Transactions of the New York State
Agricultural Society
1844

Together with an Abstract
of the
Proceedings of the
County Agricultural Societies

(Greene County exerpt)

Transcribed by Sylvia Haper-Nelson


ALBANY: PRINTED BY CARROLL AND COOK, PRINTERS TO THE ASSEMBLY, 1844


GREENE COUNTY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY.

To the Executive Committee of the New-York State Agricultural Society:

Agreeably to the act passed May 5th, 1841, to promote agriculture, I present your Board the following abstract of the proceedings of the Greene County Agricultural Society during the past year.

At the annual meeting of said society, on the 5th September, 1843, the following persons were chosen officers for the ensuing year, viz:

        President—William Salisbury.

        Vice-Presidents—Elisha Blackmar, Lewis Sherrells, Nathan Clark, Henry Kinsley, Leonard Bronk.

        Recording Secretary—George Wicks.

        Corresponding Secretary—Richard Van Dyke.             

        Treasurer—James Van Deusen.

        Executive Committee--Cornelius Rouse, of Athens; James M. Sandford, of Catskill ; Stephen Hotchkiss, of Cairo ; Peter Roggen, of Durham ; George Budd, of Greenville; Anthony
        Van Bergen, of New Baltimore ; Edwin Hubbell, of Coxsackie ; Zadock Pratt, of Prattsville; Isaac B. Hinman, Lexington; George Robinson, Windham; John H. Keersted, of
        Hunter. 

The Annual Fair was held in the village of Cairo, on the 18th and 19th days of October, 1843.  An increasing interest was manifested by an unusually large attendance: and the exhibition of stock, manufactured articles, butter, cheese, fruits, vegetables, fancy articles, &c., was an honor to the society and gratifying to its members.

 

The committees on cattle, &c., expressed their gratification at the increased interest manifested by the growers of cattle in Greene county, and awarded premiums on all the different classes.

The committee on field crops after examining the vouchers and statements of the different claimants, awarded the following premiums:

        To Edward Johnson the first premium on one acre of spring wheat, 28-3/3 0/2 bushels.

 

Mr. Johnson's Statement.

The condition of the soil, previous to the crop, was good : the previous crop was corn. The land for that crop was ploughed in the month of April, all turned over--25 loads of good sheep manure spread on the land.  The 15th of May, it was ridged, and planted the 16th; the crop fair.  For the crop of wheat, the land was ploughed the 12th day of May, and sowed the same day with one and a half bushels of wheat; no manure used for the present crop; when ripe I had it cut with a sickle--was in the barn four weeks--threshed it and cleaned it good, and measured 28 bushels and thirty quarts.

Expense off Cultivation.

One day's ploughing and harrowing.............................................................................. $1. 75
One and a half bushels wheat, ..........................................................................................  l.  50
Harvesting, threshing and cleaning.................................................................................. 3. 50
                                                                                                                                                   $6. 78

The first premium on the best acre of corn, was awarded to George Budd, producing 113 bushels and 19 pounds to the acre; also another acre producing 92 bushels and 44 pounds.

        Statement.--The ground upon which the corn grew, was in the spring green award; it was plowed but once, and that about the 15th of May.  There was no manure of consequence put upon the best acre; but upon the other there were about four loads; it was furrowed about four feet and a half distant, and planted in drills from eighteen inches to two feet apart; it was weeded but twice.

The second premium on corn was awarded to C. L. Kiersted, being 91 bushels and 24 pounds to the acre.

        Statement.--The condition of the soil:  in the fall of 1840, sowed rye, manured it on the top, 20 loads to the acre, harrowed it in, had a fine crop; in 1842, cut a great crop of grass; in the spring of 1843, ploughed it smooth, harrowed it, marked it for planting about two feet nine inches apart, planted the large eight rowed corn; when up plastered it; soon after put on ashes, then plastered it again; plowed and hoed it twice; let it go until time to top, or until I did top it.  (The time to top corn never was yet--I am confident I lost five or ten bushels by the operation.  Corn should be cut by the bottom).

The third premium on corn was awarded to Stephen Hotchkiss, producing 63 bushels and one pound to the acre.

