Florida State Fair, Agricultural College and Agricultural Extension Division. 1920

Material Information

Florida State Fair, Agricultural College and Agricultural Extension Division. 1920
Series Title:
Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
10. Florida State Fair, Agricultural College and Agricultural Extension Division. 1920


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


A talk given by P. H. Rolfs at the Florida State Fair, November 24, 1920

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


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y, P. He Rlfa *

Mr.Chairman, Ladies and Gentlenaes
t is with a great deal of pleasure that

I am able to be present with you today and dliver an add"
dress to you an this Vury important subject to the State of
Florida. I knaw that you are thoroly interested in the
subject that I am about to diosuses otherwise it would not
have been possible for you to have gone away frame the may
attractions an the grounds ad the splendid exhibits that
are being staged here at the Florida State Pair. It is
indeed an inspiration to us iwhio have worked for these many
years for the apbuaflding and betterent of the agriculture
in the State. It comes as a fitting climax at the lose
of the year, enabling everyone to see the agriculture of the
State at a glance. The magnificent exhibits that we have
here speak volume for the possibilities of our glorious
State and the fact that yao eam absent yourself fros the
magnifieent speotale on the grounds, speaks volumes for
year interest in the prepsm this afternoon,
The subject allotted to me is "Te Agricultural

College and Agg.sultural EIxtens tn Divis ion." This at een
is aswh a bti abject that it is worthy of the at tent ton

anzy maae I aS ready to speak on fhe subject any titae


whether I have two minutes, twenty minutes or two hours.

It is big enough for a two minute subject, not too big for

a twenty minute and small enough to take two hours to discuss

it. I am however, going to confine myself to a few of the

most important points and the things that we want you to know

especially about the institution.

The Agricultural College of Florida was es.

tablished by legislative act in 1884, in which the State

accepted a federal gift of ninety thousand acres of land,

which v;ere sold and the proceeds invested in bonds. This

is the fundamental act establishing the Agricultural College*

In 1906 the College of Agriculture as a part of the University

was moved from Lake City to Gainesville. In 1910 the Uni-

versity was organized into different colleges. We now have

five distinct colleges in the University: the College of Arts

and Sciences, the College of Agriculture, the College of

Engineering, Teachers College and Law College, each one having

a head master known as Dean.


The Agricultural College proper ca ries out

its line of work in three divisions. The first division

devotes its entire attention to the teaching of agricultural
subjects to young men resident at the institution. Theo also
give a considerable amount of time to short courses and to

some extent to lectures over the State. Necessarily a
professor ast be at his classroom and teach his classes

regularly and constantly. He cannot do justice to his

students if he is from three to five hundred miles away,

lecturing to farmers gatherings. We have six men, all

specialists in their line, who are giving their most careful

attention and highest devotion to instruction in agricultural

subjects. In addition to these men there are nearly a store

of other men teaching allied subjects, english, chemistry,

mathematics and other subjects necessary to a rounded education.

Last year we had in the Agricultural College

an attendance upward of 200. These younf men are among the

most earnest that may be found in the State and the most

eager to learn that will be found in the country anywhere,

a considerable number coming from other states and taking their

education here because they own property in the State ande are

taking up their residence among us. Naturally these men are

aggressive and know exactly what studies they want. They

make some of the best students that we have in the University.

At the time when the bugle sounded the

clarion of "-ar, our Agricultural College as well as the

University as a whole had readphed its highest point of ef-

ficiency and organization. The Agricultural College had in

it over 150 men and a large class was ready to graduateo

but when the June graduation arrived, not a single able-bodied

man remained and many of those who were physically unfit had

found some excuse or some means of getting to the front.

