles which may serve as a guide to the improve- :
ment of the methods of agriculture. Further investigations wi;l:.
undoubtedly bring more light on many subjects, but the time vwii :;.ll:
probably never come when definite rules for farming can be formulated
either by the scientist or the farmer. I
In this respect medicine and agriculture are very much alike. We
insist more and more that our doctors shall be trained in scientific teii
knowledge, and we devote much money to scientific investigations ,:
which may improve the healing art, but we do not expect that a code i.
of definite rules for the treatment of diseases will ever be devised. Ina
fact, one thing which scientific research makes clearer as it advances is !
that there exist in every human body certain individual peculiarities
which manifest themselves in disease as well as in health, so that the
wise doctor must vary his practice according to the patient. It is for
this reason that a family physician who for a long time has studied the
peculiarities of the different members of a family is as a rule much more.::
likely to succeed in treating the diseases of that family than a stranger,
however skillful he may be. In like manner the. intelligent farmer is
the man who carefully studies his land and his animals, and, while tak- :-
ing advantage of all the teachings of science and experience, shapes his ::.
practice according to his own needs. The experiment stations may l:
greatly benefit agriculture, but, in accordance with a law which govr:,,'
erns all human progress, they will inevitably help to make farming :k
a more complex occupation. Greater technical knowledge will be '
required to be a successful farmer in the twentieth century than has il,
hitherto been needful. Every year it becomes more difficult for the: .:'.
ignorant farmer to secure even the necessities of life.
HISTORY OF THE STATIONS.
About one hundred years have elapsed since scientific men began tud':
give attention to the problems of agriculture, but it is less than fl
years since the first regularly organized experiment station was eat..
lished in the little German village of Moeckern. In this country the
first station was begun at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., in
1875-just twenty years ago-though similar work had been previously
carried on at some of the agricultural colleges. California, North Caro-
lina, and New Jersey were among the first States to organize experi-
ment stations. The early work of the stations attracted so much favor-
able attention that their number rapidly increased. In 1887 there were
seventeen stations in fourteen different States. That year Congress
passed what is popularly called the Hatch Act, which gives to each State
and Territory $15,000 a year from the National Treasury for the mainte-
nance of an agricultural experiment station which, except in a few cases
indicated in the law, must be a department of the college established
under the land-grant act of July 2, 1862. It was presumed by Con-
gress that the States would provide land, buildings, and other equip-
ment for the stations, and the law therefore provides that the money
shall be chiefly expended in carrying on agricultural investigations and
reporting their results.
The work of the stations is thus outlined in the act: "It shall be
the object and duty of said experiment stations to conduct original
researches or verify experiments on the physiology of plants and
animals-the diseases to which they are severally subject, with the
remedies for the same; the chemical composition of useful plants at
their different stages of growth; the comparative advantages of rota-
tive cropping as pursued under a varying series of crops; the capacity
of new plants or trees for acclimation; the analysis of soils and water;
the chemical composition of manures, natural or artificial, with experi-
ments designed to test their comparative effects on crops of different
kinds; the adaptation and value of grasses and forage plants; the com-
position and digestibility of the different kinds of food for domestic
animals; the scientific and economic questions involved in the produc-
tion of butter and cheese; and such other researches or experiments
bearing directly on the agricultural industry of the United States as
may in each case be deemed advisable, having due regard to the vary-
ing conditions and needs of the respective States or Territories."
Under this law the stations are independent State institutions, each
working in its own way under the direction of the Iccal authorities, who
alone are responsible for the expenditure of the funds committed to
their trust by Congress. During the past year, however, it has been
made the duty of the Secretary of Agriculture to ascertain whether
station expenditures are made in accordance with the law and to report
the results of his inquiries to Congress.
Agricultural experiment stations are now in operation under the act
of Congress of March 2,1887, in all the States and Territories. Alaska
is the only section of the United States which has no experiment sta-
tion. In each of the States of Alabama, Connecticut, New Jersey, and
New York a separate station is maintained wholly or in part by State
funds, and in Louisiana a station for sugar experiments is man
mainly by funds contributed by sugar planters. In several Statij
stations have been established. Excluding the branch statioB,
total number of stations in the United States is fifty-four. Oft
fifty-one receive the appropriation provided for in the act of Co0
ORGANIZATION OF THE STATIONS.
The organization of the experiment stations under the law has
rally taken many different forms, and their work has been lar
determined by local needs and demands. It is, therefore, difficult It
describe what might be called a typical experiment station. St
common features of station organization and work may, howeverl. :b
briefly mentioned, which it is hoped may at least sufficiently interes.i !;l
the reader to lead him to look more carefully into the actual operations 'i:
of the stations, especially in his locality.
