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OF THE MICHIGAN STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY FOR 1892.
OFFICE OF THE MICH. STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETT,
Detroit, January 17, 1853. To the President of the Senate :
SIR-I have the honor herewith to transmit for the use of the Legislature, the fourth annual report of the Michigan State Agricultural Society.
A perusal of the following pages will prove to you that this Society does not exist in title only; but that it is a living, active and energetic institution, exercising a healthy and beneficial influence throughout our State. The enthusiasm and kind feeling always manifested, by all classes of people, when congregated at our annual exhibitions, produce a happy and lasting influence upon the minds of all. Visitors from the several counties return to their homes fully impressed with a sense of the great benefits resulting from the Society's annual shows, and resolve to organize a Farmer's Club, or a County Agricultural Society; this being accomplished, they not only come together themselves, but bring specimens from their herds, their flocks, their crops, manufactures, &c. Thus, the State Society being the centre, sends forth an influence that is rapidly spreading from this centre to the circumference, and will continue to spread until every county in the State is in the enjoyment and can boast of its own “County Agricultural Society.”
No sooner is a county agricultural society organized, than a laud. able spirit of emulation manifests itself throughout that county, and the result is the introduction of the best stock, the best seeds, the best implements of husbandry, and the best methods of cultivation.
The annual fair takes place, mind is brought in contact with mind, an exchange of ideas take place, each learns something from the other, all return home refreshed in body and mind, and a liberal spirit prevails where the reverse held sway before.
When all come out to the Fair of the State Society, the enthusiasm and the emulation know no bounds--all seem determined to do their best, and profit by the occasion. The stock is carefully examined, and the sale and purchase, or exchange, of animals takes place; the working of the newly invented labor saving implements is scrutinized, and, if found worthy, purchases are made, and by these new appliances the farmer is enabled to perform his work in a better manner, and at a less outlay, of either money or manual labor, than before.
The improvements that are yearly made in farm implements may be ascribed in no small degree to the influence of the exbibitions of State Agricultural Societies upon the minds of men. The mechanic, when he examines the implements and machinery upon the ground, thinks he can produce an article that will answer the purpose
better than any thing there exhibited; his inventive genius is immediately set to work, and at the next fair we find that his highest hopes are realized ; his invention is adjudged to supersede all others that are intended for the same use. The farmer, in making his examinations of implements and machinery which he finds on exhibition, not unfrequently sees that he is very far behind the times, and resolves to remain so no longer ; he sees that with the purchase of one of the best of the plows, seed-planters, or perhaps a reaper, a thrasher, or all of these articles at once, will commence a new epoch in his life ; the purchase is accordingly made, not only to the credit of his wisdom, but the benefit of his pocket.
It is at our fairs that a better opportunity is afforded us for comparing stock, examining and testing implements, than at any other place, for there we have them side by side, and their imperfections, if they have any, are more readily noticed than when examined separately.
The benefits accruing to the herdsman and flock-master, as well as to the mechanic and manufacturer, in affording them an opportu. nity of displaying their products before a whole State at once, with
comparatively but little trouble or expense to themselves, are acknowledged to be very great ; yet, some other stimulant is required to induce men to bring forward their articles for exhibition, particularly those who calculate the expense of getting them to the show ground.
They look to see if the premium, should one be awarded to them, will be sufficient to pay their expenses ; such men do not think of the altimate benefit to themselves and the public, therefore if the amount of premium offered is small, they and their stock of implements are very likely to remain at home, and it may be that this very article, if brought before the public at one of the society's exhibition, would, by being so exhibited, and being a varded, even the small premium offered by the society, prove a fortune to the successful competitor. At the society's first exhibition the premiums awarded amounted to $808 50. The premiums awarded at the fourth annual exhibition, 1852, including cash, medals, diplomas and books, amounted to upwards of $2,200.
In order to encourage exhibitors to the full extent of their power, the Executive Committee, at their annual meeting in December last, appropriated the sum of $3,500 to be awarded at the Society's fifth annual fair, to be held in September, 1853.
The Society has been, and is still somewbat cramped in its operations by the want of funds. Did the funds of the Society warrant the appropriation of $5,000, to be awarded at its fifth annual fair, instead of a less sum, the State would undoubtedly be the gainer thereby. Notwithstanding the limited means of the Society, it has already proved a source of wealth to the State, by the inducements it has thrown out to our own citizens and those of other States, to introduce among us specimens of the most valuable stock, also of implements and machinery.
The mass of information already collected by the Society, and published by order of the Legislature, bas been productive of much good. The “Transactions” of the Society are sought for by the county agricultural societies; township and other public libraries; the agricultural societies of other States; also by private individuals. County agricultural societies are supplied with fifteen copies of each volume; one volume is forwarded to each of the other State Agricultural Societies; also to persons contributing matter for its pages.
A. there is so much call for this work, I would suggest the propriety of having published by order of the Legislature, an edition of the fourth volume of the “Transactions," sufficiently large to afford one or more copies to each township and other public libraries in the State.
The subject of establishing an Agricultural College and experimental farm, has been agitated for a length of time. Article 13, section 11 of the Constitution, also “an act to consolidate and amend the laws relative to the establishment of a State Normal School,” appear to contemplate such an es' ablishment. Yet some definite action of the Legislature is wanting, in order that the institution contemplated by said section of the Constitution may be organized.
For a statement of the financial affairs of the Suciety, I refer you to the accompanying report from the Treasurer.
The Society has on hand, which is paid for, property that has cost them something over $2,000, consisting of lumber and fixtures for enclosing and fittiug up the grounds for the fair; steel plate engraving for diploma; dies for medal; books intended for premiums, and a library for the use of the members of the Society. All of which is respectfully submitted.
J. C. HOLMES,
OF THE MICHIGAN STATE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.
ARTICLE 1. The name of this association shall be "The Michigan State Agricultural Society," and its object shall be to promote the improvement of agriculture and its kindred arts, throughout the State of Michigan.
ARTICLE 2. The officers of this society shall be a President, one Vice President in each organized county in the State, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, a Corresponding Secretary in each organized county in the State, and an Executive Committee, consisting of the President and Recording Secretary, and ten other members, to be chosen for that purpose, and also the ex-Presidents of the Society. These officers shall be elected by a majority of the votes at the annual meeting of the Society, and shall hold their offices for one year, and until the annual meeting of the Executive Committee; Provided, That the officers named upon the organization of the Society shall be deemed members and shall remain officers only until others shall be duly elected at the first annual meeting; and if a vacancy happen it may be filled by appointment of the Executive Committee.
ARTICLE 3. The duties of the President, Vice Presidents, Recording and Corresponding Secretaries, shall be such as usually pertain to their respective offices, and such also as may be prescribed by the special order of the Executive Committee, as hereinafter provided.
ARTIOLE 4. The Treasurer shall receive and keep an account of all moneys belonging to the Society; he shall pay out its moneys only on the order of the Executive Committee; and at each annual meeting of the Society, he shall make a full report of its financial transactions and condition.