Popular Science Monthly/Volume 56/December 1899/Agricultural Education in Foreign Countries


THE recent death, at the closing of the year 1898, of the lamented Senator Justin S. Morrill, who, as being the author of the Land-Grant College Act, is justly styled the father of agricultural education in the United States, seems to suggest the desirability of taking a survey of agricultural education as it at present exists in other countries than our own.

Since the pursuit of agriculture is one which concerns more of the people of our globe than any other pursuit, the necessity for scientific training for agriculturists becomes more and more evident to educated people. It is true that the cultivators of the soil do not generally admit the need of special schooling. At the beginning of this century very few educators, even, thought so. It was supposed that tilling the soil had nothing to do with schools, and that science had no connection with plowing and sowing. Agricultural lectureships were established early in the eighteenth century in several European universities, but they were regarded as curiosities of the age—superfluities of culture, rather than aids to the cultivator. Farmers themselves were supposed to be the only competent teachers of agriculture, and experience the only possible guide. But it has become apparent that no farmer's experience is broad enough to be adapted to all soils and climates. The successful farmer has come to regard the land which he owns as a wonderful machine which, if rightly managed, will turn out the most costly and perfect product; but which, if neglected or ignorantly handled, will disappoint his high hopes and possibly impoverish its owner. The development of commerce which so easily introduces the wheat and potatoes and other products of our country into competition with the grain produced in a distant land has taught the producers of this generation, and especially the citizen of European countries, that the farmer who can produce the largest crop of grain from the fewest acres, at the lowest price for the best cereal or vegetable, is the only successful cultivator. The nation which succeeds best in this direction with all its soil products is the one which is sure to have the "balance of trade" always in its favor.

The United States awoke to this idea when, in 1862, Congress passed the Land-Grant College Act, allotting Government lands in every State to aid in founding agricultural colleges. The country became more profoundly moved by this idea when, in 1887, Congress passed the Hatch Act, granting annually to each State the sum of fifteen thousand dollars to organize and perpetuate cultural experiment stations, and still further when it organized a Department of Experiment Stations as an integral part of the Department of Agriculture.

But several of the countries of Europe have anticipated our action in behalf of agricultural education by a quarter of a century. Germany and France and little Switzerland realized fifty years ago that agriculture in its various departments must be pursued with the aid of the latest science combined with the broadest experience. These countries have not waited for the laborer to perfect himself in experience—an impossible attainment—but they have opened schools of every possible grade, arranged courses of lectures by the best educated scientists, made elementary agriculture a compulsory subject in the curricula of the common schools, sent out traveling instructors to confer with and advise and give courses of lectures to the older farmers, made it possible—even compulsory—that young people should attend technical schools at odd hours of the day or evening, and even tempted them to pass a serious examination in their respective studies by the offer of a valuable prize as the reward of success. It is said that Charles Dickens once made a speech at an agricultural dinner in which he somewhat derisively said that "the field it paid the farmer best to cultivate was the one within the ring fence of his own skull." Dickens was correct. The farmer needs scientific education. The best civilized and progressive nations of to-day are admitting the utterance of Dickens to be a serious truth. Vast sums of money are appropriated by European governments to prevent their agricultural classes from continuing in or subsiding into ignorance of their art. Even the peasants of Russia, notably in the province of Ekaterinoslav, by the generous appliances for special agricultural education made by the Ministry of Agriculture and State Domains, united with the efforts of the Ministry of Public Instruction, are made to feel that without expert teaching a man can not succeed even in the raising of fowls or of bees, the culture of silkworms, the making of wine, or the manuring of his fields. Consul Heenan[1] says that in the province named above the Government annually rents thirty-two experiment fields, each eight acres in extent, distributed four in each district, and each one located in the midst of peasant fields. Each of these fields is placed in charge of some scientifically educated public-school teacher, who is paid twenty-five dollars per year for his direction, and receives, besides, all the harvest produced. The teacher uses the native tools and seeds, and hires neighbor peasants to assist in demonstrating that with care in plowing, cleaning of seed, cultivating, and reaping, his field will produce larger crops than his slovenly or ignorant neighbor. The object lesson has its certain result. The peasants are gradually adopting the four-field culture system—viz., fallow, winter crops, pastures, and summer crops.

