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It is in accordance with these views, that the agricultural department, in the University of Albany has commenced operations during the present winter. As the department has already excited attention, and its plan has been commended by some influential members of your society, it may not be improper for me to say a few words relative to it here. This is a private enterprize, founded on account of a strong conviction of its absolute necessity. We commence, this winter, with three months courses, on Scientific and Practical Agriculture, on Geology and Mineralogy, and on Entomology, in its agricultural relations. By another season it is proposed to add courses on the Anatomy and Pathology of Domestic Animals, on Veterinary Surgery, and on the Mechanics of Agriculture. In this way it is designed that we shall gradually enlarge as the wants of the community increase; being untrammelled in any way, and feeling carefully in advance every step of progress, we hope to move forward steadily, surely and as rapidly as the demand for instruction shall increase. We intend no system of endowments, but to rely on our own exertions to secure and retain the patronage that we desire. We propose, however, to establish a system of free scholarships by the aid of the State, or of societies, whereby large numbers of free students may be sent from all parts of the State. Suppose, for instance, that the six courses, which we hope to establish by the next winter, should be attended by two or three young men from each representative district in the State, what an influence might be expected from those young men when they have gone out again into their respective sections. Then, too, with so many at work in accordance with scientific principles, this obscure subject of a model farm will begin to clear up, and we shall, each year, see, more distinctly, what it is that we really want. I would propose to begin with that also, moderately and cautiously, on a small scale, to feel our way and make no mistakes, to add acre by acre, department after dapartment, just as it is needed, and so gradually and safely to grow toward a perfect institution. I would rather begin at the bottom of the ladder and go up, holding on tight at every round, than begin at or near the top, where there would be danger that if I stepped at all it would be downward. I insist, more strongly,
upon this matter, for the reason that as one who attempts to teach science, I have found the tendency of practical men toward distrust. If I make one mistake and they catch me in it, they will remember it longer and talk over it more, than twenty instances of success. There is nothing that an old practical farmer will chuckle over with so much satisfaction as the detection of one whom he considers a theorist, in some blunder. In the first class that I taught in New Haven, I discovered, during my recitations, that some of the farmers boys were setting traps for me by asking the reasons for certain practical methods of proceeding. If they could have made me go into a scientific explanation of something which was to be referred to more common place or common sense reasons, they would have been highly satisfied. This is the danger in commencing any agricultural institution. If, in the outset, it makes glaring mistakes, the confidence of the farming community will be shaken, and its return will be slow and unwilling. It is for such reasons that I desire to proceed cautiously.
Now it is necessary to guard ourselves, here, against misconstruction. We do not oppose, in any way, the aims of those who are advocating the establishment of a State School. The subject has been before the community and the Legislature for years, but, no definite practical action has, as yet, been the result. I believe that the people of the State have been, for years, ready to embrace any satisfactory plan that might be presented, but nothing has yet met with their full approbation. I do not know what movements are in contemplation this year, or what success may attend them ; but this I know, that, could such an establishment be founded on a proper scale, furnished with competent teachers, and adapted to the wants of our farmers, no one would more heartily hail its success than myself.
My own views I have stated, and those who do not agree with them entirely, may still, consistently, aid in the present enterprise. Even if any bill with reference to a State School should be passed at the present session of the Legislature, the preliminaries of loca
tion, selection of teachers, arrangement of buildings, and the thousand details inseparable from the commencement of so great an establishment, would inevitably occupy several years more. In the mean time you will have growing facilities here, such as have never before been offered in this country. You have the opportunity here, by your encouragement and support, as individuals, and as a society, to establish at a comparatively trifling expense, another great agricultural institution. I am not in the habit of boasting, but it is my firm belief, that, with very moderate aid from the State, or from societies, with a fraction of the sums that have been bestowed upon some of your small colleges, five years from this time, will see an Agricultural Department of the University of Albany, that will draw its students from every State in the Union, that will speedily revolutionize the agricultural practice of the Empire State. If, during that period, a great State School can also be established, so much the better. I do not fear hurting farmers by too much of the right kind of education, and two such institutions could co-operate with high mutual advantage.
