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Agricultural Education and Research

Nature volume 71, pages 236237 (05 January 1905) | Download Citation



THE writings of Henry, Babcock, King, and others have made the University of Wisconsin familiar to English agricultural students, so that considerable interest attaches to the twentieth annual report of the experiment station, which contains a short history of the College of Agriculture, and summarises the results of twenty years' research. The college is one of the best known in the United States, and its record is typical of many similar institutions. A professor of agriculture was appointed in 1866, there was the usual attempt to teach before the materials for a course of university grade existed, and there was the usual failure. Then, when the indignation and forcible action of “some thirty representative farmers” led the regents of the university to realise the need of “better directed measures,” there was a change of policy. The farmer's educational requirements were studied, suitabli courses were devised, and research in his interests was begun. The success of this changed policy is testified to by every chapter of the report, and is strikingly shown by the material progress of the institution. When the present director took charge in 1880 the buildings consisted of a dwelling house and two barns, worth about 1000l.; the present buildings are worth more than 60,000l. In 1881 the income of the agricultural department was represented by the salary of the professor and a grant of about 1000l. for experiments. In 1903 the College of Agriculture had an income of 10,000l. for administrative and teaching purposes, and of 6000l. for research; and in addition free instruction in languages, mathematics, and pure science was provided for agricultural students in other departments of the university.

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