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PROFESSOR KETCHUM: From the point of one who is trying to teach both railroad and highway engineering, I feel that the technical graduate is as well equipped and qualified to take up highway engineering on graduation as railroad engineering. The railroads having trained railroad engineers for a long time, and after technical graduates have had an opportunity to get training on the highways, highway engineers will certainly rank in the same list as the railroad engineers. I am quite sure that men who are teaching highway engineering are treating it in very much the way that Mr. Johnson has suggested. They are treating highway economics as highway economics and railroad economics as railroad economics, and are giving as much practice in highway surveying as in railroad surveying. While much remains to be desired in instruction in both railroad and highway engineering, the speaker feels that we are giving at the present as good instruction in highway engineering as in railroad engineering. The time available is entirely inadequate in both cases.
TEACHING AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING IN
LAND GRANT COLLEGES.
BY C. J. ZINTHEO,
By land grant colleges, I take it, is meant such institutions as have been organized in the various states in the Union under the Morrill Endowment Acts of 1862 and 1890, to establish and maintain colleges for the benefit of agriculture and mechanic arts.
These colleges of agriculture and mechanic arts have been great factors in advancing knowledge along the lines for which they were intended. The “mechanic
part of these institutions have developed into engineering colleges, and most of them are now offering courses in mechanical, civil, electrical and mining engineering.
The agricultural colleges and experiment stations are making investigations and giving instruction in almost all branches of agriculture, teaching the farmers how to improve their breeds of cattle and grains, to increase the fertility of the soil, and how to bring farming up to a scientific and business basis of management. It was evidently intended by the Morrill Act that the courses in agriculture and mechanic arts should strengthen and help each other. They have, however, diverged so that the engineering courses are now entirely professional courses, and the agricultural students have received no mechanical training except the small fraction of time devoted to manual training, such as carpentry and blacksmithing.
While this training is good as far as it goes, it certainly is not sufficient for the average agricultural student, in view of the importance of machinery on the American farms to-day. To give an idea of the vast sums of money that are invested in farm implements, take for instance, the following five states: Iowa has $57,960,000 invested; New York, $56,006,000; Pennsylvania, $50,917,240; Illinois, $44,977,310, and Ohio, $36,354,150.
The time and money saved by using improved machinery is very well shown in the report of the United States Department of Agriculture. “In 1830 it took over three hours' labor to raise one bushel of wheat; in 1896 it took ten minutes; in 1830 the labor in one bushel of wheat cost seventeen and three fourths cents; in 1896 it cost three and one half cents per bushel.
“In 1850 the labor represented in a bushel of corn was four and one half hours; while in 1894 it had been reduced to forty-one minutes. In 1860 it is estimated that the labor to put one ton of hay in bales represented thirty-five and one half hours, while in 1894 this labor was reduced to eleven and one half hours, or from a cost of $3.00 in labor to $1.29.” The report estimates that in the year 1899 the agricultural implements in the United States saved in human labor the sum of $681,471,827.
In no other country is such extensive use made of farm machinery, and the scarcity of farm labor will tend to increase its use in the future rather than otherwise. The total value of implements and machinery on the farms of this country, according to the recent census, was $761,261,550, an average of $133 per farm, taking the country over, and ninety cents per acre of farm land. Truly, no other item in the farmer's investment outside of the land itself required so much capital upon which he must pay or earn interest.
Much of the machinery is elaborate and complicated in its construction and requires mechanical skill or genius for its most efficient operation and care, not to mention the making of special repairs. That there is an enormous waste of money due to the neglect and unskillful handling of this part of the farm equipment, must be obvious to any one who has traveled through the regions where it is most used. It is safe to estimate that nearly one half of the money now spent for agricultural implements in this county could be saved if the farmers understood how to care for, adjust and properly operate the machines.
Our American agricultural colleges are a good ways behind Europe in the work of training the students in mechanical work. The little country of Switzerland has for many years been making farm implement field exhibits under the auspices of the agricultural societies. These exhibits are well advertised and the farmers from far and near come and receive instruction in the use, abuse, construction and operation of the various kinds of farm implements. In Germany and France field trials are annually conducted between various makes of farm machinery. These trials are carried on by the government and are largely attended by the farmers.
The Agricultural High School at Berlin has a welldeveloped and efficient department of farm machinery. In the opinion of the head of that department, nothing has done more to improve the agricultural methods in Germany than the study by the young men of the tools of their own and other countries; and out of it have resulted many improvements in construction.
In England, agricultural shows are held throughout the summer, at which instruction is given in farm machinery.
The Scandinavian countries are making tests of farm machinery and the Society of Norway's Welfare is annually conducting experiments with agricultural implements and issuing bulletins in which are published the results of their observations for the benefit of the farmers.
The Russian Agricultural College students are obtaining practice in judging farm machinery according to certain laid down principles in about the same way that our students are judging thorough-bred cattle and horses. Even in far-off Siberia, the writer had the privilege a few years ago to attend the field trial between the various makes of American harvesting machines. The trial was held at the Agricultural College at Tomsk, Siberia. After the trial the machines were taken down by the college students and each part studied in detail under the supervision of the college director and the instruction of the American experts.
The first work, looking toward instruction in farm machinery by any American agricultural college, was, no doubt, done in Wisconsin by Professor F. H. King. He conducted a number of experiments with windmills, pumps and feed grinders, as well as along the line of