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EXPENDITURES AT EXPERIMENT STATIONS
Mr. BUCHANAN. It is in the breakdown, what you spent at each of these stations?
Mr. SHEETS. Yes, sir.
Expenditures at experiment stations
Expend Estimated 1932 ed 1933
Ardmore, S. Dak
$4, 856 277, 490
7, 752 5, 008 29, 896 14,981 14, 162 22, 530 74, 415
$7, 400 250,000 14, 300 20,000 29.000 12.000 13, 075 20, 120 59, 170
1 This station is located on an extensive bird refuge operated under the Bureau of Biological Survey.
RECEIPTS OF EXPERIMENT STATIONS FROM SALE OF ANIMALS AND
Mr. Hart. Do you have any income from these stations?
Mr. Hart. How will it be to insert in the record the total appropriation for the station and whatever income also, so that we can see at a glance what the total appropriation and what the total income are.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I have no objection to it. The income is infinitesimal compared with the appropriation.
Mr. Hart. It does show some income.
Mr. SHEETS. Here is one explanation that I think should go along with that. In conducting experimental work with cattle, horses, sheep, about 65 per cent of the appropriation goes for the purchase of the animals, their feed and care. The bureau has authority for the exchange of animals and animal products for other animals or animal products to take their places. In that way there is a credit due the project. For instance, take Ardmore, S. Dak., where there is a 20 brood-sow unit, where we raise 2 litters a year, and calves are produced there. We have an inventory value, so that we should get credit for the inventory. We do not have that available in all instances. For instance, we started at Miles City with practically no appropriation at all. We had on July 1 more than 1,000 head of excellent beef cattle there that belong to the department and the State. There is in addition a flock of 1,500 sheep, 250 horses, 300 hogs, and 1,500 turkeys. They are of considerable value when the experimental work has been completed that will not show in the actual sales of the year as much of the increase has not been disposed of.
Mr. HART. You would have to take an inventory in order to show a statement of the project?
Mr. SHEETS. Yes; the same would also be true of Beltsville, Md., as well as the other stations. This committee established the first beef and dual purpose cattle work at Beltsville. If you would go there you would see the $33 an acre land which was purchased with some good beef and dual-purpose cattle as well as sheep, hogs, poultry, and other phases of livestock experimental work being most economically carried on.
We have a detailed statement which gives the inventory value of the land and buildings, also the acreage. I presume you do not want that in so much detail. It is just the amount of money which is expended there. Do you want it broken up into whether it is cattle, horses, or sheep?
Mr. HART. I do not think it is necessary to break it up.
Mr. SHEETS. The statement I am submitting puts before you most of the things I would want to say, unless there are some specific questions about the work.
BREEDING OPERATIONS, ETC., AT MIDDLEBURY, VT., HORSE FARM Mr. HART. I want to ask you some things about the horse farm.
Mr. SHEETS. We have the U. S. Morgan horse farm at Middlebury, Vt., where the light horse work of the department is being done, with Morgan horses.
Mr. Harr. Are they pure bred horses?
Mr. Sheets. Two studs and two young stallions that will probably soon replace the older stallions.
Mr. Hart. Do they do any outside work?
Mr. Hart. Is this station running in cooperation with the War Department?
Mr. SHEETS. No. In addition to the work with Morgan horses there is some work with dual-purpose cattle, and sheep, also a project in pasture improvement in cooperation with the Bureau of Plant Industry, State of Vermont, and other New England States.
Mr. Hart. How much land does this farm contain?
Mr. Sheets. About a thousand acres.
Mr. SHEETS. It was donated to the Government so long as it was used for experimental work. The department owns 135 acres, acquired by donation, 517.
Mr. Hart. You say "owned by the department.” Does that land absolutely belong to the department?
Mr. SHEETS. Yes, sir; it was purchased.
Mr. Hart. The other land was donated so long as it was used for that purpose. Does it have to be used for horse work?
Mr. Sheets. Yes; and related work, including the production of feeds and pastures.
Mr. BUCHANAN. What is the real object of the horse farm?
Mr. SHEETS. The original object was to establish and maintain the Morgan as a breed. There has been a modification of that plan to the extent that the Morgan, which is one of the light horses, constitutes our laboratory material for certain feeding and breeding work with light horses. We have also at Miles City a few thoroughbred horses and a few standard bred and Morgans.
Mr. BUCHANAN. What do you mean by “thoroughbred” horses?
Mr. Sheets. The thoroughbred is a breed--the English running horse. Just as we would say a Percheron is a draught breed.
Mr. BUCHANAN. In other words, a race horse?
Mr. SHEETS. Yes; but the thoroughbred is used out there in the breeding work to improve the type of horse for range purposes. You remember when the steers were so large on the range they needed a heavy horse to hold them, and now that the steers are lighter they need a horse fast enough to catch them. The type of steer which the market wants is a 900 or 1,100 pound animal instead of a 1,500 to 2,000 pound animal, and there is an urgent need in the range country for a different type of horse from that used 20 years ago.
Mr. BUCHANAN. All you need now is a wild mustang, that the Government is cutting up and selling for soap grease.
Mr. Sheets. The average range horse to-day, unless it has other blood mixed in, will bring from $6 to $15, unless it is broken and serviceable.
Mr. BUCHANAN. What does it cost you to perform the horse work in Vermont?