        Statement.- The ground last year was pastured, four years previous mowed as a timothy sod, not any plaster the year before; on May 15th, plowed four to six inches deep; 18th drew on fifteen loads of long manure from the barn yard and spread over the surface; 24th harrowed it; 25th marked one way; 25th and 26th planted herring bone fashion three to three and a half feet apart, at the rate of seven quarts to the acre and two quarts of pumpkin seeds, which yielded four large loads of pumpkins; June 27th and 28th plowed, hoed and thinned to four in a hill; July 10th plowed, 14th plowed and hoed or hilled for the last.  N. B.  This corn I wet with soap and rolled in plaster when planting; as soon as up plastered on the hill; after the first hoeing ashed with leached ashes, and when setting for ears, a broad cast of plaster over the whole.

Expenses.

Plowing one day........................................................................................................................... $1. 50
Drawing and spreading manure one day................................................................................ 1. 50
Harrowing and making................................................................................................................ 0. 75
Planting, --- ....................................................................................................................................  0. 75
Plowing through the corn............................................................................................................ 0. 50
Hoeing and thinning, ....................................................................................................................1. 00
Going through with plough..........................................................................................................1. 00
Hoeing or hilling, ..........................................................................................................................  0. 50
Plastering and ashing.....................................................................................................................0. 50
Cutting stalks .................................................................................................................................  0. 75
Husking three days .......................................................................................................................  1. 50
Drawing stalks ...............................................................................................................................  0. 50

 

        Whole expense,--------------------------------------------------------------                         $10. 75
                                                                                                                        CR.

        By 63 bushels and 1 lb. corn, at 5Oc.                                                                                 $31. 51
        "     3 loads stalks at $1 50,...__...------------------------------------------ 4. 50
        "     4 loads pumpkins, at $1 00 .................................................................4. 00
                               .                                                                                                                            $40. 01
                                                                                                                                                             _____

                                                                                                                                                            $29. 26

                                                                                                                                                            =====

The first premium on rye was awarded to C. L. Kiersted, who produced 381 1/3 4/2 bushels to the acre.

        Statement.--The condition of the soil previous to the crop was good.  In the previous cultivation it was plowed good, and spring wheat sowed; the crop extraordinary good; no manure of any kind used; no manure the present crop.  About the middle of Sept. 1842 plowed it very fine, sowed the 29th about two bushels of good clean rye, harrowed it well, then furrowed it to drain the water.

Expense of Cultivation.

        One day's plowing ...................................................................................................               $1. 50
        2 bushels seed at 6s. harrowing, &c. fu.................................................................                2. 00
        Harvesting................................................................................................................                   2. 00
        Threshing and cleaning, .........................................................................................                 2. 00

        .....................................................................................................................................                   ____

                                                                                                                                                               $7. 50

                                                                                                                                                                ==== 

The first premium on the best half acre of Mercer potatoes, was awarded to William Salsbury, producing 161 bushels on the half acre.

        Statement.--The ground was a gravel loam; was pasture ground for three years previous; was lightly manured and ploughed in the spring; harrowed and furrowed about three feet each way, and planted about the 15th May; ploughed out twice each way.

The second premium on Mercer potatoes, was awarded to Edward Johnson, who produced 139-1/4 bushels from half an acre.

The first premium on sugar beets, was awarded to William Salsbury, who produced 288 bushels from a quarter of an acre, and estimated 10 bushels of carrots on the same ground.

        Statement.--The soil on which I raised the crop of sugar beets is a gravelly loam, has been under cultivation for a great number of years, in vegetable and root crops, alternated with corn, potatoes, vegetables, &c. has been annually manured lightly; the year previous a part had on it sugar beets, the other corn and potatoes;  was ploughed last fall; in the spring was lightly manured with stable manure and ploughed, after a few days harrowed thoroughly; the ground, was marked out with a wooden machine in two feet drills; the seed was sown with a drill barrow, and a hand roller passed over; one quarter of the ground was left vacant; when the plants made their appearance they were lightly plastered, were hoed and a hand cultivator passed between the rows.  When the plants arrived at a size for transplanting they were thinned out and the ground left vacant was filled up by transplanting eight inches apart, cutting off the tops two-thirds of the leaf; again passed through with hand cultivator and hoed. 

Expense of Crop.

