Experiment Station, Horticultural Society. 1920

Material Information

Experiment Station, Horticultural Society. 1920
Series Title:
Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
44. Experiment Station, Horticultural Society. 1920


Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida -- Experimentation.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
University of Florida. Herbarium.
Rolfs, Peter Henry


A draft of an address, "The Experiment Station," by P. H. Rolfs given to the members of the Florida Horticultural Society describing the work of the experiment station

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida Archives
Rights Management:
Copyright Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier:

UFDC Membership

Peter Henry Rolfs
University Archives

Full Text

Members of the Horticultural Society', Ladies and Gentlemen:

It is an unusual privilege for anyone to have

the honor of addressing the Florida State Horticultural Society,

especially is this so at the present meeting. The Society is

now a third of a century old. It has grown steadily in im-

portance and its influence has been felt in all parts of the

State. From the published proceedings it appears that the

Horticultural Society started in with a membership of eighteen

at its meeting when the constitution and by-laws were adopted.

Several members were added to this list as charter members when

the charter was received for the Associatioh,. Te-le

-SjtatLeortiulturLSoaciaety -has-had the -pleasure twicee --

td-ding the American Pomological Society. The membership of

the Horticultural Society is now reaching upward toward a

hundred-fold than it was at the time of the adoption of the

constitution. I might use the entire time allotted to me

for this address in speaking of the good things the Horticultural

Society has done and still not exhaust the subject. Among the

many pleasant things of the Horticultural Society has been its

privilege of having for its principal speakers some of the

greatest horticulturists of the United States. These great /

horticulturists such as Bailey, McFarland, 7 >. 7......-

Swingle, Webber and others have been of great inspiration

to us ,i e ying-4.ok39ward*-t-ae i:m t &o-stof-t-he-iaat


The mos important ortcultural publications
during the last two years are bulletins on Melanose, Diseases
of Truck Crops, Tomato Diseases, Diseases z& Insect Pests of the


Today I want to address you especially on the

subject of our Experiment Station. The Florida Experiment

Station is the one organization in the. State that has aided

most largely in solving some of the most difficult and severe

horticultural problems that have been before us.

Resume of 7ork Done -

The Florida Agricultural Experiment Station was

established in 1888. It hacpcn- to be a coincident that the

Experiment Station was established the same year that the

Horticultural Society was founded. N /he st&ff of the Experi-

ment Station have always had a leading part on the program

of the Horticultural Society. Mr. J. N. V'hitner and Mt.

James P. DePass were both charter members of the Association.

Professor Hume and myself have had part in the development

of the Experiment Station as well as part in the development

of the Horticultural Society.


Pecan, Insects of the Citrus Grove, Some Diseases of the Fig,

Florida Citrus Diseases, Florida Truck and Garden Insects,csa_ -

Ten Year Fertilizer Experiments. In addition to these

there were published numerous press bulletins on similar and

allied subjects. It should not be assumed for a moment

that other lines of agricultural interests have not been rep-

resented in publications .at t t.. We are today however,

especially interested in the horticultural side of the institu-


What is the Experiment Station -f 7

In 1862 Congress passed the Land Gra t College Act.

This Act gave to every State in the Union f c -tai ,.r-of

acres of public land, A pro'r o the numbc of _.poeanta-

-Mre-i.-GengPeee. Owing to the disturbed conditions of the

United States, Florida was not in a pgpition to take advantage of

this Act until 1872. The Florida Agricultural College was de-

finitely established in 1883. In 1888 Congress passed an Act

granting $15,000 annually to each State having a Land Grant

College. This money therefore, is appropriated directly to

the Agricultural or Land Grant College. In 1906 a supple-

mentary Act was passed, granting an additional fund which now

amounts to $15,000, known as the Adams Act.

It should be agg y borne in mind that the

Experiment station is a division of the Agricultural College

and that.the Federal moneys are appropriated for use with

these Land Grant Colleges.

The Hatch Act establishing the Experiment Stations


is a somewhat lengthy law, a reading of which would not materially

help us today. The fundamental thought underlying the law how-

ever is that this money is appropriated for the pan~yaxna ac-

quiring and dissemination of the useful agricultural information.

The United States Secretary of Agriculture is designated as the

proper authority to review the work and ascertain whether the

work conducted at the Experiment Station is in accordance with

the law and whether the funds have been properly expended. The

point I wish to call your attention to however, is that the Ex-

periment Station is an institution that has for its primary object

the discovering of new and valuable agricultural truths and then

its work is only half done, since it is also entrusted with the

work of publishing the same. I wish to make this point very

clear since many people in the State of Florida assume that be-

cause of the popularity of the Experiment Station that it takes

up the instruction of students at- the Agricultural College and

also takes up the instruction of people in the field. More or

less instructional work in the field was winked at by the Sec-

retary of Agriculture during the early years of the Experiment

Stations. It was therefore not unusual for the salaries and

traveling expenses to be paid to members of the staff for hold-

ing Farmers' Institutes. However, more than twenty years ago

it was ruled that this was an improper axx use of the Experiment

Station fund.

