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it, containing a good stone quarry, besides about 20 lots in New Philadelphia, a new town on the line of the railroad, and about two miles from the farm, which will probably be the nearest railroad station.
Sections 9 and 10 of the organic act providing for the purchase of the College Farm, require that the Trustees shall purchase suitable lands, not less than 640 acres, for the use of the College and Experimental Farm; and that they shall take into consideration the price, location, quality and variety of soil, advantages of water, timber, stone, &c.
Your committee, after a thorough examination, are of the opinion that it would have been difficult for the Trustees to have made a selection more fully complying with the requirements of the law, than the one purchased. It has upon it at least six different varieties of soil, representing the prevailing kinds in the State; it has more than 50 varieties of timber, bushes and shrubs, and running water, spring and well water in abundance; a plenty of gravel, sand, stone, and material for brick; high dry land, level dry land, rolling clay, second bottom, sloughs, flat wet bottom, and timber bottom, besides the genuine prairie land.
We know of no other farm of the size in the State combining so many leading characteristics of Iowa land, and though we went to the farm with some feelings of prejudice against the location, we came away fully impressed with the belief that it answers the requirements of the law, as completely as any selection that could have been made. We are satisfied that the main object had in view by the framers of the organic law was, that the Experimental Farm should combine as many leading characteristics of the lands of our State as possible to be found in one farm, that all of the dif ferent varieties might be thoroughly tested, with the various grains and grasses, vegetables and fruits, and the final results might add to the experimental knowledge of the cultivators of the soil.
[As the information contained in the remainder of the Report, giving a history of the College and Farm, is much of it embraced in the report on the College, in the first part of the report of the Secretary to the Legislature, it is omitted here.]
Having for their object discussions on Agricultural topics, and eliciting the results of the experience of its members in farming, rearing stock, &c., are beginning to be appreciated more and more every year. These clubs have long been in existence in the eastern States, and here and there in the western States, for some years. The beneficial results growing out of such organizations where they are well conducted and regularly attended, are not properly
appreciated by our farmers; if they were they would as soon think of dispensing with their schools, as fail to enjoy the advantages of these clubs. Who that reads the discussions of the Farmers' Club of the American Institute, as published in the New York Tribune, does so without profit? Some of the advantages of these clubs were set forth in a circular letter from this office in November, 1860, and distributed in every county in the State. It resulted in the formation of about one hundred clubs. As frequent applications are made to this office for a plan to organize und manage them, a republication of that letter in reference to clubs has been requested. The following advantages, among many others, of Farmer's neighborhood clubs, may be enumerated:
1st-By frequently meeting together, it promotes neighborhood sociability, and serves to unite all its members for mutual protection in all matters pertaining to their common interests. In union there is wisdom as well as strength. Divided in interest for want of a common understanding, our farmers are more apt to be imposed upon in every way, than almost any other class of community.
2d—A comparison of experience in regard to farming operations will lead to the adoption of the best system.
3d-In regard to experiments to decide doubts or to obtain further information for improvement, by each member, testing a different mode of cultivation, feeding stock, &c., results will be obtained in one season, which would require years to accomplish, if pursued by one member alone.
4th-By uniting their means valuable and expensive animals may be purchased and used in common by the members which could not be had otherwise; also, for the purchase of expensive farming implements and machinery which could be used by all; also, for the introduction of seeds, &c., from a long distance, which it may be desirable to introduce for trial.
5th-A valuable agricultural library, composed of books and papers, could thus be obtained for the use of the club, at an expense of not over a dollar a year to each member.
6th-By the annual exhibition by each member of the products of the farm or of the household, accompanied with the details of the mode of production or manufacture, much valuable information would be elicited.
7th-The annual deposit of all such products, especially of seeds, properly labelled, with the name of the variety, when grown, time of ripening, product per acre, the name of the party producing it, &c., would be valuable for comparison with other specimens of the same and other varieties, as well as with those produced in future years. Improvements, if any, could thus be satisfactorily ascertained from year to year. [Seeds should be preserved in glass bottles, and all deposited with the Secretary.]
