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and the colleges of the several States being honored with their first attention on the part of the new administration of the affairs of the Department, responded almost unanimously by accepting the invitation and sending delegates. The outcome of that convention was the fullest endorsement of the Department's aims and efforts. Among the results which attended the convention may be mentioned the following, and their importance to the farmer will be readily recognized :
1. A better understanding among the colleges and experiment stations, and a general mapping out, after conference and discussion, of lines of work for the future.
2. The adoption of plans which when put in operation would prevent unnecessary duplication of work.
3. The resolution to exchange results of experiments, through a central station, in order that experiments might have more than a local value.
4 The success of the legislative committee of the convention in securing the passage of a bill establishing experiment stations in the several States and Territo. ries, with an annual appropriation of $15,000 each for their maintenance.
5. The benefit to the whole country which accrueş. Every section, State, county and town, and the individual farmer must sooner or later be benefited directly, as they are already indirectly, by reason of this action.
These and other results were anticipated by the present administration when the convention was called, and its satisfaction has just been crowned by legislation at the present Congress, approved by the President July 18th, which places in its hands the organization of a bureau in the Department of Agriculture which is to act as a clearing-house for the several colleges and stations-thus enabling it to diffuse among the farmers of the country a vast amount of information affecting their business.
INVESTIGATING ADULTERATIONS AND IMITATIONS. The first order given to a subordinate by the new administration was given to the Chemist. He was directed to proceed at once with an investigation into the subject of adulteration of foods and food products. Enough was done in the earlieșt stages of the examination to show the pernicious extent of the adulteration of -dairy products, and the attention of Congress was called to the matter in the first report of the Department made under the present administration. The agitation of this subject resulted in a bill originating in a Democratic House of Representatives which was approved by a Democratic President before he had been eighteen months in office, regulating the manufacture and sale of oleomargarine. The enactment of that law was hailed with delight by every dairyman and friend of pure butter, and its beneficial results to dairymen are too well known to require repetition. Bulletins have been published by the Department on the subject of butter substitutes; impure wines and liquors; adulteration of spices and condi. ments, etc., and it is the intention of the administration to analyze and publish every article of consumption, whether it be a substitute in whole or in part, which competes with or reflects upon the handiwork of the honest farmer.
STAMPING OUT CATTLE DISEASES. The present administration was confronted from the beginning by momentous problems arising from the existence of contagious diseases of cattle. Pleuro-pneu. monia, the most dreaded cattle plague of Europe, had been introduced into the
United States and allowed to propagate itself almost without hindrance in various States on the Atlantic seaboard. For years the cattle raisers of the Mississippi Valley and of the Western States and Territories had been alarmed at its steady increase, and had secured the adoption of local laws and regulations which threatened to destroy inter-state commerce in cattle, while for the same reason Great Britain had for five years prohibited our cattle from going inland and required them to be slaughtered at the docks where landed. To make the matter still worse, this dreaded disease had very recently been carried to the great cattle raising States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri, and the people were in consternation at its presence
This burden upon our domestic and foreign commerce was at the same time a menace to one of the most important sources of our food supply and reacted with serious effect upon the agricultural interests. It demanded immediate attention and prompt action.
By co-operation with State authorities, the general Government has completely eradicated the contagion from the States west of the Alleghany mountains. In New York it has also eradicated it from Washington and Delaware counties and from the greater part of Westchester and Richmond counties. In New Jersey the plague is now confined to a very small section of the State. In Pennsylvania it is practically eradicated. In Maryland it is confined to a single county. In the District of Columbia and Virginia it has been completely eradicated.
This greatly feared danger has, therefore, been removed from nearly all parts of the country where it existed, and trade and commerce have been relieved of the necessity of embarrassing restrictions outside of the seven or eight counties to which the disease is now confined. In these counties the regulations are still strictly enforced, every bovine animal is numbered and registered by the officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry, not one can be moved from its owner's premises without a written permit, and each herd in which the malady appears is slaughtered as soon as its presence is discovered, and the premises are then disinfected. By the careful and constant enforcement of these regulations this imported plague is rapidly disappearing, and there is every reason to believe that by continuing them for a short time our country will be rescued from this danger and the restrictions removed from our trade in live cattle.
