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should agree; have they established any rule for the benefit and guidance of those who live in other sections ? none whatever. They have given no analysis of their soils, no reliable data as to the character of the climate, of the particular season or seasons in which they experimented, of changes in temperature, of variations in different seasons, or as to many other points, all of which are important, and any one of which may have had a controlling influence in success or failure, as it is recorded in the report. The third person, then, without due knowledge of the points to which the others may possibly have attended, follows their directions, such as they are, and very probably under different circumstances produces quite different results, and so it goes all over the country. The practical men who hear me, know this to be the case, they are many of them, doubtless, able to call to memory cases of misdirected and useless energy in experimenting, which under proper guidance might have produced important effects. In addition to these sources of imperfection, I may also mention carelessness, and forgetfulness. The constant occupation of time in the daily affairs of the farm, in the absence of any definite rules, leads directly to a gradual cessation of watchfulness and care. In the latter part of the season, when the first excitement of novelty is over, this is particularly apt to be the case, and a few hours of neglect may ruin all the season's efforts at discovery.
In view of this state of things, I maintain that the only hopeful way of advancing knowledge by means of experiment, is to be found in the establishment of certain definite rules, for the strict guidance of all experimenters. Meteorological, and other scientific observations, are conducted year after year in perfect concert over the whole world, by independent observers stationed at fixed points. These observers act in accordance with positive rules, and instructions, furnished them, and any deviation at once throws discredit upon all of the offender's results. In this way are procured whole volumes of valuable material, which when condensed and compared, often produces discoveries of the highest character, and reveals practical truths of the most valuable nature. Would not a wide spread Union of this nature, among our most intelli.
gent and cultivated farmers, be conducive to the advancement of agricultural science. Suppose they all acted in accordance with instructions from some central point, bringing into view as these instructions would lead them to do, all incidental circumstances of climate, soil and situation ; what remarkable results might we not expect from such a united effort, even among the farmers of this State alone. It would all to a certain extent become a great experimental farm. We should have all climates, soils, exposures, aud peculiarities of location, before us at a glance. There might also be a central experimental farm, for the making of strictly scientific experiments, for the training up of new observers, for the central point to which all other results should be sent, there to be made most speedily intelligible and practically valuable. It has appeared to me that such a scheme, properly carried out in all of its details, might prove eminently successful. It is not offered here as more than a partially made out plan, and because a purely experimental farm does not interfere with any pet project as to a model farm. The two could moreover be connected with most decisive mutual advantages, even under the same general supervision. I might go on for hours, in detailing instances of the peculiar difficulties which in the present state of things, beset the path of every farmer, who commences an earnest course of improvement. How many and how perplexing they are, no one can know who has not had some actual experience, or some rather extensive opportunities of observation. There are so many questions coming up in the progress of every day's practical operations, questions that require study and perseverance to obtain an answer, that many become discouraged at the outset, and fall back into the old state of contentment with things as they are, rather than undergo the mental labor necessary to a change. This disinclination to mental exertion, on points connected with their own business, is a char, acteristic of many of our farmers. To bodily toil they have no objections, and could scientific agriculture be brought out of the soil by hard knocks and deep plowing, it would have been placed above ground, and hung up for examination, long ago. This disinclination must be overcome, before we can proceed rapidly; the farmer must see and fully appreciate the superior power of the
head, as compared with the hand. A man who can neither read nor write may possess the most remarkable dexterity in all the operations of manual labor; he may be a Hercules in strength, an Apollo in form, may be envied and flattered for his mechanical skill, yet after all he has but refined, by the aid of such mental qualities as he posesses, upon the properties and faculties of the mere animal; and the veriest deformed, weak and distorted cripple, who has improved the powers of his mind, will have absolute control and direction over the labors of five hundred like him.