8th-No other organization has the power to secure so hearty, healthy, lively, and profitable interest in all matters pertaining to husbandry. They are the props of the County Agricultural Societies, and where they do not exist and flourish, County Societies and all other Agricultural organizations linger, and prove unsatisfactory.
The places for the meetings of these Clubs, I presume, would most generally be in the district school houses. As there should be, in many instances, more than one Club in each school district, the meetings might, in such case, interfere. In this event, the dwellings of the members could very appropriately, and I have no doubt more profitably, be used alternately. I say more profitably, because in that case the wives and daughters of the members could more conveniently participate in these meetings, and thus extend that neighborhood sociability so desirable in all communities. If they do not feel interested in the topics of the Club, there are many matters connected with household duties which they might discuss with profit to each other. If the husband takes pride in producing the best, his wife and daughter should take a like pride in preparing it for the table in the most agreeable economical and wholesome dishes. Many a family jar would be
avoided if the food was prepared with reference to its more easy digestion. There is as much to be learned by our women (I regret to say) in this regard, as by our farmers in agriculture, and they should not hesitate a moment, but consider it a solemn duty, to embrace every opportunity which may tend to perfect themselves in their domestic institutions. This is one of woman's rights which is sadly neglected by many of them, and one which we poor men, who are so dependent upon them for most of our comforts in this world, care not how soon is more generally assumed. Farmers' Clubs which are properly organized, and sustained by regular weekly or monthly meetings, give the best evidence that sufficient interest exists therein on agricultural matters to give me confidence that whatever may be entrusted to them from this office will receive all the attention required-that satisfactory experiments will be made therewith and intelligent reports thereon returned. Wherever I find such Clubs they may rest assured of receiving from this office a large share of every kind of seed, plant, &c., which it may have to distribute-and I will do all in my power to procure them contributions of books, &c., for their libraries, from all the sources known to me.
The attention of managers of county agricultural societies is respectfuly directed to the organization and encouragement of Farmers' Clubs throughout their several districts, as being one of the best means of promoting the interests of such societies. The societies of Floyd and Mitchell counties appointed one of their several boards to visit every neighborhood in these counties, with the view of organizing such Clubs. I commend their example to every county agricultural society in the State.
CONSTITUTION OR FORM OF ORGANIZATION FOR FARMERS' CLUBS.
To facilitate the organization of Farmers' Clubs, the following simple constitution (if it can be dignified by that name) is offered for the consideration of those about forming them. In the starting some such form is perhaps best, but the fewer and more simple the laws the better. The Chairman and Secretary are the only important officers generally, and the latter may be treasurer also if the funds are no larger than is usually the case.
Article 1st.-This club-styled the
Farmers' Club-is established for the collection and dissemination of agricultural information among its members. Article 2d.-The officers shall be, a President, Secretary and Treasurer, and an Executive Committee consisting of three persons. The President shall be the member at whose house the Club meets, or may be elected at each regular meeting of the club. The Secretary, Treasurer and Executive Committee shall be elected annually by ballot, and all officers continue in office until a new election is made.
Article 3d.-New members shall be elected by a two-thirds vote, and admitted by the payment of
Article 4th.-The meetings of the Club shall be held (weekly, semi-monthly or monthly,) at such place as may be designated by the Executive Committee, who shall also propose the order of business, subjects for discussion &c., unless the Club otherwise directs.
Rule.-No member may speak more than ten minutes at once, nor more than fifteen minutes in all, nor more than three times upon any one subject, except by permission of the Club.
This is enough-all that is needed; the Executive Committee have the power to vary the scope of the operations of the Club as may be deemed expedient, and have, in fact, with the Secretary, the whole management. This is better than to throw too much of a burden upon him alone. There should be accurate minutes kept of the Club in a book for that purpose, and the results of experiments by individuals or under the advice of the Club, and any other matter of importance in regard to agriculture elicited in the discussions, should be recorded with especial care and sent to the nearest news or agricultural paper for publication.
