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physical with intellectual education, and shall be a high seminary of learning, in which the graduate of the common school can commence, pursue and finish a course of study, terminating in thorough theoretic and practical instruction in those sciences and arts which bear directly upon agriculture and kindred industrial pursuits. The course of instruction shall embrace the English language and literature, mathematics, civil engineering, agricultural chemistry, animal and vegetable anatomy and physiology, the veterinary art, entomology, geology, and such other natural sciences as may be prescribed, technology, political, rural and household economy, horticulture, moral philosophy, history, book-keeping, and especially the application of science and the mechanic arts to practical agriculture in the field. ** A full course of study in the institution shall embrace not less than four years.'


The course of study has been made to meet the requirements of the law so far as its limited means allow. At the same time students are received for instruction in such studies as they shall select, so that virtually there are shorter courses.


The sciences have a place very properly in professional schools. The student not only desires to know what to do, and how to do it, but also why? The mind prompts to the inquiry after the reasons, so far as they are known, and to speculation where actual knowledge is lacking. Out of this curiosity science arises and is furthered.

The surveyor studies geometry, although he could do ordinary surveying as most persons do, without understanding it; the navigator usually manages his vessel according to rules, but he would often be more competent to his work if he understood astronomy, trigonometry, and physical geography.

It has sometimes been doubted whether agriculture is yet well enough understood to make a knowledge of the sciences of chemistry and botany and vegetable physiology of any great value to him. We know how to do many things, do we know why? We understand the value of rotation of crops in general culture. Does chemistry throw any light upon the reasons? It must be owned that the causes at work in agricultural operations are mostly, as yet, mysterious in their working, and that agriculture is but barely entitled to the name of a science. To know what to do and how to do we have to look away from the sciences to the practice of those who are successful farmers. We may visit and talk with them upon their lands, we may see their communications to the papers, we may take the treatises in which the rules of the art have been collected and classified, and it is only by these methods that agriculture is to be learned.

Still the sciences have their uses. It is the desire of thoughtful men to investigate the conditions of growth, and to change the condition of agriculture from that of an empirical art into the nobler one of a science, founded on known principles. They only can aid in this work who have a knowledge of the several sciences out of which agriculture comes.

Agriculture as a routine practice changes. It is not East what it is West. It calls for modifications according to variations of climate, of implements used, of the demands of the markets. One whose knowledge is purely that of routine might be a model to-day, and in the back ground to-morrow. A knowledge of science will enable the farmer to understand the discussions that are going on. The unscientific readers of papers, however generally intelligent, cannot understand these discussions if they involve any accurate knowledge of the sciences. But with such knowledge he can keep up with the discoveries science is making, and find out their applications to his business. A young man who has made the technical terms and principles of any science familiar to himself has received the best of training in the art of observing, comparing, thinking. His present knowledge consisting of general facts in systematic arrangement, becomes the nucleus about which all he sees, or hears, or reads gathers in orderly array. Modifications in his practice are more easily adopted by him than by his neighbor who does not think.

But even now, science has taken so fair a hold of agriculture that a knowledge of botany, animal and vegetable physiology, entomology, chemistry, meteorology, and mechanics are of essential service to the thoughtful farmer. The relations of fertilizers to vegetable growth are beginning to be known, and chemical analysis to be profitable, and some light has been thrown on fattening processes, the action of soils upon soluble substances, and a variety of other things. Especially are new facts being elicited which admit of classification and useful application, and even now it will be found that scientific knowledge is one of the most valuable aids to the farmer. Science has always vindicated its practical nature. The astronomy that Socrates thought useless, rules the navigation of the world; the "swing-swangs" that were ridiculed in Hooker's time gave us the clock, and what seems more remote from our telegraphs than Galvani watching the contractions of the leg of a frog? Nothing is more practical than science.

For the continuance therefore of his education, but just begun at college, and for his best service to society, the student should be well trained in science. But neither student nor teacher should ever forget the agricultural aim in view. The teaching of the sciences should

be saturated, as it were, with the agricultural element, with illustrations drawn from the art, and constant applications of principles to the business of the farmer.

In brief then, the college should impart to the young farmer the elements of such instruction as makes a man and a citizen, should ground him in the sciences on which agriculture depends, should indoctrinate him in the best existing rules and practice of his art, should make him alive to its needs, acquainted with the theories, discussions, and experiments going on for its advancement, and fire him with enthusiasm to place his business on a par with those in which skill, intelligence, and thorough scientific preparation receive on all hands a due appreciation.


