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destruction of insects injurious to vegetable life, and the eradication of weeds."
While refraining from reproach and harsh criticism, justice to all demands the statement that the present management is in no way responsible for the inactivity of the Association during the year 1880. The failure to follow the auspicious opening by meeting the hopes and expectations of those who early joined the organization resulted in such disappointment and distrust as to make the work of re-establishment doubly difficult. If the friends of the enterprise could fully appreciate this difficulty, they would be very charitable. They may now rest assured that, however long it may take, and however much it may cost in time and money and thought, the American Agricultural Association shall yet be the largest and most useful agricultural organization ever known.
To three gentlemen especial credit is due in connection with the organization of the American Agricultural Association. Lawson Valentine, Esq., of New York became interested in the enterprise at the start, and for many months furnished office room and clerical assistance free, besides contributing several hundred dollars in cash towards the expenses of organization. By his advice and counsel, and by his earnest practical work, he rendered inval.uable assistance. It could never have lived but for him. Major Henry E. Alvord of Massachusetts, from the beginning of the enterprise, has been one of its principal supporters. As counsellor and worker, he has rendered assistance of the most important character, and to his suggestions and labor every credit is due. He has served it in a degree that cannot be surpassed, because of his untiring devotion to the cause, and his ability to do the best. Hon. N. T. Sprague of Vermont remained its friend through its darkest hours, and when it was necessary to infuse new life came forward voluntarily with his purse and suggestions. The work done by these three gentlemen has been of the greatest possible service to the organization, and its value cannot be over-estimated. Whatever the position of the Association may be to-day, it has cost an amount of thought and labor that cannot be estimated. It was believed to be needed, and that it could be made useful to the country, and no thought or expense has been spared by its promoters for its firm establishment. The newspaper press has been most generous in its support. Officers of the State Agricultural Societies and of the Grange have been among its best friends. In all parts of the country, men in all
walks of life have lent a helping hand, and to all the warmest thanks are due.
The articles which form the greater portion of this volume were, in part, presented at the convention of 1879, as stated in the record of proceedings, and the others have been prepared especially for it. To the eminent gentlemen who have thus contributed, the thanks of the Association are sincerely tendered. And we congratulate our readers upon the excellence of these papers, and their lasting value to the interests represented by this Association.
The Press is invited to republish any article in this Journal, giving proper credit. The Association desires to give each as wide a circulation as possible; its aim is not to interfere with any publication, but, on the contrary, to co-operate with all in collecting and disseminating useful information.
J. H. R.
The Convention which met at the Metropolitan Hotel, New York, December 10th, 1879, to organize a National Agricultural Society, was the outgrowth of a meeting of gentlemen from different sections of the country interested in Agriculture, held at the Farmers' Club rooms of the American Institute, New York, on October 22d, 1880. At that meeting Victor E. Piollette of Pennsylvania was Chairman, and Ezra Whitman of Maryland, and D. W. Wilson of New Jersey, were Secretaries. The following resolution was adopted and the committee appointed :
Resolved, That a committee of thirteen be appointed by the Chair to issue a call and make preparations for a meeting in New York City on Wednesday, December 10th, at such hour and place as may be deemed expedient, for the organization of a National Agricultural Society, and that said committee make arrangements for the reading of papers and discussion of questions relating to agriculture at such meeting, as well as prepare a Constitution and By-laws for consideration of the meeting, and a form of charter that Congress will be requested to grant.
The Convention of December 10–13 was attended by leading agriculturists, journalists, scientists, and men of note from nearly every State and Territory in the Union, and was probably the most earnest and noteworthy gathering in connection with agricultural matters, as it was certainly the largest of its kind, that has taken place in this country for many years. N. M. Curtis of New York was elected temporary President, and M. J. Lawrence, A. R. Ledoux and E. A. Carman, Secretaries. A list of the permanent officers elected appears in another place.
Dr. A. S. Heath, President of the Farmers' Club of the American Institute, read a paper upon “ The best methods of increasing the value of our neat cattle,” in which he compared the respective merits of the different breeds as adapted to the production of milk, butter, cheese and beef,--concisely reviewed the fundamental principles of breeding and the results of their adoption, and advocated the selection of breeding animals upon their individual and family records in the line of improvement sought, rather than by long pedigrees (without performance) and “fancy points” arbitrarily determined. He urged greater care of cattle, both young and old, and drew a very striking picture of the difference between the care and keeping bestowed upon a favorite horse and that given to a cow equally valuable and far more productive.
Mr. A. W. Dickenson of New York made a short address on Agricultural Journalism, in which he described the advance made in the past sixty years, the better support given by farmers to good periodicals devoted to their interests, and the improvement in the "agricultural departments” of leading newspapers, where capable specialists have been called to the place formerly held by the office paragrapher and his scissors. He claimed that agricultural publishers deserved a still more generous support from the farmers of America, and that they were ready and able to supply any demand made upon them, both as to the quality and quantity of matter put
Jos. Hall Platt, M. D., New York City, read a paper entitled “The Importance of Veterinary Science,” in which he said :
There are very few points of practical science in which the acquirements of our American people are not equal or superior to those of any of the older nations of the world. But there is one of great importance to all sections of our country, not only and chiefly its agricultural districts, but also to its commercial and manufacturing centres. That is the subject of Veterinary Science.