During th war our whole institution was turned over to the



War Departaent and it was conducted a a war college. Our
prafesora, some of whom had spent as naih a SB yeirs ia
their specialties, were assigned to classes with which they
had not been fa liar for two or three doeades, It was re-
gnitsed that the young men who were preparing themselves for
the 'defense of the country needed training other than that ef
agriculture. ImEndiately after the clon of the war, roe
organisation had to take place. This meant a very seritos
and difficult radjuatwent. The students and professors
alike hav borne this astuation with the greatest of fortitude
and have made exceptional progress,
Ladies and go tl~aen, this is the tirr of
readjustment, realtgoent and the beginning of s' new erPa
whether we recisnise it or twether we., do not recognize it,
changes and progress will go on as inexorably as if .a
understood the operation. We will never sea the same old
world again as we had it five years ago. Many of us of the
old r generation cannot accept the situation and we are
still fandly clinging to the ideals of the paste
The young mn who have graduated fra
Agricultural College have given an unruually god acaetnt of
themselves, They have been firemr t ~l war# foremost in
pee9 a: foremost in the development of the agricultural
sciences. They are net yet old enough to have made omene
than local records but they are already being hnard from
and in another de ad will be among the leaders of the
asothl not of the Nationen



The second division of the Agricultural

College devotes its entire time to investigational work.

This is usually smasaxsy known as the Experiment Station.

It was established in 1888 by a fund set aside by the Fed-

eral Government for the use of the Agricultural College for

the purpose of acquiring and disseminating useful agricultural

information. This is a trust fund ($30,000) received annually

from the Federal Government, administered entirely by the

State, the only condition being that it be spent in accordance

with the requirements of the law. Annually a Federal Inspec-

tor is sent to the various states to determine and inquire

whether the state is carrying out the requirements of the law

in the expenditure of this trust fund.

You will notice that the bacis condition is

that of acquiring and disseminating useful agricultural know-

ledge; knowledge that is already had cainxa no longer be ac.

quired, consequently the Experiment Station must be inquiring

into unknown fields for the sake of discovering in them useful

agricultural information. The law further specifies that

this information shall be disseminated by means of bulletins

and annual reports. The Florida Experiment Station has pub-

lished 158 bulletins, 321 press bulletins and 31 annual reports,

this being 38 bulletins, 321 press bulletins aheqd of the re-


There are many important discoveries made by
and the -nole of o vhe of isch hasto the
the Experiment Station SQ been dissemiinated to the


people of the State. Much of this information is so patent'
at the resent time that the .a"eae .farmer x~en little dreams
S and cmis in.atIng of the Knowledge of
that thirty years ago 'it was unknown, The discovery otAhe
as saving
fungi parasite upon the whitefly alone lmsCsa:ed the citrus

growers of the State some$3,000,000 annually.

There is only'one Florida. Florida was the
MaaEy State in which the velvet bean was voown. The Florida

Experiment Station had to work alone and single handed in the
its feeding value and its limitations
testing out of kk a ixKap As late as 15 years ago, the crop of

velvet beans was not considered of sufficient importance to justify

its being listed by the Bureau of Crop Estimates, The value of

the crop for the present year is something over $3,000,000 to say

nothing of the 4,000,000 acres of velvet beans that are grown in

the southern states. Fifteen years ago only one variety

of velvet bean was known to the United States; it was the old

Florida Speckled. The introduction and breeding of the new

velvet beans when written out in full, reads more interestingly

than a romance. The velvet bean crop has become so important

to the south that large quantities of them ate being transported

as dairy feed to New England. In some cases it has become so
in fertilizer formulae
abundant as to have been used/in the place of other fertilizer

materials to obtain ammonia for plant food.

One of the mo t recent discoveries made by the

Experiment Station has been brought out in connection with its

studies of the soft pork problem. In this the Animal Industria-

list, by taking samples of fat before the feeding was begun


taking Mother sample at the end of 42 days and a third sample

at the close of the feeding period was able to discover ex-

actly what changes took place in the melting point of the fat

of the various animals Director Duggar of the Alabama Exr

periment Station in a lecture before the Livestock Roundup,

pronounced it the most important advance that had been made in

soft pork studies in the last 25 years.