Since the station is a department of the land-grant college, it is as SI
rule under the general management of the governing board of thati.4
institution. The more immediate supervision of station affairs is ofitefli.
left to a standing committee of the board, which may include also '
some college and station officers. The president of the college haS t'I
more or less to do with the management of the station and may even '
be its director. In many cases, however, the director is a separate i
officer who, in addition to general executive duties, carries on investi- ;.j
gations in some special lines or combines teaching in the college with
his work for the station. Thus the station director may be a chemist i
or an agriculturist and at the same time professor of chemistry or
agriculture. In some cases the director has large powers and respon- 2.
sibilities in the management of the station; in other cases the planning 4
of the work is largely committed to a council composed of members of I
the governing board and station staff. Besides the director, the station' !
staff usually comprises several scientific experts in charge of special |
lines of work, as dairying, horticulture, chemistry, entomology, or dis-:g
eases of plants or animals, and scientific assistants, together with per-
sons of practical experience as foremen of farms, dairymen, feeders of::;:
The region for which each station works is, with few exceptions, si
large and the agricultural problems of each community so numeroruiai..
that urgent calls are made upon the individual stations to undertake
work in various lines, and there is a constant temptation to attempt |
more kinds of investigations than can be successfully carried on with:
the resources at hand. The wisest of our stations are, however, vigo;r-
ously struggling against this tendency, and are each year making i
clearer that the best way is to do a few things thoroughly and wel:.
The ideal plan is for each station to pursue those special lines of w
to which its environment makes it peculiarly adapted. Thus oneli
I tiom may be eminent for its work in dairying, another in the feeding
Sof milch cows or sheep, another in horticulture, another in soil inves-
tigations, and another in irrigation. Whatever any one station dis-
Scovers of real and permanent usefulness can easily be disseminated in
all the regions of our country to which it is applicable. The experiment
station may have its own farm, but more commonly uses for experi-
mental purposes a portion of the farm belonging to the college with
which it is connected. As it is not the business of the station to carry
Son a farm for profit, it will properly work only as much land as is needed
for such experiments as can be rigidly planned and carefully supervised
and controlled. Here, again, the temptation is to use too much land, to
S have showy rather than thorough field experiments.
One very important feature of an experiment station farm is its series
Sof permanent plats. The bounds of these plats are very carefully fixed,
the chemical and physical properties of the soil are accurately deter-
mined from time to time, and a complete record is kept of the fertilizers
S applied and the crops grown each season. Some work is planned which
Sis to continue for many years on the same land in the hope that as the
data accumulate year after year facts of wide interest may be revealed.
Perhaps the most notable example of this kind of work is found at
Rothamsted, England, where Lawes and Gilbert have observed the
growth of wheat and some other crops on the same land in this careful
way for over forty years.
BUILDINGS AND EQUIPMENT.
: The buildings of the stations include offices, museums, libraries,
-chemical, botanical, bacteriological and other laboratories, barns, dairy
Buildings, silos, plant houses, insectaries, and other buildings required
f: for special purposes.
S The equipment consists of scientific apparatus of various kinds,
much of which will necessarily be elaborate and expensive, and of such
Sfarm implements and live stock as are needed for use in the investiga-
tions, together with a carefully selected working library and collections
Sof specimens. As one of the very important lines of station work is
the improvement of the methods of experimenting, we naturally expect
to find in station laboratories and museums pieces of apparatus devised
by station officers. When our people understand better than they do
now that this kind of experimenting is essential to the most efficient
I work of our stations we shall expect to find more stations engaged in
Sit, even if they have to give up some of the field work.
WORK OF THE STATIONS.
The work of the agricultural experiment stations as organized in
S::this country may be classified in a general way as follows: (1) They act
-s Bureaus of information on many questions of practical interest to
the farmers of their several localities; (2) they seek by practical tests
to devise better methods of agriculture and to introduce neo*l
live stock, or to establish new agricultural industries; (3) th
farmer in his contest with insects and with diseases of his-
live stock; (4) they help to defend the farmer against fraud in t...
of fertilizers, seeds, and feeding stuffs; (5) they investigate thea
tions of nature in the air, water, soil, plants, and animals in o
find out the principles which can be applied to the betterment of..
processes and products of agriculture.
