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REPORT OF THE SECRETARY
STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE.
LANSING, December 31, 1875.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY JOHN J. BAGLEY, Governor of the State of Michigan:
In compliance with legal requisitions, the accompanying Report for the year 1873, with supplementary papers, is respectfully submitted.
WILLIAM H. MARSTON, Secretary of the Michigan State Board of Agriculture.
STATE AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE.
GOVERNOR BAGLEY'S MESSAGE.
The Governor's message to the Legislature, January, 1873, under the title of "Education," had the following paragraphs. Although the remarks on the necessity of progress, of libraries, and apparatus has more immediate reference to the University, which as the older and larger institution has a just precedence, yet the observations are as applicable to one institution as the other:
"Our State educational institutions again present their biennial budget of needs for your consideration. The University, unlike most of its sister institutions of other States, has no endowment from private sources. It is dependent on the good sense, the enlightened judgment, and the general desire for education, of the people of the State; and to them it looks with the confident belief that its past history, its capacity for future good, its open doors for all who seek admission, will induce them to deal liberally with it in the future as it has done in the past.
"There can be no such thing as a mere passive existence to such an institution. It must progress or it must die. It must keep step with the advancement of the age, the requirements of the quickened intellect of its time, and the growing demand for a varied education. Its Faculty should be paid better salaries, its apparatus should be improved, and its library largely increased. In short, it should be furnished with all the appliances to enable it to give its twelve hundred students the best of everything that kindred institutions offer, and that a liberal, practical education requires. This the University cannot do with its present means; and to accomplish it, the appropriations will need to be liberally increased. The Agricultural College, in its sphere, and with a much smaller number of students, is a co-worker with the University, and has a proportionate demand upon your considerate attention. Its Trustees and Faculty are laboring with earnestness and zeal to increase its usefulness, and enlarge its power for good. By its system of labor and study combined, it offers to all, without expense, a liberal, practical collegiate education. The attendance is not so large as its merits as an educational institution deserve.
"There is an education that our schools, University, or Agricultural Colleges do not yet offer, which we need and should have; and that is a practical technical education, that will fit men and women to grapple with life as they find it,-earnest, laborious, and real. We should have somewhere, either in the University or Agricultural College, a School of Technology. Both of these institutions are accomplishing more in this direction than many of the colleges of the country; but they cannot, with their present facilities and appliances, fill this want existing in our educational system. No State in the Union needs, more than ours, educated farmers, mechanics, manufacturers, architects, engineers, chemists, etc. Our forests and fields, our mines and railroads, our manufacturing and agricultural interests, all require the services of educated skill in their development and management, and offer to all as remunerative employment, honorable career, and ultimate success, as what are called the "learned professions.
"Yet, with this vast field of labor inviting our young men to enter in and take possession, a very large majority of them seek these "learned professions" instead, chiefly because our system of education, from the home to the University, has pointed in that direction; also, because we have had no institution in which they could pursue a purely technical and scientific course of study.
"Might not the Agricultural College, with its munificent endowment from the General
Government, be made to fill this vacancy, and be enabled to furnish this much needed education, combining the study of agriculture with that of mechanics, engineering and manufacturing, chemistry and mining, architecture and designing, and eventually give to the State a band of practical, scientific workers, fitted and ready to take hold of the world's work, with courage and skill ?"
Governor Bagley's recommendation of a liberal policy towards the educational institutions was warmly seconded by the press of the State. The Detroit Tribune commenting on the message, said: "The inaugural message warmly urges a liberal policy towards our State institutions, and we heartily endorse its strong and emphatic utterances. Michigan's educational, reformatory, and eleemosynary institutions are jewels which combine to crown her with a rare diadem, and they cannot be guarded or cherished too carefully. We do not favor extravagance in this matter, but in all outlays in this direction generosity is an attribute of true economy. Mr. Bagley's recommendation of the addition of a School of Technology to the Agricultural College strikes us favorably, and its feasibility deserves careful investigation."
The Free Press commenting on the message of Governor Bagley said: "On the subject of education the message exhibits a commendable desire on the part of the Governor to foster our educational institutions, and to increase their usefulness. We trust that his recommendations for adding to the facilities now possessed by the University and Agricultural College for giving practical technical instruction will be favorably received. We have long been of the impression that very much more might be done in this regard than is now done, especially at the Agricultural College."
By an act approved March 18, 1873, the Legislature made a liberal appropriation for improvements at the Agricultural College. Eighteen thousand dollars were appropriated for dwelling-houses for the President and two professors, eight thousand to erect a greenhouse, three thousand seven hundred and sixty-four dollars for the improvement of buildings and grounds at the College, and one thousand four hundred and forty dollars for the Library and Chemical apparatus of the College, amounting altogether to $15,602.00 for each of the two years 1873 and 1874.
There were also appropriated the sum of $15,000,00 for current expenses and ordinary permanent improvements for the year 1873, and $13,000.00 for the year 1874.
These sums were appropriated with but little opposition on the part of the House and Senate,-there having been but few remarks against it in the Senate, and none whatever in the House. The vote in the Senate stood: For the appropriation, 24; against, 1; excused, 1. In the House of Representatives the final vote was as follows: For the appropriation, 67; against it, 21.
The appropriation was all that the Board asked for, and was unusually large. The College had been for years accustomed to ask for the least sum that could carry it on with respectability and enable it to accommodate the students that resorted to it. The sums asked for have for many years been granted to it without cutting down.
Up to this date (Dec. 31, 1873), most of the special appropriations remain unexpended. A contract has been entered into with F. A. Lord of Irvington, N. Y., for the erection of a greenhouse. Preparations have been made for entering the next year upon improvements of grounds and drives, after plans of a