Besides these, Russia sustains 68 agricultural schools, containing 3,157 pupils, at a cost of $403,500, of which sum the Government pays $277,500, and the local zemstovs (societies) or the school founders pay $136,000.

In France the eminent scientist Lavoisier, at the close of the last century, advocated the founding of a national school for the teaching of agricultural science. His plan for government initiation was not realized, but in 1822 Matthieu de Dombasle founded, near Nancy, the first true agricultural school. In 1829 and 1830 the schools at Grignon and Grandjouan were founded by August Bella and Riefell respectively. Now France boasts of one of the most perfect systems of agricultural education of any country of the world. Under the joint direction of her Ministers of Agriculture and of Public Instruction, France plans to cover every phase of education from the simplest forms of object lessons taught by law in all her primary schools to the crowning National Institute of Agriculture at Paris. The facts of science, united with the soundest experience, are demonstrated to the farmer by lectures and experimentation; the future agriculturists of the country are educated in the certainties of scientific research at graded schools, ranging from elementary to university degrees, and every milkmaid is taught the necessity of promptness, cleanliness, and system in the care of milch cows and in the disposal of their milk.

The former able Director-General of French Agriculture, Monsieur Tisserand, says: "The aim and object of France has been not only to give to children and young people the means of acquiring knowledge, but also to establish means for interesting old cultivators. In this century of extreme competition we must admit that the agriculturist can only thrive if, in working the soil, he adopts scientific methods. Old routine is no longer sufficient in this branch, as it is proved to be insufficient in manufacture." In carrying out her enlightened policy, instruction was given in 1893[2] to 3,600 pupil teachers. Thirty agricultural laboratories throughout the country furnish analyses of soils and manures for the help of cultivators, and 3,362 trial fields are established where farmers can profit by experiments suitable to their own districts. The special farm schools number sixteen; practical schools of agriculture, thirty-nine; national schools of agriculture and horticulture, six; three veterinary schools; and one each, bearing the name of National Agronomic Institute, is a shepherd school, a cheese, and a silkworm school. In the universities are no less than 160 departments and chairs of agriculture for students of profoundest research. All this costs the departments alone over 4,504,050 francs per annum.

In Prussian Germany no less activity is displayed or energy put forth to make the farmer's occupation one of financial profit and scientific status. Statistics for 1897 are at hand in the report of the Prussian Minister of Agriculture. The German system is based on the theory that schools and colleges are the only places where theoretical agriculture can be properly taught. Few of the higher agricultural schools first established were exclusively such. A liberal education could be obtained at most of them without touching the subject of agriculture. Later educators have developed a system which begins by fostering a love for Nature in the minds of the pupils in the kindergarten, and patiently develops that love through all the dozen or more grades of schools until it culminates in the polytechnic school or the degree granted by the university.

Germany is indebted to the learned Professor Thaer for the establishment of its first agricultural school at Möglin in 1807. But more than all is she, in common with all the world, indebted to the famous chemist Baron von Liebig, who, in 1840, announced the scientific truth which underlies all arguments for agricultural education—viz., that no matter how impoverished a soil is naturally, or has become by excessive cropping, its fertility may be restored, maintained, and even increased by providing it with the mineral and organic matter which it lacks.

Prussian agricultural affairs are under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Domains, and Forests. The state maintains three grades of schools—higher, middle, and lower—as in other European countries. The most celebrated are the Royal Agricultural High Schools at Berlin and Popplesdorf, two royal academies of forestry, and the university courses in agriculture at Halle, Göttingen, Königsberg, Leipsic, Giessen, and Jena. The state expends something like two hundred thousand dollars annually on agricultural education. In Germany agricultural education has so broadened out as to include training in every technical part of a farmer's work—culture of forests, fruits, flowers, and vines; schools to teach wine, cider, and beer making, machine repairing, engine running, barn construction, and surveying; knowledge of poultry, bees, and silkworm raising; domestic economy, sewing, and accounts for farm women—all in addition to the long scientific courses of study and years of practical work on an established farm. Verily, the country that excels Germany in training agriculturists must be par excellence in its methods.