Practical agriculture is taught as an art, based on experience. The question asked is, what method of management will yield the greatest profit without the impoverishing of the soil? For an answer it goes to the best farmers of the neighborhood, the State, the world, and critically examines how they do. It takes account, of course, of climate, market, cost of labor. It attempts also to give the scholar a wider than a one years' view. It may show that a root' crop that does not pay so large returns one year as another in its place wou d do, may repay in the end, if labor can be put upon it, in the oxidation of the soil which its frequent stirring has promoted, or by the eradication of weeds. It may ask the student to try the effects of a mixed husbandry for a series of years with a succession of sudden changes, as from sheep to hops.

The instruction in given in a series of daily lessons for one half year, and another series of three a week for another half year. Lectures are sometimes given in the fields and barns. The farm now, for the first time since the students received it a wilderness to be cleared and subdued, furnishes an illustration of well-shaped and partially drained fields under a system of rotation of crops. The summer beauty of the farm, its almost entire freedom from weeds, its respectable crops, have elicited high praise from the farmers who have visited it. The stock, which a few years ago was wretched, has become good through a system of a sale of a few inferior for the means of purchasing a better animal.

The operations of horticulture, entomology embracing bee-keeping, the practice of drainage, of surveying, are all elucidated in lectures.

Agricultural chemistry comes in with its course of a half years' daily lectures, and includes dairying, and many other things less treated of in practical agriculture. From a new point of view it reviews much of the ground that practical agriculture goes over. Vegetable physiology, in charge of the professor of botany, does the same. We have as it were, three professors of agriculture, each in his separate field of labor.

Lying back of these is the science of chemistry in its purer form,-a course of lectures for a half year followed by three hours of daily work for another half year in the chemical laboratory, and by a half years' daily lectures in chemical physics and meteorology. By a half year, I mean an hour daily five days in the week for half a college year, which year is the same length of time with us as at the university, and at colleges generally.

Similarly botany, vegetable physiology, anatomy, physiology, entomology, geology, lie back of other instruction. Surely our course of study, considered as a whole, is sufficiently distinctive, and holds sufficiently close to the governing idea of an agricultural education.

The older institutions certainly show that little is to be hoped from them in the way of educating young men to be farmers. The department of agriculture in colleges and universities have not succeeded in obtaining students. Suppose that an experiment has been tried here which was found to increase the proportion of educated men that go to farming nearly forty-fold, would one not think that farmers would look upon it with favor and some pride? This is what the college and a few like it have done; they have made educated men to be good farmers in forty-fold greater proportion than any or all other colleges, and yet it hangs in doubt each two years whether a legislature of farmers will permit it to live or abandon it to die. Established primarily as a school for instruction, as a reading of the laws and discussions will show, it is looked upon with disfavor because it fails to do as rapidly as some farmers have hoped, some other things besides educating young men to be farmers.


Out of school like this will any graduates return to the farms? Does not manual labor seem ignoble to one whose early youth is given to the acquiring of knowledge and the discipline of mind? Will not the habit of hard and daily manual labor be over-difficult to attain after several years of its disuse?

From almost every quarter the answer comes that it is of no use to try. The prediction flew abroad that not one graduate in one hundred would ever work. Shortly the prediction took the form of a fact, and the newspapers reported that as a fact which was only what everybody predicted. You may read it now in the papers and journals from one end of the

country to the other. The graduates, they all say, are not farmers. failures.

The schools are all

I am sorry that farmers have joined this cry without waiting to see. For, look you, how dark is the picture? Had it come from examination of facts we might say the schools have been wrongly manged, but when it comes from an expectation, and is held to in spite of facts, it shows what the world thinks of labor and of farmers: that the one and the business of the other is in some way inconsistent with a high education.

This is the way the case was put two years ago in a communication of an educated man to a paper of this State. He says the college is a failure because "nineteen out of every twenty who graduate there never follow agricultural pursuits." He assigns a reason: "And why? Because when a man's brain is educated up to a point where it can provide for the wants of the body without muscular aid it will do it every time in spite of all the sophistry and poetry which can be thrown around the life of toil of a farmer."

This is a gloomy reason that forever confines farming as a business to an illiterate class. It is a reason that debars progress forever, and puts a distance forever widening between farmers and others.


The remedy for this abandonment of the farms is not easy to find. Gov. Seymour of New York, in a long conversation with me, endeavored to impress on my mind the necessity that young men should learn how to make their homes attractive by inexpensive landscape gar dening, planting of trees, arrangement of shrubs, and the like. He showed by full illustrations that rural taste survives, and affords a genuine pleasure to extreme old age. Others dwell on the necessity of that intelligence and culture among farmers that shall insure them a higher social position.