If Iowa had but one good Farmers' Club in every organized township in the State, this fact, if known to those looking to the West for their future homes, would impress them so favorably in regard to our standard as an agricultural people, that they would hasten to find a location under the bright rays emanating from such organizations. I have abundance of testimony from farmers at home and abroad to convince the most skeptical that they pay, socially, intellectually
and pecuniarily, and as the long winter evenings have commenced, permit me to call your attention to the following extracts, principally from the Country Gentleman, written by farmers, that they may be read at your first meeting, and perhaps serve to instruct you on some important points which I have not touched.
"But there is one beneficial operation of Clubs and Societies among farmers, which, if I should judge from my own feelings and those of a few with whom I have conversed upon the subject, I should place foremost and chief among their advantages. I refer to their tendency to induce the members to read and study records of facts, opinions, and experiences, and to observe what is passing around them with greater care. They induce some, also, to put the opinions or theories advanced by themselves or others, to the test of experiment. This stimulating and sharpening influence upon the observing, reasoning and active powers of the mind, I am disposed to rank as the chief among the several benefits which the discussions and interchanges of thought and experience among the members of these associations have a tendency to produce. Pride, or a dread of appearing to disadvantage, will induce some to observe, to experiment, to read, and to reflect; while others will be influenced to the same course from more dignified and generous motives. In these and other ways the mind is roused to activity, and this increased mental activity leads certainly to improvement, both within and without, both of the power to think and judge, and plan judiciously, and of the mode of carrying on the various operations of the farm."
"Wherever "Farmers' Clubs" have been formed in prudence and energetically sustained, grand results have followed. Their history has been a brilliant one in many a rural district.
Why then are they not more universally established? Not because they lack in utility, for their benefits develop themselves clearly. Not because farmers are not capable of getting up and sustaining them. There is intelligence enough in every farmers' neighborhood to start them with interest, and the longer they exist, the more interest and talent will be elicited, for they lead to close thought, diligent study and fixed observation. Positive indifference and lack of energy must be the causes of their failure.
Men of all other professions associate and meet for the advancement of their calling, and why shall not the farmers, who should stand first of all, inasmuch as it was the first employment assigned to man, and inasmuch as it feeds and clothes all? Why do they not assume their position, unite and regulate their plans accordingly?"
However a club is constituted, it should be as simple in its organization as possible. The meetings should be as free from parliamentary restraint as possible. The punctilious palaver of a debating society is ridiculous when we want to get a man's practical notions, and think less of his grammar or rhetoric than of what he means. The chief duties of the president are, to prevent two people from speaking at once, to lead back discussion to the topic under consideration, and to call out the backward, that there may be no waiting for somebody to speak, which distracts attention and makes any meeting stiff and disagreeable.
Farmers, when they thus meet should have a free and easy, pleasant talk on agricultural matters, and when this is over, a chat about the weather, or the latest news, over a cup of tea or a plate of walnuts and apples."
The undersigned members of the Joint Committee, appointed to visit the College Farm and examine into the condition of affairs connected with the Institution, and estimate the cost of a suitable building, have performed that duty and respectfully submit the following report:
We visited the Farm on the 27th of January, and found the
As follows: On a direct line twenty-nine miles due north of the City of Des Moines, in Story county; nine miles west of Nevada, the county seat; and on the direct public road leading from Nevada to Boonsboro. The Farm lies two and one-fourth miles west of Skunk River, the centre of the Farm, near where the buildings are erected, being a little more than three miles from the nearest point on Skunk River. The west line of the Farm is two and one-half miles east of the Boone county line. The Cedar Rapids & Missouri Railroad is now being built directly through the Farm, coming into it on the east side, about ninety rods north of the south line, and running diagonally through it, bearing north-west, and leaving it on the north line within about thirty rods of the northwest corner-dividing the Farm so as to leave about 160 acres on the north and about 488 acres on the south side of the Railroad. The Farm is well supplied with
WATER AND TIMBER.
Squaw Creek, a fine stream, comes into the Farm on the north; meanders through near the east line, the whole length affording an inexhaustible supply of pure water for stock. The banks of the stream are low, and densely covered with heavy timber on both sides. The timber is principally black walnut, oak, elm, white maple, linn, cottonwood, ash, hickory and numerous other valuable