A special feature of agricultural teaching is the traveling professor (Wanderlehrer). United States Consul Monaghan enthusiastically describes him: "These teachers, supported partly by the state and by agricultural unions, go from place to place … and lecture on agricultural and horticultural subjects. Their purpose is to lift up and ennoble agricultural life; to afford the farmer the knowledge gleaned by science since he left the school; to impart to him the best methods of selecting soils, fertilizers, cattle, trees, etc.; to teach him how to use his lands to best advantage, to graft, to breed in; to get the best, quickest, and most profitable results. These teachers are skilled scientists, practical workers, not theorists, … perfectly familiar with the wants and needs of their districts. Armed with this knowledge, the teacher's usefulness is certain and unlimited. When he speaks his voice is that of one in authority, it is heeded.… He is a walking encyclopædia of knowledge, especially of knowledge pertaining to the woods, hills, farms, and fields."

Austria has, like Germany, a system of agricultural and forestry schools in three grades—viz., superior, middle, and lower. Its oldest school of superior grade was established in 1799 at Krumman.[3] Similar schools existed later at Grätz, Trieste, Lemberg, Trutsch, and Altenburg. The latter is especially complete in every appliance for instruction, and well patronized. The middle schools provide two-year courses of study and practice, and are located at Grossan, Kreutz, Dublany, and other points, while the lower schools incline less to study and more to lectures and farm practice. They are located in the provinces of Bohemia, Styria, Galicia, and Carinthia.

Forestry schools of various grades exist at Mariabrunn, Wissewasser, Aussen, Pibram, Windschact, and Nagny; of these, Mariabrunn is especially deserving of mention for its thorough course and complete equipment.

Switzerland was the home of the philanthropist and educator Fellenburg, His school, established at Hopyl in 1806, was a philanthropy in aid of the peasantry, concerning whom he said that possessing nothing but bodies and minds, the cultivation of these was the only antidote for their poverty. At least three thousand pupils received their education in agriculture here. The Federal Polytechnic School at Zurich is the nation's pride. Out of six courses of superior training which it provides for its one thousand students, forestry and agriculture count as two. Five universities and numerous special schools furnish aid to agricultural education.

The little kingdoms of Belgium and Holland are following hard upon the tracks of their powerful neighbors. In Belgium may be found superior institutions of agriculture, horticulture, veterinary science, and forestry at Gembloux, Vilvorde, Cureghem, and Bouillon respectively.

In Holland, whose people robbed the sea to obtain lands for farms and homes, about £71,500 were expended by the state on its agricultural department in 1897. Its first school, established by a communal society at Hären in 1842, was discontinued. The state in 1876 adopted the school of agriculture which has been established at Wageningen as its own, and this institution can fairly lay claim to equality with any in Europe. Government also supports the State Veterinary College at Utrecht, and subsidizes a school of forestry and several dairy schools. Agricultural teaching in primary schools has not yet proved a success.

Italy has not made such progress in agricultural education as her northern neighbors, yet she is not indifferent to the requirements of the times. She has a most unique scheme for Government superintendence of agricultural matters. All comes under the purview of a general Director of Agriculture, assisted by a Council for Agricultural Instruction, which latter was established by royal decree in 1885, and reorganized in 1887. Four divisions of the department exist—namely, (1) agriculture proper, (2) zoötechny, (3) forestry, and (4) agricultural hydraulics. Statistics are not easily procured, but recent catalogues show that the two Royal Superior Schools of Agriculture, located respectively at Milan and Portici, are institutions of which any country might be proud. Of the latter Mr. E. Neville Rolfe, British consul, wrote in 1897 that it was originally a provincial establishment, but in 1885 it had been established by royal charter and domiciled in the magnificent grounds and buildings of a disused royal palace. Its study course requires three years to complete, and graduates obtain the degree of Laureato Agronomo. Up to 1896, two hundred and twenty-eight students had obtained this degree, most of whom are instructors or Government employees of high rank. It is known also that thirty-three special and practical agricultural schools exist in different parts of the kingdom.