It seems to me that there is little hope of returning students from a college to a farm in any considerable numbers, if they are permitted to pass their college years without manual labor. I think I see in the retaining of habits of daily manual labor, in the interest which studies and labor may be made to shed upon each other, the beginning of the remedy for this abandonment of the farm by young educated men. It certainly does not lie in the fact that the occupation of a farmer does not afford scope for thought, and a field for the employment of the largest fund of knowledge. Except in the more constant contact with other men, ordinary trades and manufactures and commerce offer no such delights for the man of taste as those that the farmer is privileged to enjoy; the labor is not harder, and is more varied; and the profits compare well with the average returns for any kind of labor. But labor has not received due honor.

Man is the creature of habit, and the customs of the world are against receiving an education and then farming. The college has tried to withstand these tendencies, and one of its best means is its labor system.


The following are the principle features of the labor system as existing at the Michigan State Agricultural College:

1. All the students labor, except when exempt on account of physical disability. This is the requirement of the law of the State, which also prescribes the time,-three hours daily,as a general rule. I attach much importance to this rule. The agricultural colleges of Maine and Iowa have nearly similar provisions. Massachusetts requires six hours manual labor a week, excepting however one-third of each year, and still one other third of the senior year, when no labor is required. The other colleges require no labor, but several of them furnish it when applied for. It is sometimes asked why it is not as well to let students labor or not as they may choose. So far as the labor is requisite in order that they should know how to do things, they might as well be excused from the practice of surveying, and of chemical analysis, as of farm and garden work. Very much they can indeed learn at home, if they come from farms;-some do not come from farms;-and many things are done here that may not be done on ordinary farms.

But there is much in the atmosphere of a place that determines the habits of those that resort to it. Certain colleges are noted for certain characteristics of its students. If a student goes into a college where almost none work, he will be apt to do as others do, if he can. If the general aspect of the institution is one that looks toward the professions and literature, the ordinary young man will turn his face and bend his steps in the same direction.

An agricultural college should exert a different tendency. For this reason it should be separate from other schools where labor is not required. Labor should be demanded of all that its good influences in maintaining habits of daily labor, taste for rural pursuits, and im

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parting skill, should be general, and create the proper feeling towards it, in all who are connected with it.

I believe this object has been accomplished at the college. I listen to the orations of seniors and juniors who are permitted a large freedom ip what they advocate. I mingle with them at their work, and I have never known students study books in any institution with greater general faithfulness than they labor here, and the way of speaking of labor is appreciative, and honorable alike to students and the institution.

2. The regular hours of labor are from one to four o'clock each afternoon, except on Saturdays when it is furnished only on request. As a matter of fact, five-sixths of the students do request it. This arrangement leaves the entire forenoon for study and classes, and gives time for complete rest after labor before the study of the evening.

Some years ago the students were divided into three divisions, the first division going to their work immediately after breakfast, a second division at the end of three hours, and a third in the afternoon.

The present plan gives a better part of the day to study, when the mind is fresh. Three hours' work, which a mature man would not mind, is a tax on the vital energies of an immature, growing boy, that is apt to render him sleepy or inert afterwards. The plan enables us to work the boys more in groups under proper leaders and officers. Some of the students are unaccustomed to work, many are young, and it is essential to their good habits, as a general rule, here as in everything else, that they do their work under the lead of some one who knows how to do it. The arrangement of lectures and work under this system is more readily made.

The change was made years ago. It was explained to a committee of the House of Representatives, and the additional cost of the plan was shown. It was approved by them, and by many succeeding committees, and has worked with us much better than the other plan. 3. The officers of the college work with the students, and personally superintend the work. It is a matter of my personal knowledge that the professor of agriculture, and the professor of horticulture go out to the three hours daily work with quite the same regularity as the students, and stay through the three hours. There are besides, two foremen on the farm, both excellent practical farmers, and a foreman on the gardens; and the foreman of the greenhouse, when not needed within the house, always works with the students outside. All these are part of the educational force of the institution. It is in this oversight and leadership that the pupil finds it to his educational advantage to work. To one who looks upon the college chiefly as a farm, and the students as so many hired men, this may seem a waste of force, but to any one acquainted with the demands of education it will not appear so. Efficient schools are those that are well supplied with competent instructors. The University has four professors and instructors in chemistry, and has I am certain none too many. Our farm is a large laboratory, where the students are scattered out of sight of each other, and busied with more various processes than go on within the walls of a chemical laboratory, and we too have none too many to look after the working habits and instruction of our pupils.

4. The labor of students is intimately connected with the subjects of their lessons. Lectures are not infrequently given in the fields, or yards where the stock is kept. The principles learned from books find their illustrations in the field or workshop; and on the other hand, what students observe while at labor stimulates them to the study of principles.

While the freshmen and seniors alternate between the farm and horticultural departments, the sophomores work the entire year on the farm, and the juniors on the garden. This gives the superintendents opportunity for somewhat of a more systematic instruction in the two departments, and enables the students to keep informed of a whole years' continuous plan in the two departments.