Mr. SHEETS. The total expense of that station is $20,120. Of that amount $4,000 is for cattle, $13,120 for horses, and $3,000 for sheep. That total includes the pasture and feed crop work.
Mr. BUCHANAN. How many years has that been run, just approximately? Mr. SHEETS. This station was established in 1907. Mr. BUCHANAN. What have you done with the offspring? Mr. Sheets. The best of the stallions are sold or turned over to the remount service of the War Department to be used for the remount work. The remount work originally was in the Department of Agriculture, but it was turned over to the remount service in 1920. Our other surplus stock is sold or distributed for experimental purposes.
Vr. Buchanan. What do you mean by "remount"? Mr. Sheets. It is an organization in the quartermaster corps of the War Departınent, which was established for the purpose of giving
attention or encouragement to the breeding of horses that were of sufficient size and stamina for military purposes.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Do you know to what extent they are conducting any horse-breeding stations?
Mr. Sheets. They have the country divided up into zones, and they have a good many stallions placed in these areas. I am not familiar enough with that to give you the details, except that they have placed these stallions at proper locations for breeding purposes.
Mr. Hart. What type of horse is used in the remount service?
Mr. Sheets. It is a saddle type for use in the Cavalry. That type of horse is used in some States largely for the State mounted police.
Mr. Hart. What is the weight of these Morgan horses?
Mr. SHEETS. No; it is the Justin Morgan, said to have descended from the Dutch horse. It is the old Morgan, familiar to most of the people in the Northeastern States from Michigan up through New York and New England.
Mr. Hart. We bought some Morgan horses from over across the Vermont line; near Waterloo, Quebec, my father had a farm, and we
a brought some Morgan horses into Michigan. These were a black type of horse. I thought that horse would weight around 1,200 or 1,100 pounds.
Mr. Sheets. They will occasionally if they are bred to a large type mare—they will give you 1,200 or 1,300 pounds, which is a good general-purpose horse for the farm.
Mr. HART. He used those horses in the woods when he came here. I think those horses weighed around 1,200 pounds. They were stocky, well built, and very active.
Mr. Sheets. They have great endurance, and have a good disposition. The demand in New England right now is for a little more attention to the horse, and the Morgan horse is in a little more favor to-day than it was six or eight years ago, because of necessity.
Mr. Hart. We are shifting our farm power from the tractor to horses as far as we can.
Mr. Sheets. We are doing experimental work with draught horses at Miles City, where we use the Belgian draft breed. We find there is considerable demand for both heavy and light horses. The question of replacement is a very serious one, because most of the stallions and mares, reported on farms have an average age of over 10 years.
I do not believe there are enough good stallions available for service to give us work-stock for replacement in the next four or five years without lowering the standard and quality of our horses on the farm.
Mr. BUCHANAN. These stallions you turn over to the War Department, who put them out at strategic places, and they are bred to mares of individuals.
Mr. SHEETS. Yes, sir.
Mr. BUCHANAN. The War Department has no breeding mares itself?
Mr. SHEETS. They have several depots from which these stallions are distributed. They also have mares at these depots but they do not carry on breeding operations in an extensive way.
Mr. BUCHANAN. The object of placing these stallions around is to raise the type of breed of horse, so that in the event of war they would have some cavalry horses?
Mr. SHEETS. Yes; so that in case of necessity horses of a desirable type for remount purposes may be obtained quickly at the prevailing market price.
Mr. BUCHANAN. What have you been doing with your mares which you raise at your station?
Mr. SHEETS. We have sold a good many of the mares not needed, With 20 brood mares, we raise 12 to 16 colts a year, and that does not give much more than the replacements, with 5 or 6 yearling stallions and yearling mares to go out for breeding purposes. It only leaves 3 or 4 mares to go back.
Mr. BUCHANAN. Do you sell the mares?
Mr. SHEETS. From $100 to $500 apiece. It depends on how long they have been trained or schooled, if it is for driving purposes or saddle purposes, whatever the case may be.
Mr. Buchanan. Does the War Department pay you for those stallions?
Mr. SHEETS. No; they take them at their expense. That is a loan from one Government department to another. We can get these stallions back if we want them for our work.
Mr. BUCHANAN. They just come and get them?
Mr. BUCHANAN. And do not pay the Department of Agriculture anything for them?
Mr. SHEETS. No, sir.
Mr. SANDLIN. You were going to give the price at which these horses were sold.
Mr. SHEETS. There have been a few of them sold at $1,000; but that is unusual. Around $200 is about the usable, serviceable value of those animals.
Mr. BUCHANAN. I would like for you to put in a statement of the receipts from the sale of horses for several years. Put that in the hearing.
Mr. SHEETS. I will do that.
RECEIPTS FOR SALES OF HORSES AT THE UNITED STATES MORGAN HORSE PARM,
MIDDLEBURY, VT. $345.00 1926..
$1, 925. 00 485. 00 1927.
1, 800.00 2, 224. 65 1928
145. 50 1929 1, 350. 00 | 1930.
85. 00 2, 350. 00 | 1931,
1, 700.00 2, 250.00 1932.
600. 00 275.00 The above are the net receipts and do not include value of horses used in exchange for other animals, loans, or service fees.
1918. 1919. 1920. 1921 1922 1923 1924. 1925.