Much can not be said in praise of agricultural education in Spain. That country possesses the machinery for education of the higher grades, but through her seven distinctly agricultural colleges, located at Madrid, Saragossa, Barcelona, Corunna, Valencia, Caceres, and Jerez, she seems only to have obtained men for Government service at home or abroad. Spain expended in 1896 on agricultural education the sum of £58,460, but she evidently sends no Wanderlehrer instructors among her peasant farmers.

It is said that Portugal possesses seven agricultural schools, attended in 1896 by one hundred and eighty-seven students, but of their location, save one, and courses of study the writer has no information. The Government conduct of education is committed to a Director-General of Agriculture. The leading school is named the General Institute of Agriculture, and is located at Lisbon. It provides four courses—viz., (1) rural engineering, (2) agronomy, (3) sylviculture, (4) veterinary medicine. It has a large tract of land for demonstration purposes located a few miles from the city.

Concerning Greece and the smaller kingdoms in southeastern Europe, together with the land of the Turk, not much to the encouragement of the scientific agriculturist can be said; but turning northward across Europe to the Scandinavian countries quite a different state of things becomes apparent. At once we find that the system of agricultural education is highly developed, and in some phases is not surpassed by other countries. Immediately we are in a network of dairy schools, experiment stations, chemical and seed-control stations, agricultural societies, colleges, and universities. Here we find five institutions all under royal patronage and state support. In Norway is the Higher Agricultural School at Aas, established in 1859. In Sweden stands the Agricultural Institute at Ultima, established in 1849, and the Alnarp Agricultural and Dairy Institute, established in 1862. In Denmark is the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural College at Copenhagen, established in 1773 as a veterinary college. In Finland the Mustiala Agricultural and Dairy Institute, established in 1840. In these four small states there exist agricultural, horticultural, forestry, and dairy schools of all grades to the number of one hundred and fifty-nine. Education in agriculture is not attempted in the primary public schools of Norway or in any of these Scandinavian countries, but agricultural elementary instruction is begun in what other continental countries would call secondary schools, and is provided for persons intending to be farmers and who are eighteen years of age and older. Norway spent on elementary agricultural education in secondary schools, in 1895-'96, the sum of $31,182, and Finland more than doubled that sum.

Crossing the Channel to Groat Britain, again we see a nation intent on solving the question of success for her agricultural population. Celebrated Englishmen, Scotchmen, and Irishmen early began to plan for an educated peasantry, but it was long before any national system was evolved. The sectional divisions and peculiarities belonging severally to Scot and Celt and Saxon have not yet permitted a uniform legislation. Ireland and Scotland each has its own scheme of Government supervision, and both differ from England and Wales. It is estimated that but ten per cent of England's laboring population is concerned with agriculture for support, while in Ireland there is scarcely ten per cent of the people who are not dependent on agriculture for existence. In consequence, we find in Ireland, as in France, intense interest centers upon the plan to teach agriculture and horticulture in the elementary public schools, while in England, until very recently, agricultural education served principally to produce a class of educated scientific men fitted for the Government home and colonial service.

In Ireland compulsory attendance on primary schools is made by law. In 1876 Ireland claimed to be the pioneer country in providing compulsory elementary agricultural instruction in all her rural schools. She has desperately clung to the theory that in providing such education in her elementary schools she would eventually train a nation of agriculturists. To attain this end, elementary text-books were prepared, which all teachers must use. The Government grant for a pass at examination in agriculture was much larger than a pass in any other study; teachers who held certificates to teach it were given higher salaries than others, and to enable teachers to prepare for such certificates, scholarships were offered them at teachers' colleges (normal schools), and their railway fare was free in going and coming. Plots of ground at schoolhouse or teacher's house were provided, where flower and vegetable culture could be constantly practiced, and a special grant was allowed to the school for cultivating a successful garden, and another special for classes showing proficiency in practical work. Gardens were cultivated at convents and workhouses, and the subject was taught theoretically to "half-time" pupils and students at the "evening continuation schools."