The teamsters emploved by the month do not labor where their work will forward farming operations most, but where they will make best preparation for the students' labor, and the labor of students is very varied. They help take care of the stock, they milk and feed the cattle, drive the teams, run the machinery of different sorts, plant, tend and harvest crops. Scarcely anything is regularly done by the hired help, except the main charge of cattle is with the herdsman, whom the students assist, and the care of horses is with hired men chiefly. The improving work is done in good quantity by the students themselves, and especial care is taken to make the labor various. Students are not kept at the labor they can do best, but are changed from one kind of work to another. Besides these farming operations they do surveying, and platting, they graft and bud, they often have special plats of some vegetables under individual charge, they repair tools, and make fences and gates. They lay out and construct drains and repair buildings. The piggery is almost entirely their work, so is the inside work of the horse barn, and the fitting up of the windmill.

Such a system as this differs essentially from that of a simple manual labor school which (as is often stated) have always been failures.

Do students shirk their work? But very little. Never more than students are accus

tomed to shirk lessons here or elsewhere. Most of them are accustomed to work on entering; most of them need the 7 or 74 cents an hour allowed for faithful labor. The variety of kinds of work, the relation of it to their studies, the presence and interest of their instructors, serve to interest them in what they do. The best scholars are usually the best workers.


Pay how? or what? This is a college, and everything pays that is not too costly as a means of illustration, or of instruction, or of securing skill in the matters it is designed to teach. A college buys large museums to aid the student in his study of geology, or zoology, or mineralogy, and the expenditure pays by furnishing means of study. So with the chemical laboratory, the library, etc. It is the same with the botanic gardens, the varieties of stock, fruits, nurseries, vegetable gardens, farm crops, implements, meadows, pastures, and all the furniture of a college like this. They "pay" by being means of illustration, complementing the lessons of the text books and lectures. They pay by being a place on which he practices what he is afterwards to do.

Since a chemist's knowledge is more accurate after he has had practice in the chemical laboratory, therefore, here students work a half year in the chemical laboratory, three hours a day, after they have had their half years' course of chemical lectures The surveyor's knowledge is more to be relied on, if he has actually used the compass and level, surveyed lands, calculated contents, and made plats. Students receive such practice here. In the same way they have practice in grafting, transplanting, the use of farm and garden implements, and in the manual operations of farm and garden. The college thus imparts the practical knowledge it was established to teach. If the labor teaches, gives familiarity with mechanical, botanical, horticultural and agricultural principles, and bestows practical skill, so far as such a limited exercise as three hours work a day in varied labor can go, in so far it does pay like any other expenditure for sustaining an educational institution.


The labor system is, of course, not without its expense to the institution. Tools and teams are required in greater numbers than a farm of equal size requires, especially as almost all the students work at one time. Three hours labor of a boy varied to give him instruction is not worth so much as a third of nine hours of continuous work applied where it would be most profitable. It is limited also to a set time; and ends, unless great loss would accrue, irrespective of the condition of the work. Besides, labor has to be planned for a large force for three hours, succeeded and being succeeded by a very small one. To make the labor educational requires also the constant superintendence of skilled professors and foremen, who must be paid.


But all education is costly. No student in a public institution of learning pays his expenses. Buildings, libraries, museums, laboratories, instruction, are all the free gift of communities or individuals to the student. Technical instruction is costly. And if the expense of our labor system be reckoned up, and taken as educational, it will not be found to be more expensive by the hour than chemical, mining, mechanical instruction usually is.


The college is sometimes compared with a medical school or a law school, and it is asked why we should pay for what the students need educationally. The cases are not similar. In a medical school a student hardly does more than try his hand at dissection; he may plead a case or two in a moot court. But with us labor is a daily thing; it is three hours at a time, and it is valuable to the institution. If you count in the expenses of carrying on the labor system, the wages of the foreman, the interest in additional tools and the like, students' labor are no profit. So if you count the antecedent expenses without which dissections and moot courts could not be, they may be found to be expensive. But if these are counted among the necessary expenses of the college as an educational institution, as I believe they should be, then the labor of students is worth to the college all we pay for it. It is continuous productive labor. I think a student in a laboratory who earned something every day from year to year by his analyses would desire a share of the profits. The plan of paying wages is quite general, but not universal, with the agricultural colleges.

When the institution was first started, 16 cents an hour was paid as the highest wages. President Williams, in his first report to the board, April 1, 1858, says of the college: A paramount object is to enable the student to support himself by his own labor while acquiring his education," and be adds "Whether the student by three hours' labor in summer, and two and a half in winter could board bimself is not sufficiently tested, nor can it be till the farm is thoroughly subdued." I think he was convinced that the students' labor would

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