This is a principle which, as it seems to me, should be carefully fixed in the mind of every young farmer: remember that the inprovement of the mind should be a great and important object of your life. Pay all due attention to manual labor, no one need be ashamed or afraid of the marks of honest toil, but a man need not for all that insist, as many have done, upon, as it were, rubbing the dirt into his immortal soul, and continuing all his life a mere day laborer. Work as hard and as long as you will, but remember that any uncultivated savage can do the same, and after a little practice almost equally well—your superiority to him is in the cultivation of the intellect, and should you not, in place of shrinking from this and considering it as a disagreeable task, look upon it as your highest privilege ? Every item of real knowledge that you can acquire relative to your own business, gained, too, very possibly in a few moments, may be more productive in the way of mere pecuniary gain, than the hardest day or week's work that you ever did. You will find, too, that the applications of knowledge to your profession, are far more practical than you have supposed, and as you proceed, will discover that nearly all of the difficulties which now oppress the farmer may be referred more or less directly to a want of real scientific knowledge. This is true in every department, and in every operation, from the most important, to the most trivial, from the highest to the lowest. In all methods of fertilizing and improving the soil, in rotation and selection of crops, in feeding the animal, in bringing farm products into a condition fit for market, the aid of science is not only important but indispensable to the most advantageous prosecution of
agriculture. From the plow to the ripened grain, from the complicities of the animal frame, through all the operations of the dairy, science has followed or led the farmer's steps with advantage. It is true, that at first he sneered at the idea of any aid, except from hands as strong, and a face as sun-burned as his own; but time has only brought out another instance of my position that knowledge is true power, that the hand must be guided by the head. As a body, the people of this State are evidently becoming fully convinced that such is the fact, and are meditating seriously upon the means of improvement that are, or may be brought within their reach. You have already in this State, in the leading members of this Society for example, numerous instances of what perseverance in sagacious and intelligent improvement may do, but after all, individuals scattered here and there over a great community, can make but comparatively slow progress in removing prejudice, and inculcating sound practice. The change in this State has probably been more marked and rapid than any agricultural community ever before witnessed, and yet how much is left to be done. Those who come to your great shows, where so much, of enterprise and intelligence is visible, where so many are interested in all that is progressive and valuable, might think that the work was done, that the function of this great and powerful Society was fulfilled; but those of you who look deeper than the surface, know that this is not the true condition of things. That multitude, great as it is, represents but a fraction of your population, and even those who come together there, soon begin to feel how insufficient are now such valuable opportunities, to slake that strong thirst for knowledge which they begin to feel. They want something else, something which will enable them better to appreciate and profit by all these advantages, something which will bring all their floating and detached items of information into compactness and system, which will enable them to proceed steadily and understandingly in the march of improvement; they want in short, a system of education expressly adapted to their necessities.
This may seem to some of you a trite assertion, and it is certainly one that has often been repeated within the past few years, but still until we see some definite and decided action in accordance with its principles, you must make up your minds to hear it again and again. The great difficulty now seems to be, to arrive at anything decisive; there have been so many and such different plans, so many theories of education to satisfy, and so many practical wants to supply, that the result has been uncertainty and delay. Now in my opinion, the time for farther delay has passed by; while we are debating, the State is losing in actual wealth, its young men are growing up in the old habits, and all forms of improvement are but slowly finding their way among us. Public sentiment too is ripe for a change, and it demands such a change more and more loudly, and in my opinion the time has come for action. The question you will ask is, what shall this action be? My own views upon this subject have been formed by several years of experience in teaching agricultural science, and in watching its effects upon the minds of those to whom instruction was communicated. My conclusion has been, that the first point to be aimed at, is the firm establishment of certain great leading principles in the mind of the student. With regard to the applications of chemistry, geology, animal and vegetable physiology, to agriculture, I hold that there are clear and beautiful principles which may be firmly impressed, and perfectly, understood, in a comparatively short time, even by a few months course of lectures, provided sufficient pains are taken to connect thorough recitations and examinations with the public exercises. This can be done without expensive machinery of any kind, and should, as I believe, be the first step. I fully agree with the expediency and necessity of also establishing a model and experimental farm, but would let this as requiring more expense, and more preparatory detail, follow and not lead. First impress the principles, and everything else will come in naturally. If certain great leading facts, relative to the management and cultivation of the soil, could be well understood by every farmer in our State, it would increase the value of real estate to an amount that we are at present unable to estimate.