In December, 1896, Ireland had 8,606 national schools, with an average attendance of 815,248 pupils. She also had 150 half-time schools, 155 workhouse schools, 267 convent schools, 30 model schools, five training colleges for teachers, and two training agricultural institutes (at Glassnevin and at Munster), and in all of these agricultural science or practice is either a compulsory or a voluntary subject. What country can surpass Ireland's enthusiasm for agricultural training?[4]

Scotland enjoys deservedly the distinction of having been first among the peoples of Europe to introduce in the university course scientific education in agriculture. In 1790 a chair was established in the University of Edinburgh, and a course of agricultural lectures was given therefrom by Rev. D. Walker. Better than that, in 1743 a volume entitled Select Transactions was published by Maxwell, representing the agricultural society known as the "Society of Improvers," and numbering at one time three hundred members. Out of this society grew the "Highland and Agricultural Society," which organization has fostered every agricultural effort which private beneficence or royal grant has initiated in the land since 1834. Through its munificence both the departments of forestry and veterinary surgery have been placed upon a firm educational basis, and the educational lectureship of Edinburgh University has been permanently endowed. It has instituted its own syllabus of examinations for granting "Fellowships in Agriculture," and stimulated pupils of the secondary schools to make the effort by offering prizes and scholarships to the ambitious students.

The University of Aberdeen has lately entered the field as an agricultural educator by becoming what the Government styles a "collegiate center," receiving a straight subsidy of £100 per annum, and furnishing professional instructors to rural assemblies arranging lectures for them. In the public schools of Scotland agricultural science is arranged for as an optional study from the third to the sixth standards inclusive. In 1895-'96, 4,148 pupils passed examinations in the subject, and the cost of this to the state was £42,792. In 1896-'97 pupils in the "evening continuation schools" to the number of 1,089 passed in agriculture, and 115 others in horticulture.

England and Wales are under a joint administration of agricultural affairs. The Government policy, so far as it has one, has been continually opposed to paternalism and direct subsidy or ownership of schools. Rather has her Parliament waited to be solicited to make subventions by way of encouraging individual or local society initiative. The flourishing agricultural schools at Cirencester and Downton, for the instruction of the higher classes, have grown out of private establishments, then been perpetuated by obtaining royal charters, by which the Government became pledged to supply any lack of income. But since 1893 the state has so far relaxed her policy as to grant subsidies to certain colleges centrally located, which it styles "collegiate centers," through which colleges it offers superior instruction to the public. These colleges associate with themselves ample farm lands for experiment grounds and dairy machinery, and equip themselves with competent lecturers, who are also practical experts, and who, upon invitation from agricultural societies or county councils, go forth as lecturers upon their special subjects. Each adjacent county makes an annual grant of £75 to the college funds, and is privileged to nominate students to attend the college agricultural course at a reduction of twenty-five per cent on the usual fee. In 1898-'99 the Board of Education granted to fifteen colleges and associations in England and "Wales the sum of £7,200. The colleges were the Yorkshire College at Leeds, Durham College of Science at New-castle-on-Tyne, University Extension College at Reading, University College at Nottingham, Southeastern Agricultural College at Wye, and in Wales the University Colleges at Bangor and Aberystwith.

Besides the direct Government subsidy to higher education, the state grants to the several counties part of the money raised from the excise ("drink money") for educational purposes, out of which at least £78,000 were spent by the committees in 1896-'97 in promoting agricultural education.

Still further. Parliament puts into the hands of the Science and Art Department large sums of money to be expended as grants-in-aid of "technical education." The state recognizes instruction in the principles of agriculture as instruction in elementary science, and through this Science and Art Department's grants to primary and secondary schools, and to teachers' colleges, it encourages agricultural education as a technical study. In 1896-'97, 1,023 pupils passed examination, and the respective school managements received as grant on their account a total sum of £140,150.[5]

In 1897 the Royal Commission on Agricultural Depression in England made its report. Among other declarations made by the commission were these: "We believe that it is essential for the welfare of agriculture that there should be placed within the reach of every young farmer a sound, general school education, including such a grounding in the elements of sciences bearing upon agriculture—e.g., chemistry, geology, botany, and animal physiology—as will give him an intelligent interest in them and familiarize him in their language."[6]

They further recommend that hereafter the control of all funds for technical agricultural education be placed with the Board of Agriculture, and that the entire income of the Customs and Excise Act of 1890 should be devoted to educational purposes, agriculture receiving its adequate share. Should the first recommendation carry for all divisions of the United Kingdom, agriculture would cease to be one of the subjects provided for examination by the Science and Art Department. Should the second recommendation become a law, the sum expended by local county councils in agricultural education would be vastly increased.