As early as in 1907 the State Legislature appro-

priated a small fund of $5,000 a year only part of which be-

came available(for conducting Farmers' Institutes This en-

abled the Director of the Experiment Station to pay the travel-

ing expenses and salaries of the Experiment Station staff while


they were on duty as lecturers at Farmers' Institutes. This
fund was continued by the Legislature until 1919. In 1909 the
Experiment Station moved into the present commodious building
which was constructed and equipped at an expense of $50,000.
The Legislature of 1913 continued the appropriatidn for the
Farmers' Institutes and allowed us approximately $1,000 a year
for printing bulletins from the Experiment Station and Extension
Division. This helped very materially in that it permitted us
to publish bulletins on general information that could not be
legally published from the Federal funds. The Legislature in
1915 appropriated $2,000 annually for the iennium for continuance
of the experiments begun; $2,500 for xwpw inax g repairing and
upkeep of buildings, and $3,700 for printing fund. The funds
available by the action of the.Legislature of 1917 made $14,500
available for print ng, carrying on field institutes i NlWTa

[ _I aXPmnt, The Legislture of 1919 appropriated a total
amount of $10,000 cutting out the item for printing, also for
holding institutes and limiting the fund for continuance of ex-
periments begun, thus giving us $5,000 annually as against
$14,500 for the year 1918.
From the biennial report of the Board of Control
which is a document published for the information of the Legisla-
ture, a recommendation to the Legislature for the biennium ending
June 30, 1918, the following recommendations by the Director will
be found on page 144. Enlargement and continuance of/experi-
ments in fertilizers and soils $9,600; for enlargement and
extension of the work on entomology, $11,200; for analytic

and laboratory work on fertilizers and soils, $3,200; introduc-
tion and dissemination of new and useful plants, $4,500, for


continuance of the printing flnd $1,750; for continuance

of experiments begun, repair of buildings, upkeep of farm
$8,000, reprinting bulletins and reports out of print,

$8,000, making a total of $46,250, one half of which would
become available each year or an annual appropriation of

$23,125 in which the horticulturists of the State were prin-
cipally interested. As I have said above in the place of

receiving this amount or an approximate of it, $5,000 annually

was received. *"t~ -4- --- t- \...--J .-- k-. .-. tN. a r/

5- .1..t...~ 1.\.^ B->^h lhFift y"ent"'Boll 1!) ^- aLSTX
S,, s During the entire period of the War every man

and woman with the Experiment Station staff with possibly

one exception, stood nobly and manfully byti institution.

r any importunities came _n- ail from commercial
institutions as well as from other institutions to leave
Sthe work in the State of Florida and take up work elsewhere

with larger and more remunerative salaries. In addition

to these importunities the price for necessities of life

began to continue to mount by leaps and bounds so that by

the time -uhe the last Legislature adjourned a dollar would
actually buy only half as much as it would have bought three

years before.
In addition to the vicissitudes that I have

named abovu, first and foremost is that of increased cost

of living and the higher prices that are being paid for
services the state appropriation was reduced from $14,500

to $5,000 annually, and when you remember that the basic

4 -7-

funds for the Experiment Station was not increased you will

readily see that there must be a contraction in the amount of

work that can be done by more than fifty per cent. Absolutely

no one in the State of Florida seemed to be prepared to accept

the actual situation that was being faced. Everyone written

to and everyone spoken to sympathized with the situation but

seemed somehow to think that the same amount od work kni~x1sa

and good serviceo/would be delivered on the fifty cent dollar

that was given and delivered on the hundred cent dollar. It

sometimes takes a rude shock to xuxx awaken one to the necessi-

ties of the particular situation. Ladies and Gentlemen of

the Horticultural Society you have before you a plain unvarnished

statement of the situation. The PcA -e been patriotic in

standing by khk you and your institution thru the most critical

and trying times. They have done the very best that could be

done in the circumstances. I doubt if any other set of men and

women would have done as well under the same situation and under

the same conditions.- The Agricultural Experiment Station must

in a general way be fairly representative of the agriculture of

the State. In other words all the different lines of agriculture

need in a general way to receive their proportionate attention.

No one can be fully served even if the pap total funds

should be made four times what they have been in the past..