The experiment stations are conducting a wide range of senti
research in the laboratory and plant house and an equally large a ..
of practical experimenting in the field, the orchard, the stable, a
dairy. Thirty stations are studying problems relating to meteor
and climatic conditions. Forty stations are at work upon the
investigating its geology, physics, or chemistry, or conducting soil
with fertilizers or in other ways. Fourteen stations are studying quo
tions relating to irrigation. Thirty-nine stations are making analy
of commercial and homemade fertilizers, or are conducting field e
iments with fertilizers. At least fifteen stations either exercise a
tilizer control in their respective States or make analyses on wlaiib
the control is based. All the stations are studying the more import
crops, either with regard to their composition, nutritive value, method
of manuring and cultivation, and the best varieties adapted to dijla
vidual localities, or with reference to systems of rotation. Thirty-A*
stations are investigating the composition of feeding stuffs, and* i.
some instances making digestion experiments. Thirty-seven stations
are conducting feeding experiments for milk, beef, mutton, or pork, or
are studying different methods of feeding. Thirty-two stations are
investigating subjects relating to dairying, including the chemistry and:
bacteria of milk, creaming, butter making, or the construction andl
management of creameries. Forty-five stations are studying method..
of analysis and doing other chemical work. Botanical studies occupy
more or less of the attention of about thirty stations; these include
investigations in systematic and physiological botany, with espei...
reference to the diseases of plants, testing of seeds with reference
their vitality and purity, classification of weeds, and methods for t
eradication. Forty-three stations work to a greater or less extent
horticulture, testing varieties of vegetables and large and small rit
and making studies in varietal improvement and synonymy. Sev
stations have begun operations in forestry. Thirty-one stations inv
tigate injurious insects with a view to their restriction or destruci
Sixteen stations study and treat animal diseases or perform such ope w
tions as dehorning animals. At least seven stations are engaged:i-
bee culture, and three in experiments with poultry.
A million dollars are now annually expended in the United States:,
the maintenance of agricultural experiment stations. Three-quart
this large sum comes from the National Treasury. While thias:..
j** :- '
much larger aggregate expenditure for this purpose than has ever been
made by any other nation, it involves the use of only 30 cents for each
S $1,000 of our agricultural product in an attempt to improve the quality
and quantity of that product. From this point of view the resources
of the stations can not be deemed unreasonably large, especially when
.we consider the wide diversification of our agriculture .even under
present conditions, and the great need for more rational and profitable
methods of farming. On the other hand, the annual expenditure of so
vast a sum from the National Treasury can not be justified unless the
institutions conducted under this grant show a keen appreciation of
their responsibility to make a wise and economical use of the funds
S intrusted to them by the people.
NUMBER OF STATION OFFICERS.
S. The stations employ 557 persons in the work of administration and
inquiry. The number of officers engaged in the different lines of work
is as follows: Directors, 67; secretaries and treasurers, 26; librarians,
8; clerks, 27; in charge of substations, 40; agriculturists, 55; biolo-
gists, 11; botanists, 36; chemists, 124; entomologists, 43; geologists, 5;
horticulturists, 61; irrigation engineers, 7; meteorologists, 15; mycolo-
S gists and bacteriologists, 7; physicists, 3; veterinarians, 24; dairymen,
11; farm foremen, 25.
. There are also 28 persons classified under the head of "miscella-
neous," including superintendents of gardens, grounds, and buildings,
Sapiarists, herdsmen, etc.
EXTENT OF STATION PUBLICATIONS.
Since their establishment the stations have published several thou-
sand annual reports and bulletins. In 1894 they issued 54 annual
Reports and 401 bulletins. An average edition of 10,000 copies of each
of these publications.was distributed in the several States and Terri-
i stories, or over 4,500,000 copies in the aggregate.
Besides regular reports and bulletins, a number of the stations issue
Press bulletins, which are widely reproduced in agricultural and county
papers. The station bulletins are now regularly distributed to half a
million persons who are either farmers or closely identified with the
agricultural industry. Moreover, accounts of the station work are
Given and discussed in thousands of newspapers. The New York
Cornell Station alone estimated some time ago that each one of its
publications directly or indirectly reached more than half a million
Readers. Besides this a very large correspondence with farmers is car-
ried on, hundreds of public addresses are annually made by station
officers before farmers' meetings, and the results of station work are
|taught to thousands of students in agricultural colleges.
The requirement of the law by which each station mswat .:-
report and at least four bulletins each year, while it has in' m .any'..
caused the premature publication of unfinished experiments, i
greatly stimulated the dissemination of useful, practical inf
through the stations. The work connected with the preparation,
location, and mailing of the reports and bulletins is very large.
mailing lists of the stations now average about 10,000 addresses
When we add to the publication work an extensive correspondence& aAFl
the keeping of accurate official records and accounts it is seen
the burden of clerical duties imposed upon the stations is quite bhat".S.