Passing from England to her colonies, let us journey toward the sunrising. Stopping for a moment in Egypt, we note with pleasure the existence of the newly established School of Agriculture at Gizeh, which is under the direction of the Ministry of Public Instruction for Egypt. Its reconstructed course of study was open to students in 1898, and it provides for four years of study. Arabic and English are the teaching languages, especially the latter, and allotments of land for individual culture are made to all pupils.

Beyond the Indian Ocean lies Hindustan. Here all science study is awaiting its development. The best cultivation of India is not behind that of England as a matter of empiricism,[7] but the science of cultivation is yet to be developed. Agricultural chemistry and agricultural botany and horticulture, as related to India, have scarcely been investigated, and text-books in the native tongues have yet to be written. For this accomplishment all elementary instruction in public schools must patiently wait. For an agriculturally educated set of teachers, also, Indian youth studying in the vernacular must patiently wait. In 1889 the home Government (Parliament) laid upon the Indian Educational Department the duty of providing school "readers" which should contain elementary instruction in agricultural science, and it authorized a liberal grant-in-aid toward such schools as could furnish pupils for passes in this subject. For those students who have mastered the English language a few colleges exist. Saidapet, near Madras, with about forty students in a three-years' course, including veterinary, is a pure agricultural institution. Fourteen students received diplomas in agriculture in March, 1897.

Several colleges have agricultural departments, notably the Poona College of Science in the Bombay presidency; the Baroda College; the Maharajah's College and the Shimoga College, Mysore; the Central College, and the Sanskrit College of Bangalore. All of these are affiliated with the University of Bombay, and present pupils for examination in agriculture for the degree of B. Sc. A.

In many of the English high schools of India are found agricultural classes which give both science teaching and field practice. These schools are at Nagpur, Nasik, Sholapur, Ahmednagar, Ahmedabad, Dhulia, Kolapur, Surat, Belgaum, and Nadiad. The stimulus to study in these schools is the hope of obtaining a diploma in agriculture, which would result in employment in the Government service.

In Lucknow is a celebrated veterinary school whose graduates have been greatly sought after. One at Bombay has become still more celebrated. In 1897 sixty-nine students were in attendance. Graduates easily found employment with native rajahs, and on the island of Ceylon, and at Mozambique. Another Government veterinary school recently established at Belgatchia, Calcutta presidency, has done good work.

The forestry school at Dehra Dun, in the Northwest Provinces, has attained a great reputation. About seventy students attend, and the Government charges the cost of the school, 33,000 rupees, to the districts which send up pupils for study. India, under the British rule, will soon come into line with educated agriculturists.

In Burmah and in Assam steps have been taken to introduce science lessons into Government, or grant-in-aid, elementary schools by the preparation of "readers," as in India, but no secondary or superior schools in agriculture exist in these countries. So far as we know, the same is true of Siam and the Malayan Archipelago and of the Philippines.

Australia, as a federation of states, is late in its development, but some of its states are surprisingly advanced. New Zealand has its superior university, combining the three colleges at Auckland, Lincoln, and Otago. Its syllabus provides for searching examinations in agriculture to obtain the degree of B. Sc, either of these colleges having previously granted the diploma of agriculture to successful students. Each of these colleges has ample grants of land, but only one—the Canterbury College at Lincoln—has yet presented agricultural candidates. Forty-four graduates have received diplomas previous to 1895. Instruction in elementary schools seems not yet to have included agriculture.

In Queensland the Queensland Agricultural College was opened at Gatton in 1897.

In South Australia is an agricultural college at Roseworthy and another at Adelaide which has graduated several recipients of the diploma.

In Victoria there exists a college at Dookia and another at Longerong. There is also a school of horticulture at Richmond.

