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APRIL 22, 1847.
Resolved, That the same number of copies of the report of the American Institute be printed that was ordered of the Transactions of the State Agricultural Society, to be distributed in the same mant ner and for the same purposes; and when desired by those who are to receive the copies of the said report, the same to be bound with volumes of the said Transactions, without any increased charge therefor, under the direction of the same committee having the Transactions in charge.
P. B. PRINDLE, Clerk.
Of the committee of the Asembly on colleges, acade
mies and common schools, on an agricultural and scientific school and experimental farm. Made April 24, 1847.
Mr. Burchard, from the committee on colleges, academies and common schools, to which were referred sundry petitions of the inhabitants of this State, praying the passage of a law to establish an agricultural school and experimental farm, submits the following
That your committee have given the subject that consideration which the intense and varied interest of agriculture would seem to demand from their hands.
It is a conceded point among the liberal and enlightened portion of the community, that those who till the soil should be enabled to draw copiously from the rich streams of modern science. For to the agriculturists are, in a great measure, committed the destinies of the country. Then how vitally important that they transmit, unimpaired, the dear pledges of the nation's hope, her civil and religious institutions, to posterity!
But the evidence of facts and experiments developed by agricultural bodies, proves to a demonstration that farming is vastly in the rear of the other great branches of national industry. The refinement and civilization of the present age, appear to make it the imperative duty of government to cherish and promote a diffusion of knowledge amongst all classes. With just pride a citizen of NewYork can look on her admirable and unsurpassed system of public instruction, the model and emulation of her sister States.
It is with deep regret your committee are compelled to announce the mortifying fact, that agricultural science has never been admitted into her literary institutions, or taught by persons qualified, by lectures and experiments, to instruct our ingenuous youth in rural economy. But no man of any pretensions whatever, will deny but that improvement in agriculture is followed by comfort and affluence in the State; and in a growing population, where cities and villages rise like magic, and where investments in manufactures and commerce receive a gratifying remuneration, an auspicious moment seems to have dawned for laying the foundation of a school which will be appropriate as well for the agriculturists as those who aspire to a liberal and general course of literature. Its primary but not exclusive object should be to impart a theoretical and practical knowledge of husbandry; for melancholy experience teaches that ninety-nine farmers out of a hundred are more inclined to justify and abide by the course of ordinary routine than to search after improveinent. How few appeal to science, propose questions of experiment, and search into causes?
Among those who prosess to be enlightened, thousands are ignorant of the chemical principles that are based in the knowledge of the pabulum or food the plant draws from the earth on which it grows, and the substances which it returns in the shape of manure.
The physiology of plants, principles of agricultural chemistry, involving the wide range of manures, rotation of crops, and alternate culture, have called to European Universities the most illustrious teachers, who esteemed an agricultural chair, the highest of all scientific honors.
An analysis, showing the component parts of soils, as lime in the forms of chalk, marl, gypsum, alumina, silica, iron, and the other metals as exhibited in their different oxides, the various phosphates, &c., the nature and effects of HUMUS, and its different combinations with the elementary earths and the atmospheric influences, have been entered in the all-glorious field of academical instruction.
Your committee are induced to believe, that a concurrence of public sentiment or at least the semblance of it, has decided in favor of the establishment of a school for rural economy. At the first appearance it would seem strange, that a population whose main pursuit is the culture of the soil, should be unprovided with the means for the acquisition of agricultural science, and the accessary departments of learning necessary to constitute a well educated and disciplined mind.