It is worthy of remark that few countries have ever succeeded in extirpating this destructive plague after it was once introduced, and done have made such rapid progress as has been shown here during the last two years. Within this time it has been necessary to inspect 31,446 herds of cattle, and to number, register and keep a history of the 283,270 individual animals which they contained. The success of the work has required the slaughter of 10,600 head of cattle, and the disinfection of 1,743 stables. The total expense of this great work has been less than $700,000.
SIGNAL SERVICE STATIONS FOR FARMERS,
Among the recommendations made to Congress the first year of the present administration for the welfare of the farmer and the advancement of his interests, may be mentioned the establishment of the Signal Service Station in connection with each agricultural college, and experiment station for the purpose of investigating meteorological conditions affecting the health and growth of plants; the
introduction of medical plants; the investigation of the agricultural capabilities of Alaska ; the completion of a report on wool, giving a scientific endorsement of American grown wool; increased attention to matters of forestry, etc. Several of these were met with appropriate legislation and the results have been laid before the country. Congress also provided for increased duties in certain branches of Departmental work, and in new fields, which required careful direction in their inauguration.
GENERAL EXTENSION OF THE DEPARTMENT WORK. It was not long under the new regime before this infusion of new life began to be manifest in every division, and the Department itself began to reach that emi. nence which its founders had hoped for. Instead of being the batt of the newspaper paragrapher, the object of ridicule among a portion of the agricultural press, the useless appendage of the Government in scientific minds, its work began to inspire the confidence of all. Its scientific branches were consulted more and more by those whom the Department was established to benefit, its deductions began to be received with confidence and with credit, and its standard began to rise to a plane commensurate with a Department intended to assist in the protection and promotion of the greatest of all industries. And, as these scientific investigations increased, and were stimulated by increasing inquiry on the part of the country for that class of information, new fields for investigation were entered, and in certain cases new divisions and sections were established in the Department to keep pace with the progress that was being made.
Thus a new division was created to take charge of the interests of the dairy, preliminary steps were taken to stimulate the pomological and horticultural interests of the country, a section for experiments in silk-reeling was organized, and other investigations inaugurated of more or less note. The most important experiment during the year, and one that is destined to favorably affect the future of this country, was that conducted by the Department of manufacturing sugar from sorghum by the diffusion process. Silk-reeling experiments were instituted in the District of Columbia in order to ascertain if the reeling of silk from the cocoons might be made profitable in this country; and investigations of the diseases of fruits and vegetables were prosecuted, a separate section being organized for the purpose. A most important reform was introduced in the Seed Division. Prior to the advent of this administration no test of seed distributed by the Government had ever been made to prove its purity, its freshness, or its freedom from the germs of disease or of noxious weeds or insects. A system was adopted which absolutely prevents the distribution of any seed untrue to name, wanting in vitality or containing any element which the Government ought not to distribute throughout the country. This has proven a great boon to the farmers, as will be readily acknowledged, and as thousands of letters amply testify.
A change in the Annual Report of the Department—a document of which there are now published 400,000 copies, the largest edition by far of any report published by the Government-deserves a notice. For several years the report has been confined exclusively to the operations of each division of the Department. The First Annual Report under the new administration contained besides the above other articles of popular interest to all classes of our farmer citizens. Among them was an article upon “Wheat Culture in India" and another upon “Truck Farming."
THE OLDER DIVISIONS MADE MORE EFFECTIVE.
The older divisions were by no means idle while these new departures were being made. Indeed the same progressive policy and spirit controlled and directed them. Activity was apparent everywhere, better organization was noticeable, better discipline was maintained, every effort was made to bring the investigations and studies nearer to the farmer, and the farmer's best interests nearer to the Department, and the first year ended under most favorable and gratifying auspices.
In 1886 the result of the special investigation to promote the Pomological industry, heretofore alluded to, was such as to secure from Congress authority to establish a division in the Department devoted exclusively to this question, and thus another important division was added to the Department to foster this great and growing industry.