Your society, gentlemen, is one to which I always turn first, as the body which is to sustain every effort of true science, and I look forward, with increasing hope, to its future development. As it grows and expands, embracing within its field, all departments of science and practice, encouraging every improvement, stimulating every effort of industry, appreciating the true and useful, frowning upon the false and worthless, what may we not expect from it. The character of the farmer in this State and in other states, has already been elevated by your upward movement. NewYork stands unmistakeably in advance, and, if she will, may retain her proud pre-eminence. To accomplish this, you, her citizens and members of this society, have only to honor in heart and action, the principle of your own motto “ Excelsior." Higher must be the aim of every heart, so long as it beats to the breath of life. Obstacles to all progress may and will interpose, but they are made to be overcome; discouragements and delays are to be expected, but with a little patience they will pass away. Perseverance for the present, and hope for the future, will enable
us to gradually accomplish what now may seem impossible. No one can estimate, in advance, the increased enjoyment of daily life, the increased self-respect and pride of profession, which true knowledge always imparts, and it is a high and noble office to stand as this society, and this State now does, with the power of throwing the light of scientific education over its whole broad territory, it is even a great thing to be permitted to appear before such a body as this, the advocate of such a cause. The responsibility is great, but the end in view is also great ; and we are now acting not for ourselves alone, but for succeeding generations. We are laying the foundations of a new system, almost as distinctly as did our far sighted forefathers, when they placed universal primary education and the Bible side by side, as guiding principles, and objects for the nation that was to people these then desolate and trackless wilds. We are now called upon to take another step in the march of time's changes, and shall we hesitate when once we see the path open before us? It is for the vast majority of our people that we exert our strength; it is on the plowshare and not on the sword that we lay our hand; it is on the side of mental and moral purity and elevation that we labor.
The address was listened to with great interest; and on motion of Judge Cheever, of Saratoga, the thanks of the Society were tendered to Prof. Norton, for his able and eloquent address, and he was requested to furnish a copy for publication in the Transactions of the Society.
Mr. Glover's prepared specimens of Fruits. Mr. Solon Robinson offered a resolution, that the Society expend
hundred dollars for a perfect collection of all the fruits and vegetables grown in the State of New-York, to be prepared by Mr. Townend Glover. Mr. Prentice thought that was a matter which should be left with the Executive Committee, and that the Society commend it to the attention of the committee. Mr. P. Barry seconded the motion of Mr. Robinson.
Mr. Johnson suggested it might be proper to refer it to the Executive Committee. He stated that when in attendance at the World's Fair, and while in Europe, he had seen the specimens on exhibition at the Crystal Palace, and when in Paris, those of Mons. Vilmorin, a distinguished cultivator, but none of them were, in his opinion, equal to those prepared by Mr. Glover. His samples display more artistic skill, and are of great value. He trusted that they would be secured for the Museum of the Society, as models for reference hereafter. Mr. Barry corroborated this statement. He thought Mr. Glover had done more than any other man in this art.
After considerable discussion, by Messrs. L. F. Allen, Judge Cheever and L. G. Morris, the Executive Com. were desired to employ Mr. Glover to prepare specimens, to be classified and named by a committee; the Society adjourned to meet at the Agricultural Rooms, at 10 A. M. the 22d.
THURSDAY, 22d. The Society met at the Agricultural Rooms. The committee made their reports, and the following awards were made:
AWARD OF PREMIUMS.
MANAGEMENT OF FARMS. 1. Premium, N. & E. S. Hayward, Brighton, Monroe county, Silver pitcher, value $50. 2. McCulloch & Kirtland, Cantonment Farm, Greenbush, Rensselaer county, Silver cup, value $30. 3. Albert G. Ford, Fairfield, Herkimer county, (dairy farm,) Silver cup, value $20. Sherman L. Wattles, Sidney Center, Delaware county, 6 vols. Transactions. J. B. Morse, Cazenovia, Madison county, 6 vols. Transactions.
DAIRY BUILDINGS FOR CHEESE DAIRIES.
Moses Eames, Rutland, Jefferson county, $25. Paris Barber, Homer, Cortland county, $25.
EXPERIMENTS IN DRAINING.
1. John Johnston, Seneca county, Silver cup, value $30. 2. T. G. Yeomans, Wayne county, cup, value $20