The demands upon the Experiment Station have been most exacting

and persistent and constant. People during thw War times had

become more and more dependent upon the exact information that

could be given out from this institution. They have not lost

their confidence in the institution by any means, and I believe



that people of the State as a whole will a and see that

the proper recognition and support is forthcoming from the next


Work Needing to be Done ~

In the horticultural line there are many important

and large problems that need to be taken up and investigated.

One dollar invested now in investigations and publications will

save the State anywhere from $100 to $1000 ten years hence. The

Experiment Station as an educational institution must lay the

foundation and ground work for this better knowledge. They-ars

*not mmmor t itittn wig tr;- he results of ite work-can

be computed in dollars and cents, rut athlo i tin

411 pnat Wa&tagc8 in f" e__ a i Let us take one

small problem as an illustration. Suppose that it would have

been possible for tax a well trained plant pathologist to have been

put in the field last July who would make careful investigation

and thoro study of the difficulties and losses sustained by the

fruit and truck going bad in transit. At first sight this is a

simple question, merely one of temperature of the cars. However,

this is overlooking the very important tasks that have been
- repeatedly placed before us that it is a deeper and more complex.

problem, Te are needing now and without delay a sapetvast

who is at once a good plant pathologist and also a man who under-

stands the difficulties encountered in the transportation problems.

You would undoubtedly have saved this year to the horticultural

people of the State one hundred possibly one thousand times his

annual salary in loss of fruit and truck in Iransit.

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Then there are these large field problems that
have Knxas been slightly touched. I am referring to the

fertilizer and soils problem. Ten years ago when we began

our investigation of this problem in the field, people were

much more positive that they knew what brand of fertilizer

to use how to use it and ho to apply it as well as what the

results would be than they do today. Some very important

and most valuable lessons have been learned from this experimental

work that was established and carried on for a period of ten years.

The data is so complete and well arranged that those interested

have found bulletin 154 of inestimable value. I know because

I have heard both by letter and by word of mouth that this is

the case.

The insects of the citrus groves are present with us

always. Much ~ania good has been done by limiting the spread

and introduction of these by the Plant Commissioner and much more

most still be dne in handling this question in thefuture.

There are large series of insects which have been only imper-

fectly investigated.

Then there are whole lines of diseases in the

trus groves that are only very imperfectly known o

-~ .. f~- rI5.~ ~'&t ic, L~ e't % '7-4

-I am not here trying to outline the problems afor

experimental work but simply calling attention to some that

\ need immediate and thoro attention.

The small fund placed at our disposal by the lxxk

Legislature for publishing popular bulletins in the last four
years has probably given the largest returns to the horticultural

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than anyone elsegjthxkkxa and with k~h united and well directed

effort the splendid work already accomplished by the institution

will be continued. Remember the Experiment Statibn will con-

tinue to exist mxn long after we have passed to our reward.

However, whether this institution will be of service depends

upon what we do. The Director, the staff, the Board of Control

have all shown their willingness to do ac= l-- possible and

in the fan past have done magnificently. We have met with a

temporary check. That does not for one moment mean defeat.

It merely means that we must arrange ourselves for a united and
consistent and persistent ffort.-
consistent and persistent effort. -

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It ain't the guns nor ammament
Nor funds that they oan pay,
But close cooperation
That makes them win the day.

It ain't the individual,
Nor the army as a whole,
But the everlasting teamwork
of every blooming soul.

---Rudyard Kipling.






people of the State that they have received in years, but we
are short, woefully short in scores of lines of endeavor,
Where can you turn for a reasonably good bulletin on pineapples,
on persimmons, on pears, or a reasonably comprehensive bulletin
on peaches. A l --'<- Yi'f4 -- _
I have given you a somewhat general resume of the
situation from the horticulturists standpoint. This is the one
line of agriculture for which you are assembled. .'hen v;e come
to consider the livestock interests of the State, we will find

that the difficulties are even greater, due to the livestock industry
having come up more recently. 'Then we take the general farming
interests or what we might call general cropping interests, we
IB. -have the same outstanding need for investigation and publication.


Ladies.and Gentlemen, I have placed this whole
situation before you. .rk Z

any *ena-nrdTAmnal. yl 12 haV15 I'L -iiTcM ia wpm
h: ep.Yiment -Stia4l. taking o-are Go ig eo. Individually,
people have responded splendidly. I have been coming before
Sthe Horticultural Society for over twenty-five years. During
O this entire time I have not trespassed on the program to the
extent of pointing out the need for help and calling for help
from the Horticultural Society. I am not calling for help
individually, this has been given most freely and without re-
servation. I am now calling for help collectively, unanimously
qnd from the Horticultural Society as a whole. Remember this

is your institution. You are more vitally interested in it

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