Most of the countries of Europe have regularly incorporated colleges, under the patronage and protection of the Government, and .devoted entirely to the teaching of scientific veterinary knowledge, and the results are eminently satisfactory to the owners of all classes of domestic animals, as well as very lucrative to the graduates. of these institutions. On the other hand the great American nation, amidst many and valuable institutions of learning, has only three Veterinary Colleges. New York City boasts of two of these—the American Veterinary College, and the Columbia Veterinary College. Ccrnell University also has a department of Veterinary Science. We know, personally, that the course at Columbia College is thoroughly scientific and that its standard of requirements for graduation is very high.
The graduates of these institutions are centred in and around our great cities and find extensive and lucrative employment, while the agricultural districts of the country are unsupplied or left at the mercy of the horse doctor, whose acquirements in nine cases out of ten render him far less fit to treat disease among animals than the intelligent farmer, aided by a reliable Text book of Veterinary Treatment.
For some unaccountable, short-sighted reason, this branch of science has been wonderfully neglected among us. Few men seem to realize its great importance. There are many more millions of bovines than human beings in our country, besides the sheep and horses and swine, to say nothing of the many useful and valuable dogs, poultry, and even cats and birds, and the veterinary requirements of our menageries. is not an insignificant item. All of these come within the range of an educated D. V. S.
When cattle meet with an accident that could be cured by skillful treatment, they are usually sent to the butcher, often losing to the owner several years of valuable service, and their price for beef not beginning to replace them. When attacked by disease they are killed or left to die for want of a D. V. S. Many millions of dollars are thus sacrificed in this country every year which could be saved by a sufficient number of skilled veterinarians.
What farmer would not rather pay $10 for medical services for his useful animals than lose a much larger sum in replacing them when disabled ?
The results of the work done by the Commission appointed by the Governor of New York, in the suppression of pleuro-pneumonia contagiosa, is a standing monument to the value and efficiency of veterinary science.
This Commission has succeeded in stopping the spread of this disease, and confining the diseased and exposed cattle in such manner as to stop its ravages in all the districts they have been able so far to reach. One remarkable fact, and one that speaks very highly for veterinary skill, is that of the many hundreds of cattle killed for this disease, the Commissioners have never once been wrong in their diagnosis. In the beginning of their labors they met the fiercest opposition, not only from the socalled horse-doctors, but even the newspapers joined in the hue and cry against them; but confident of their knowledge, they kept steadily on, and the results have not only proved their skill, but crowned their deeds with well-merited applause.
The General Government could very materially aid this matter by calling for a supply of competent veterinarians for its army and other purposes. The regiments of all the European armies are supplied with veterinary surgeons. In the United States Army no such wise provision is made. Schools of veterinary science might be attached to its military schools. But just here comes in a question. Medical schools, as departments of our colleges and universities, have not proved successes ; would departments of veterinary science succeed any better? Independent schools often possess a vigor and tone that they do not acquire as part of an establishment. These subjects require much careful attention, for America, in this, as in other matters, will lay out a new road for itself, and in a short period of time will outreach all her competitors in the Old World. The American Agricultural Association can exert great power in influencing this work, and can aid further in many ways the cause of veterinary science if only by disseminating a knowledge of the importance of it and the great dufficiency of supply for the demand everywhere apparent.
Hon. Charles L. Flint of Massachusetts called attention to the cattle disease known as pleuro-pneumonia, and made an earnest appeal for action towards its extinction. Major Wm. Gentry of Missouri, Hon. J. B. Grinnell of Iowa, R. J. Dodge, Esq., of New York, Dr. A. S. Heath of New York, Col. J. B. Mead of Vermont, Prof. W. H. Brewer of Connecticut, and others, advocated the same measure. On motion it resolved that the Board of Directors prepare a memorial to Congress, asking for the appointment of a commission, and the appropriation of funds for the suppression of the disease.
Lectures were delivered by Dr. Geo. B. Loring of Massachusetts, Dr. Albert R. Ledoux of North Carolina, Prof. C. V. Riley of Washington, Dr. Manly Miles of New York, Prof. W. H. Brewer of Yale College, and Hon. X. A. Willard of New York; all of which appear in full elsewhere in this Journal.
Letters were presented from a large number of gentlemen, extracts from some of which are printed in this volume. The proceedings occupied three days. The Constitution adopted, and amended a year later, together with other matters, appear in appropriate places.
J. H. Reall resigned the secretaryship January 28, 1880, six weeks, after the organization, and was succeeded by Major Ben. Perley Poore.