To New South Wales belongs the banner for furnishing the greatest opportunities for agricultural education. Its university at Sydney grants a degree of B. Sc. to students from the colleges of St. Paul, St. John, St. Andrew, the Woman's College, and the Sydney Grammar School. At Sydney also is the splendid Technical College, handsomely endowed, having an agricultural department. The superior of all other schools is the Hawksbury Agricultural College and Experimental Farm at Richmond, established in 1891, richly endowed with land (three thousand acres), and organized on the most approved modern models. Science teaching is not carried so high as the university standard, but all manner of practical work must be performed by each student.

Homeward bound, we reach Cape Colony, South Africa. Here, in 1887, the Government inaugurated a scheme for aiding farm schools in which elementary agriculture was taught. In 1894, out of 852 schools aided by the Government, 202 were classed as "farmhouse schools." In higher education there may be found (1898) the School of Agriculture and Viticulture at Stellenbosch, and a second one at Sunset East. As both of these schools are young, statistics concerning them are not yet available.

Last of England's colonies we notice the Dominion of Canada on our northern frontier. No evident progress has been made in introducing agricultural science teaching in the primary schools of the entire Dominion. The first step taken in the direction of agricultural education was for the enlightenment of farmers. In 1886 Parliament authorized the establishment of a system of experiment farms, one in each province in Canada, viz.: one at Ottawa (to serve both Quebec and Ontario), and one each at Nappan, in Nova Scotia; at Brandon, Manitoba; at Indian Head, Assiniboia; at Agassiz, British Columbia; and at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. To give these stations greater efficiency, the Government encouraged the formation of farmers' institutes in every electoral district for the hearing of lectures from experts which it provided, and for discussion or business. To each regularly organized institute of fifty members a grant of £10 is annually made.

In Nova Scotia five primary and secondary schools are reported as giving agricultural instruction to two hundred pupils. Some of these schools have farms or gardens. The Provincial School of Agriculture at Truro is making a good beginning. In its last class three students were granted teachers' diplomas, seven received farmers' diplomas, and eighteen took farmers' certificates. Three hundred and fifty students have pursued its course of studies. There is also a horticultural school at Annapolis Valley.

Another horticultural school exists at Wolfville, Nova Scotia, under the control of a committee of the Fruit-Growers' Association. Students take a thorough course of two years' duration. The Legislatures of New Brunswick and of Prince Edward Island grant bonuses of fifty dollars to each young man of their provinces who will take a course at this school.

Fine creamery plants are found at various points, and several provinces sustain each a "traveling dairy," which systematically visits accessible centers and gives demonstration lectures to farmers' families.

The crowning agricultural educational institution for the entire Dominion is the college at Guelph, Ontario. It combines instruction in veterinary science, horticulture, bee and poultry keeping, dairying, and the experimental farm. The course continues for three years. Two years confers the "associate diploma," and three years' study, with successful examination in the syllabus of the Toronto University, secures the degree of B. Sc. A. Success attends all these educational efforts and marks this colonial empire as among the ranks representing true progress.

Mexico and the countries of South America next claim our notice. In the first-named country, as early as the year 1850 provision was made at the old college of San Gregorio for instruction in agriculture in five different courses. But in 1854 the Government came into possession of the disused convent of San Jacinto, Agosta. Here a national school was organized, combining the two departments of agriculture and veterinary science. It was opened February 22, 1854, and designated the National School of Agriculture and Veterinary Science. Its courses of study are up to the best standards. Three years are necessary to complete the agricultural course and receive the title of Superintendent of Rural Estates, and four years' study must be given to secure that of Ingeniero Agronomo. The course was readjusted in 1893. During the five years past 169 graduates have received the former and 68 the latter degrees. The management consists of 48 persons, whose salaries annually cost the Government 96,424 Mexican dollars. Ample grounds and buildings are provided to make this institution a matter for national pride.

Besides this college, a farm school exists in one of the federal districts, costing annually $17,564, and another at the colony of Porfirio Diaz, costing the state $14,708. Mexico is also moving to introduce agriculture as a subject for primary instruction in public schools.

In Uraguay exist fine schools for teaching agriculture and viticulture which are of recent organization. At Montevideo the Government has created a Department of Live Stock and Agriculture, subject to the Home Ministry. The budget of 1897 provides for organizing and sustaining agricultural schools and experiment farms to the extent of $28,222, with an additional allowance of $90,000 for experiments on farms, installation of plants, furniture, instruments, etc.