WAYS IN WHICH THE STATIONS HELP THE FARMEB.
The service which the stations have rendered in promoting the ed6i
cation of our farmers is incalculable..
Even if the station bulletins recorded only facts well known to ae.e
tists and advanced agriculturists, the influence of such a far-reacsn',
system of popular education in agriculture must be very great. So aSij
a scheme of university extension has never been undertaken in anyi
The stations have also taught the farmer how to help himself. I
number of lines their work has shown that to be thoroughly saces n ||
fil the farmer must himself be an experimenter. This has been notable:
brought out by the experiments in the use of fertilizers. Hundreds of
farmers have already made experiments in cooperation with the s;ii
tions, and have thus learned something about proper methods of experts
meeting, and have given their neighbors valuable lessons on the way
to apply the experience gained by scientific investigators to the peculiar "I :
conditions of individual farms.
But the stations have also foudd out some things which are new, and. =
have performed services of great economic value.
In the study of soils and fertilizers; in the tests of new varieties oa
cereals, forage plants, vegetables, and fruits; in researches on the:ieoW::
position and digestibility of feeding stuffs; in feeding experime ;!::!
especially with pigs and dairy cattle; in investigations in dairyingi,: i
especially regarding means for testing milk and the methods of cheeistmd
making; in observations on plant diseases and injurious insects, ant
in experiments on the repression of these foes of the farmer, niaaI':i
useful results have been reached.
In general it may be said that the stations are in better condition :
than ever before to do efficient service for the improvement of orii
agriculture. Experience has shown the need and value of experime4"t.
tal inquiries in the lines pursued by the stations, and the economflcSti
results have been sufficient to justify the continuance and developed..
of these institutions under such conditions as will enable them to
their most useful work.
S;'he, general interests of the stations are promoted by the Association
ik American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, a volun-
ai'ry association organized in 1887, which holds annual meetings in
differentt parts of the country. The proceedings of the association are
i published by the Office of Experiment Stations of this Department.
THE OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS.
The act of Congress establishing the stations makes it the duty of the
: Secretary of Agriculture to render to them such advice and assistance
as may best promote the objects for which they were established. For
This purpose an Office of Experiment Stations was organized as a
: branch of the Department of Agriculture in October, 1888.
Its main business has been the examination of the work of the agri-
cultural experiment stations in this and other countries and the collation
and publication of data regarding experimental inquiries in agriculture
for the information of station workers, farmers, and others interested
in the progress of the science and art of agriculture. There are now
some 320 experiment stations in operation in the different countries of
the world. Besides the publications which these stations issue, very
, many reports of agricultural inquiries at these and other institutions
are published in current periodicals. As far as practicable this Office
seeks to traverse this large mass of literature and to cull from it such
information as will enable our station workers to keep posted regarding
the progress of agricultural science and will promptly bring to our
Farmers the practical outcome of these investigations in the different
Up to January 1, 1895, the office had issued 135 documents, includ-
: ing 5 volumes of the Experiment Station Record, 20 bulletins, and 9
I Farmers' Bulletins.
i: The Experiment Station Record is issued in parts, and contains
abstracts of the current publications of all the American stations, of
the several divisions of the United States Department of Agriculture,
and of reports of foreign investigations in agricultural science. Gen-
j. oral information is also given regarding the stations and kindred insti-
Stutions in this and other countries, and suggestions regarding methods
| ::and lines of investigations which may usefully be followed by our
I stations are made in articles by the editors and by distinguished
i!experts in the different specialties at home and abroad. A detailed
. subject and author index is published with each volume. As the con-
iedensed form of the Record makes its language necessarily technical,
ift is distributed chiefly to agricultural college and station officers,
libraries, and educational institutions.
hi e practical results of agricultural investigations at home and
4 6. ad are also summarized in this office and published in Farmers'
., which are widely distributed to farmers. The work of the
this line will be extended in the future.
i :.. ......-
Schedules for the financial reports of stations, as now reqwkie
Congress, are prepared in this office, and the office also makes a.
nation of the stations as the basis of the report of the Secroti
Agriculture to Congress regarding the expenditures and work :of:l:l
Congress having given this Department an appropriation for i.
tigations on the nutritive value and economy of human food,-
supervision of this work has been assigned to this office. Popul
and scientific resumes of such investigations in this country a
abroad have already been published and inquiries in this line are:
now in progress in a number of representative localities North an L
South, largely in cooperation with agricultural colleges and experiment
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