« PreviousContinue »
The Bureau of Forestry was organized from the Division of Forestry by authority of the appropriations act approved March 2, 1901, with Gifford Pinchot as chief. The Division of Forestry was established by the Commissioner in 1877, and reorganized under act of Congress in 1886. N. H. Egleston was the first chief, and was succeeded by B. E. Fernow, who resigned in 1898, and was succeeded by Professor Pinchot. In 1905 the name was changed to the Forest Service, and work greatly extended by the transfer to it from the General Land Office of the management of the national forest reserves, with authority to establish a large corps of wardens, inspectors, etc., to conserve this important national asset.
The Forest Service has charge of the administration of the national forest reserves, and conducts examinations on the public lands to determine the propriety of making changes in the boundaries of existing national forest reserves and of withdrawing other areas suitable for new reserves; gives practical assistance in the conservative handling of State and private forest lands; investigates methods of planting and kinds of trees for planting, and gives practical assistance to tree planters; studies commercially valuable trees to determine the best means of using and reproducing them; tests the strength and durability of construction timbers, railroad ties, and poles, and determines the best methods of extending their life through preservative treatment; and studies forest fires, the effects of grazing on forest land, turpentine orcharding, and other forest problems.
BUREAU OF CHEMISTRY. The Division of Chemistry was established in 1862, and chiefs were in succession C. M. Wetherill, Henry Erni, Thomas Antisell, R. T. Brown, William McMurtrie, and Peter Collier, who was succeeded by Harvey W. Wiley, appointed on April 9, 1883. In the appropriation bill of March 2, 1901, the bureau organization was provided for and Dr. Wiley has continued in office as Chief of the Bureau till the present time. A large expansion of this work began with the incorporation in the agricultural appropriation bill approved March 1, 1899, of a paragraph providing for the inspection by the Secretary of Agriculture, with the aid of the Secretary of Treasury, of imported food products to determine their wholesomeness.
The Bureau of Chemistry investigates methods proposed for the analysis of plants, fertilizers, and agricultural products, and makes such analyses as pertain in general to the interests of agriculture. The work on foods includes the analysis of adulterated products, experiments to determine the effect of adulterants on the human
organism, and the investigation of food products imported into the United States. The Bureau does chemical work for some of the other Bureaus and Divisions of the Department, and for other Departments of the Government which apply to the Secretary of Agriculture for such assistance.
BUREAU OF SOILS.
The Division of Soils, formerly a branch of the Weather Bureau, was established as an independent division of the Department in 1894, with Milton Whitney as chief. The Bureau organization was effected under the appropriation bill of March 1, 1901, and Professor Whitney has continued in control of the work to the present time. A general survey of the soils of the United States by field agents of the Bureau was begun in 1900, and has extended to nearly every State.
The Bureau of Soils is intrusted with the investigation, survey, and mapping of soils; the investigation of the cause and prevention of the rise of alkali in the soil, and the drainage of soils; and the investigation of the methods of growing, curing, and fermentation of tobacco in the different tobacco districts.
BUREAU OF ENTOMOLOGY.
The Division of Entomology was established in 1863, and Townend Glover was the first chief. He was succeeded in turn by C. V. Riley, J. K. Comstock, C. V. Riley, and L. O. Howard, the present chief, who was appointed in 1894. The Bureau organization was effected under the agricultural appropriation act approved April 23, 1904.
The Bureau of Entomology obtains and disseminates information regarding injurious insects affecting field crops, fruits, small fruits, and truck crops, forests and forest products, and stored products; studies insects in relation to diseases of man and other animals and as animal parasites; experiments with the introduction of beneficial insects and with the fungous and other diseases of insects; and conducts experiments and tests with insecticides and insecticide machinery. It is further charged with investigations in apiculture and sericulture. The information gained is disseminated in the form of general reports, bulletins, and circulars. A good deal of museum work is done in connection with the Division of Insects of the National Museum, and insects are identified for experiment stations and other public institutions and for private individuals.
BUREAU OF STATISTICS.
Almost the earliest direct service of the Government for farmers was the collection and publication of agricultural statistics, and in 1863, soon after the Department obtained an independent position. the Division of Statistics was established, but it was not until 1904 that a bureau organization was provided for by Congress. The chiefs have been in order Lewis Bollman, J. R. Dodge, Charles Worthington, J. R. Dodge, reappointed. Henry A. Robinson, and John Hyde. After the resignation of Mr. Hyde in 1905 the work was in charge of the Assistant Secretary, W. M. Hays, until the appointment on June 16, 1906, of Victor H. Olmsted, the present Statistician.
The Statistician collects information as to the condition, production, etc., of the principal crops, and the status of farm animals through. State agents, each of whom is assisted by a corps of local reporters, through separate corps of county, township, and cotton correspondents, through traveling agents, and through a special foreign correspondent, assisted by consular, agricultural, and commercial authorities. He records, tabulates, and coordinates statistics of agricultural production, distribution, and consumption, the authorized data of governments, institutes, societies, boards of trade, and individual experts; prepares special statistical bulletins upon domestic and foreign agricultural subjects; and issues a monthly crop report for the information of producers and consumers. Special bulletins are published giving information of domestic and foreign trade and of the conditions under which foreign trade may be extended. Investigations are made of land tenures, country life, education, transportation, and other lines of rural economics.