The third division of the A'gricultural College
of which I wish to speak is the Agricultural Extension Division.
passage of the
This was established in 1914 as a result of the/Smith-Lever

Act. The Emith-Lever Act appropriated to the Land Grant

Colleges, certain amounts of money, aportioned among the states

in proportion to the total rural population of the United

States. Under this grant, Florida receives this year $43,515.89

provided the State of Florida will match the $43,515,89 with

$35,515.89 additional to be used for the same purpose. The

Smith-Lever law specifies that this money shall be used only

for instruction in Agriculture and home Iconomics by demonstra-

tion or otherwise, to people not resident at the College.

I will not burden you with various details

as to what is prmissible and what is not permissible in the

expenditure of this fund. You are all however, perFeabry

familiar with the county agent and the home demonstration agent

as they occur in Florida and in every other state in the Union.

No where in the world has any government, at any time, been as
liberal and as far sighted in its development of agriculture


as has the United States with the appropriations made for the

agricultural extension act. The Director of the Extension work

is made responsible for the carrying out of the provision of

the act and the workingg out of the details of the plans in the

State. In Florida we have entered into a cooperative arrange-

ment with the State College for .'omen and also with the negro

college for carrying out the general plans as proposed in the

Smith-Lever Acto Under the provision of the Act we have been

able to employ 30 county agents and 30 home demonstration agents,

in as -ainy different counties. The conditions of the employs

meant in a county is that the county will vote a certain amount

of funds to carry this work on in their respective counties.

These county agents and home demonstration agents and the various

specialists working in this organization, bring the messages of

the latest scientific discoveries in agriculture dire tly from

the Department rf Agriculture at Cashington and fri the Agri-

cultural College at Gainesville to the farm home T: e men

carry the scientific discoveries law to the farmers and the

woMen the scientific discoveries dire -tly to the women, F'hen

you remember that theA county agents last year addressed an

audience of over thirty thousand people, wrote 26,000 official

letters, to say nothing of having traveled a distance equal to

ten times around the world, you will get a somewhat comprehensive

idea of the activities of the County agent. The home demon-

stration agents have been no less active in their undertakings.

The distance traveled by the home demonstration agents was


somewhat less than that traveled by the county agent, but the

number of people in attendance on their lee ures ras more than

20 percent great W More than 1,300,000 contairers were

filled wittHi-juits and vegetables and over 8,000 women enrolled

in the dsnonstration classes, with over 4,000 girls enrolled

in the girls classes. I should like to continue to give you

many more figures, but figures become tedious and meaningless

when too great. multiplied. I r:ant however, to irprews upon

your ,iind the trcrr;enduous value that the county agent and home

denmonstrp. ion i -ent ie to the state of Florida.

nieu I loo at the various count-7 fairs that

I visit. ajd even when I vi t the State Pair, I ca.-ot help

but ac.0'ire the : on.- rful kik pluck of these agents in getting

up the rasgnifIcert e-xhibi.ts. :.More progress has been iade in

agricultural exhibit. line in the Inst ten years than there

was mad in-r: the previous tLy years. I know because I

have attended practioall.r all the fairs that was wcrth the

while tlat have been held in Florida since 1891.

However, I must not tell you too much about

the women's work in this cooperation extension work, as Miss

Partridge is to come on this program and give her entire

attention to the cooperative extension work in home economics.


Your Agricultural College is entrusted with the

responsibility of training our young agricultural leaders of

the future. She has already trained many of these who Pre
our present day leaders.


your Agrioultural College thbu the Experlment Statict is
entrusted with the duties of delving into the mysteries

of nature And by scientific and exact iaethods wringing from

her tlhe seorats which she holds to mnke a more glorious and
greater State*.
Your Agricultural College is entrusted with *

the duties of carrying scientificc aid exact informatloi to

all of the agricultural people of the Stn.-te. It is a big
task, far beyond the possibility of the present force to
accomplAsh, but we are doing aPgreat work, and it is very

greatly appreciated.
Your agriculturall College has bren unfairly

treated by the recent legislature when it comes to means of

support, I will not dwell upon this point at this time, but

want everyone of you to stand Fquarrely behind the EducEational
Committee and give them all the support you are capable of.

They have studies this question and are devoting themselves

to the task of presenting and passing the educational budget
without Peward and at their own expense*

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