In the same year attention of Congress was directed, through the Presi. dent, to the subject of irrigation. The Department had completed and distributed an exhausted report upon the subject. The Department also compiled in this year and made ready for publication an important treatise on tobacco; it completed'and distributed the report on wool, heretofore alluded to; it enlarged the section which had been organized to investigate the matter of the diseases of fruits, and it established a Division of Ornithology and Mammalogy, whose duty it was made to study the habits of birds and mammals in their relation to agriculture.
VALUABLE EXPERIMENTS IN SUGAR FROM SORGHUM. But of more importance perhaps than all other subjects combined was the investigation made into the manufacture of sugar from sorghum, and sugar cane, by what is called the diffusion process. Most astounding results were obtained. The old process secured between forty and fifty per cent., or at the utmost but sixty. per cent. of the juice of the plant. The new process secured practically all. Whitney's cotton gin was of no more importance to cotton-growers than was the diffusion battery to the sorghum grower. An increase of fifty per cent. meant that sorghum, the growers of which had become discouraged and disheartened over repeated failures to secure profitable results, was to be rescued and placed in the very front rank of sugar-yielding plants, that interest in it was to be revived, that its cultivation was to be profitable to the farmer, that it was to open a new industry to him, that it was to be as sure a crop as any on the farm, that the increase in yield of sugar from southern cane would be nearly double what it had been, and that a revolution in the sugar output of the United States was impending.
CLOSER RELATIONS WITH PRACTICAL FARMERS.
During the year the Department's agents were sent into all sections of the country to meet and confer with the people, called together to discuss the problems of agriculture. In this way the immediate wants of the tarmers were made known to the Administration, and information in the possession of the Department was im. parted and explained by word of mouth as well as through books and correspondence; scientific bodies were invited to hold their annual conventions at the Department, in order that the Department's officials might partake of the benefits derived from the discussions, and in turn impart the information to the farmers through various publications ; advantage was taken of the journeys abroad, of citizens identified with the agriculture of this country, to secure such valuable information as might be obtained in foreign countries of interest to our farming community; and in short the Department was constantly on the alert for the leading agricultural thought of the world.
During the past year the work of the Department has been vigorously prosecuted, and the policy of extending the influence and usefulness of the Department continued, as the result and its reports abundantly prove. The last vestige of diffi. culty in the matter of making sugar from sorghum was removed, apparently, and sugar was made from both northern and southern-grown cane successfully, practically and commercially by the diffusion process—a process developed, improved and applied wholly by this administration and so successfully as to eclipse all prior attempts to make sugar profitable in northern sections, or to increase the yield of sugar in southern sections of the country, and to make the year 1887 illustrious in the history of the country. The farmers of the north, east and west are now able to take their place in the sugar markets of the world in the same relation that they have enjoyed in markets dealing with their own products, and the sugar planters of the South have also to be grateful for so important & discovery.
STILL FURTHER REFORMS SUGGESTED. In his last report the Commissioner of Agriculture made many suggestions which were valuable. Principal among these is that on the subject of irrigation. It suggested, among other things, the building of reservoirs among the mountains in the arid regions for the purpose of storing the water now wasted in spring floods. The purpose was two-fold; first it looked to the redemption of arid tracts, and second to the protection of those sections which are annually devastated by the floods of spring. This suggestion seems to have been considered wise, as the present Senate has appropriated to the Geological Survey $250,000 for preliminary surveys for portions of this work. Thus must the present administration have the credit for sug. gesting an attempt to increase the resources of the cultivators of the Rocky Mountain slope, and for this endeavor to develop the arid regions to make them inhabit. able for immigrants and practicable for the manufacturer, and to make it possible to combine the hand-maidens of commerce-agriculture and manufacture—in the heart of the “Great American Desert,” while at the same time protecting the homes, the property and the crons from the devastation of foods.
A GENERAL RECORD OF ITS WORK. To briefly summarize the operations of the Department, the reforms inaugu. rated and the improvements made, it can be said that its work has been simplified, systematized and made effective; its researches and investigations have been along lines both practical and popular; it has divided divisions, and created new sections in order that new investigations might not interrupt those already in progress, or distract attention therefrom; it has established new divisions for the promotion of new studies; it has sent to the country more information upon timely topics than ever before in the history of the Department; it has maintained State agencies in several States, and one in Europe for personal investigation of agricultural capabil. ities and prospects; its continued study of the grasses of the country has been of