BUREAU OF BIOLOGICAL SURVEY.
The Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy was established on July 1, 1886, with C. Hart Merriam as chief. On July 1, 1896, the name was changed to Biological Survey, and on July 1, 1905, a bureau was formed under the act approved on March 3, 1905. C. Hart Merriam has been chief of the service from the beginning.
The Bureau of Biological Survey studies the geographic distribution of animals and plants, and maps the natural life zones of the country; it also investigates the economic relations of birds and mammals, and recommends measures for the preservation of beneficial and the destruction of injurious species. It is charged with carrying into effect the provisions of the Federal law for the importation and protection of birds and certain provisions of the law for the protection of game in Alaska.
DIVISION OF PUBLICATIONS. The Division of Publications originated in 1889 as a section of the Division of Statistics, which had in the early days of the work been charged with the editing of the Department reports. In 1890
it was organized separately as the Division of Records and Editing. It became the Division of Publications in 1895. Geo. Wm. Hill, made Editor in 1889, has been chief of the Division from the beginning.
The Division of Publications exercises general supervision of the Department printing and illustrations, edits all publications of the Department (with the exception of those of the Weather Bureau), has charge of the printing and Farmers' Bulletin funds, and distributes all Department publications with the exception of those turned over by law to the Superintendent of Documents for sale at the price affixed by him; it issues, in the form of press notices, official information of interest to agriculturists, and distributes to agricultural publications and writers notices and synopses of Department publications, and has charge of all correspondence with the Government Printing Office.
DIVISION OF ACCOUNTS AND DISBURSEMENTS. The Division of Accounts and Disbursements originated as a branch of the Secretary's office. It was made a separate division in 1889. B. F. Fuller, the first chief, was succeeded by Frank L. Evans on July 13, 1893. A. Zappone, the present chief, succeeded Mr. Evans on May 1, 1906.
The Division of Accounts and Disbursements audits, adjusts, and pays all accounts and claims against the Department; decides questions involving the expenditure of public funds; prepares advertisements, schedules, contracts for annual supplies, leases, agreements, bonds, and letters of authority; writes, for the signature of the Secretary, all letters to the Treasury Department pertaining to fiscal matters and all letters to the Department of Justice; attends to litigation in which the Department is interested; issues requisitions for the purchase of supplies and requests for passenger and for freight transportation; prepares the annual estimates of appropriations; and transacts all other business relating to the financial interests of the Department.
OFFICE OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS. The Office of Experiment Stations was established in 1888. The first director was W. O. Atwater, who was succeeded in 1891 by A. W. Harris. A. C. True, the present director, was appointed September 26, 1893, to succeed Mr. Harris.
The Office of Experiment Stations represents the Department in its relation to the experiment stations which are now in operation in all the States and Territories, and directly manages the experiment stations in Alaska, Porto Rico, and Hawaii. It seeks to promote the interests of agricultural education and investigation throughout the United States. It collects and disseminates general information
regarding agricultural schools, colleges, and stations, and publishes accounts of agricultural investigations at home and abroad. It also indicates lines of inquiry for the stations, aids in the conduct of cooperative experiments, reports upon their expenditures and work, and in general furnishes them with such advice and assistance as will best promote the purposes for which they were established. In a similar way it aids in the development of the farmers' institutes throughout the United States. It is charged with investigations on the nutritive value and economy of human foods. It conducts investigations of the laws and institutions relating to irrigation in different regions, the use of irrigation waters, the removal of seepage and surplus waters by drainage, and the use of different kinds of power and machinery for irrigation and other agricultural purposes.
OFFICE OF PUBLIC ROADS. The Office of Public Roads was established in 1893, with Roy Stone as its first chief. There have been some minor variations in the title of the office, but the object of the work has remained the same. General Stone was succeeded as chief by Martin Dodge in 1900. The present chief, Logan Waller Page, was appointed in 1905.
The Office of Public Roads collects and disseminates information concerning systems of road management throughout the United States; conducts investigations and experiments regarding roadbuilding materials and methods of road construction; makes chemical and physical tests of road materials and materials of construction relating to agriculture; gives expert advice on road administration and road construction, and demonstrates the best methods of construction; and prepares publications on these subjects.
The library of the Department was first officially recognized by the appointment of J. B. Russell as librarian in 1871. The collection of books had its origin in the transfer in 1869 of the works on agriculture from the library of the Patent Office. Additions have been made from time to time by exchange and purchase. The library now contains 92,000 volumes, and is undoubtedly the best separate collection on agriculture and allied subjects in the United States-probably the best in the world. It comprises complete sets of State agricultural publications and files of many of the agricultural journals from the beginning; a large collection of the official reports on agricultural subjects issued by foreign governments; important collections in botany, chemistry, horticulture, forestry, zoology, and entomology, particularly in their relations to agriculture; numerous sets of scientific serials; a well-selected collection of encyclopedias, atlases, and other general reference works, and a small collection of biography,