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Agriculture And Life - Education Aims
It needs no argument to prove that the study of agriculture helps one to make a living not in the selfish, sordid, commercial sense where one profits by the loss of another, but in the higher social-service sense which the Master had in mind when he said, He that loseth his life shall find it.
Seed Selection And Plant Breeding
Perhaps nowhere else can the children be interested more easily than in the selecting of superior garden vegetables. In France, we are told, they have the finest vegetables in the world, and this is so because they practise the most careful seed selection.
Breeding The Cereals
With seed from a good variety, the pupils should be encouraged to start a breeding patch. This may best be done as a home project, though there is much to be learned and enthusiasm to be gained from starting a breeding plot for the school.
Breeding Corn
There are a number of reasons why corn makes a good subject for classes in nature study, botany or agriculture. The corn plant is a typical monocotyl. It is planted before school closes in the spring and is not harvested until after school begins again in the fall.
Potato Breeding
In some parts of the country the potato crop is more important than the corn crop, in which case the emphasis should be placed on the breeding of potatoes. It is frequently claimed that potatoes run out, and by the theory of species creation and extinction, this is true.
Pets And Home Projects
The farm produces better observers than does the town, it produces better reasoners, it gives discipline in meditation, it calls frequently for quick judgment and action, but it does not enable boys to become so apt in books.
Stock And Grain Judging
From millions of toilers coming down the ages, we have inherited certain knowledge and certain types of farm plants and animals that are peculiarly adapted to specific purposes.
Horse Judging
Judging does not necessarily mean the placing of prize animals to the awarding of ribbons in a show ring. Judging means the selection of what one wants for his purpose. It is used when One has to buy animals.
Classification Of Cattle
Cattle are classified into two and some give three types—beef, dairy and dual-purpose. Among the beef breeds are the Shorthorns, Aberdeen Angus, Galloway, Herefords. Among dairy breeds are Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, and Ayrshire. The Brown Swiss, Devon and Red Polled are classed as dual-purpose by some and by others according to types as dairy or beef.
Types And Breeds Of Swine
There are two types of swine —the bacon and the lard types. The bacon is a lean type, should be an active hog and grown on pasture and a narrow protein ration. The lard hog is, like the beef cattle, a round, fat animal.
Sheep
Sheep are kept for two purposes, mutton and wool, and hence there are two types of sheep. The wool sheep are again classified into the coarse-wooled breeds. Leicester, Cotswold and Lincoln. Medium-wooled sheep the Dorset, Southdown, Hampshire, Oxford, Cheviot and others. And fine-wooled sheep, Merino, Delaine, Ramboullet, American Merino and others.
Feeds And Feeding
Among the most valuable gifts which the mathematicians have given to the world in recent years are the feed tables by which one may determine with almost mathematical accuracy just what an animal should have in order to enable it to perform its functions most satisfactorily.
Weights And Measures With Feeding
The farmer classes the stems and leaves which he feeds, such as alfalfa, corn fodder, hay, and pasture, as roughage. The feeds which he must buy and which are made in some kind of a mill he classifies as mill-feeds.
Poultry Feeding
There are upon the market a number of mixed grain feeds which, if supplemented with milk and a little meat scrap, make a very good ration for little chickens.
Feeding The Dairy Cow
The following is a fairly good ration for each 1000-pound cow in full milk flow. It will serve as a guide to follow reasonably close but to be varied according to prices and materials on hand to feed. Children should try to find how near they approximate this ration in their feeding at home.
Horse Feeding
Horses, like other farm animals, should have access to salt at all times, but if they get it only at irregular intervals they are apt to eat too much at one time. Perhaps more horses are injured by being fed too much than by being fed too little.
Farm Accounts And Farm Management
The first thing for a farmer to do, and the first thing in farm accounts for a teacher to train children to do, is to make a neat, careful, and clear inventory of everything having a money value on the farm, especially if it will enter into production for another year.
All About Soil
It is a law in agriculture that a soil is equal in value to its scarcest element. There are five things that our soils are likely to be deficient in. Nitrogen, potash, phosphorus, lime and water.
Fertilizers For Different Crops
The man growing special crops would no doubt like to know just what fertilizer to use for each crop. This can be answered only by experiment. The chemical analysis of his soil gives the potential plant food only, but it tells little as to what is available for the plants at any given time.
How To Experiment With Fertilizers
If a field has been worked for some time it may become sour or poisoned from the plants that have been growing on it. The clovers do more than any other class of plants to restore fertility to the soil. If the field gets too sour it seems that alsike is the only clover that will do well, then, after the alsike clover is plowed and the field worked a year or so, the other clovers may grow.
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