Chili is coming to the front in her educational efforts. In the city of Concepción exists a Practical School of Agriculture. Others are found at Santiago, at Talca, San Fernando, Elqui, and Salamanca. The school at Santiago receives an annual subvention of $40,000, and that at Concepción the sum of $23,000. Attached to the latter are agronomic stations for soil analysis and oversight of irrigation systems of the state. The Sociedad Nacional de Agricultur at Santiago receives an annual grant of $20,000, which it distributes at agricultural shows and for the support of the zoölogical garden. At Quintan Normal is also an Institute Agricola of high grade for agricultural engineers and agronomics, or for furnishing a simple certificate in agriculture.

Other countries of South America possess education facilities, but we are not supplied with details concerning them.

Our closing glance must be directed to the far Orient. Japan, the newest of kingdoms, has a model brace of institutions for superior education in agriculture. When Japan awoke to the new ideas, to which for ages she was oblivious, her keenest statesmen grasped the thought that her agricultural people needed new light and intellectual quickening along the lines which so vitally affected their daily subsistence. She took the United States into her confidence. She imported for a season our Commissioner of Agriculture (General Capron), in 1871-'72, as "Adviser to the Colonial Office at Hokaido," who, after visiting Japan, advised the Government to organize at once an agricultural college at Sapporo, and still another at Tokio. This advice was cordially received and speedily adopted. American scholars of the highest wisdom and experience were imported to inaugurate the work. The college was inaugurated by Colonel W. S. Clark, LL. D., President of Amherst Agricultural College, in August, 1876, with twenty-four students. Its new location was Sapporo, and its new name was the Sapporo Agricultural College. The Government dealt liberally in grants of land, but these ample acres have since been mostly confiscated, leaving only sufficient for educational purposes. Few can estimate the wonderful uplift which has come to Japan through this efficient school. In 1893 it had sent out from its agricultural course 123 graduates; from the engineering, 4; military, 42; and from the practical department, 114,

In 1874 an agricultural department was added to the Imperial University at Tokio, the original location of the Sapporo College. An exhaustive syllabus in the Department of Agriculture provides examination for many profound students of this science, and admits them to the highest university degree. Four courses are open in the university—viz., agriculture, agricultural chemistry, forestry, and veterinary medicine. In 1895 there were 261 students of agriculture in the university.

From this extended though by no means exhaustive review of the status of scientific instruction in agriculture throughout the world, it is evident that all the progressive nations have caught the inspiration which attaches to this branch of education, and are swinging into line in their efforts to adopt it. Old ideals are rapidly giving place to the new. Educators are forced to admit that mental culture is as possible under the study of science as by the protracted study of languages and literature; that such study aids vastly more than the latter in the training which prepares men for the active duties of life; and that if the development of husbandry as a pursuit does not keep pace on an intelligent basis with every other technical pursuit, national greatness and permanence will never be achieved.


  1. See United States Consular Reports, vol. lvii, No. 215, August, 1898, article on Gardener's Schools in Russia, by Consul Heenan.
  2. Statistics of 1893. The French Government only occasionally issues its official report of agricultural schools.
  3. See Barnard's Journal of Education, vol. xx, 1870, p. 673.
  4. A bill for the development of Irish agricultural industry and Irish technical education, providing for Government aid to private enterprise in agriculture, and in manufacturing industries also, has just passed (August, 1899) the House of Commons, and is assured its passage by the House of Lords also.
  5. Appendix to Report of Science and Art Department, 1896-'97.
  6. Page 152 of Report.
  7. Dr. Voelker, in his Report on Improvement of Indian Agriculture, made to the English Board of Agriculture in 1893, said: "At the best, the Indian raiyat, or cultivator, is quite as good as, and in some respects the superior of, the average British farmer. It is wonderful, too, how much is known of rotation, the system of mixed crops, and of fallowing. Certain it is that I, at least, have never seen a more perfect picture of careful cultivation, combined with hard labor, perseverance, and fertility of resource, than I have seen at many of the halting places. Such are the gardens of Mahim, the fields of Nadiad, the center of the garden of Gujarat, in Bombay."