Ploughing, 4s, manure 12s., ploughing, &c. 4s.. ._..................................................... $2. 50
Planting, 2s., hoeing and cultivating, $4.50, transplanting. 6s..................................5. 64
Interest on land at 8100 per acre....................................................................................  1. 76
                                                                                                                                                   ____
                                                                                                                                                  $9 75

Cr.  By 288 bushels sugar beets, at 1s. 6d.                                                                     $54. 00
Say 10 do carrots, at 1s. 6d............................................................................                       1. 88
                                                                                                                                                  55. 88 

             Nett profit, .................................................................................................             $46. 18

        ...........................................................................................................................               ===== 

The second premium on sugar beets was awarded to James Van Deusen, who produced 171 bushels from one quarter acre.

        Statement.--The ground on which the above beets were raised has been in potatoes, rutabagas and beets for a number of years past; it has had each year a dressing of coarse barnyard manure, at the rate of about twenty loads to the acre.  The soil is a gravelly loam; it was ploughed and harrowed twice about the middle of May last, and then ridged and the seed drilled in rows, about two feet apart, and afterwards thinned out in the rows from six to twelve inches apart; hoed twice with the hand hoe, the seed used was about one pound. 

The first premium on Rohan Potatoes was awarded to James Van Deusen, who produced 112 bushels from half an acre.

        Statement.--The land on which the potatoes were raised is a sandy and gravelly loam; has lain in meadow five or six years past; was ploughed the fore part of May.  The Rohan Potatoes cut about two eyes in a piece, and planted in rows about three feet apart, with one piece in a place about one foot apart in the row.  There was a light dressing of coarse manure put on the rows after they were planted.  The seed did not come up well, and left a number of vacancies in the rows.  They were ploughed through and hoed only once. 

The first premium on Buckwheat was awarded to Stephen Hotchkiss, producing 251 bushels on one acre.

        Statement: --The ground was a timothy sod, and was mowed the previous year; not plastered within two years previous ; ploughed on the 12th day of June to the depth of five to seven inches without being pastured, being quite a top-dressing on the same, cross-ploughed the 8th and 9th July, and sowed the 11th July-rolled in plaster when sown.  The kind of Buckwheat was the white or grey kind, a little short of a bushel per acre.

Expense.

1 day ploughing, 12s., cross-ploughing, 8s:.                                                                                          $2. 50
Harrowing, 3s., cradling, 3s., raking, 2s., threshing, 6s..                                                                      1. 75                                                                                                                                                                           ____

                                                                                                                                                                          04. 25

                                                                                                                                                                          ====

Cr. By 25-1/2 bushels Buckwheat, at 34 cts.                                                                                         $8. 67

                                                                                                                                                                          ==== 

REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON FARMS.

[Committee:  James Van Deusen, Theodore L Provost, George Griffin, Jr.]

The committee to whom was assigned the ditty of visiting the farms in this county, report that they have visited eight, and have found them all under a good system of culture, both as it respects productiveness and improvement.

Regarding the diffusion of agricultural knowledge as a matter of primary importance, it has been the object of this committee not merely to view these farms for the purpose of awarding the Society's premiums, but to elicit and embody in their report all the information on the subject of agriculture that could be obtained.  They have therefore proposed a series of questions to each of the farmers whom they have visited, embracing the general heads of good husbandry, such as rotation of crops, mode of making and applying manure, the value of lime, ashes, and plaster, the quantity of grass-seed sown per acre, and the time of sowing it, the most economical method of enriching soils, and the best mode of exterminating Canada thistles and the white daisy—and in submitting this report, they fear that its length will trespass upon the patience of the society, but the facts elicited have been condensed as much as the nature of the case would permit.

Your committee first visited the farm of Gen. William Salisbury, situated on the Cattskill creek, and containing two hundred acres of land.  This farm has been under cultivation over one hundred years, and occupied by its present proprietor seventeen years.  The soil is chiefly composed of a rich sandy loam, and is in a high state of cultivation.  The fences are in a good condition, all remade by himself, and consist of stone wall, and posts and boards.  Gen. Salisbury pursues the usual course of rotation of crops:  first year, corn or potatoes; second, oats or barley, and seeds down with winter grain, at the rate of 8 quarts of timothy and 4 quarts of clover to the acre.  Timothy sown in the fall, and clover sown in the spring.  He applies annually to his farm from four to five hundred loads of manure, ploughed in the spring, and used in the fall as a top-dressing. He also uses lime and plaster.

Gen. Salisbury called our attention to a meadow upon which he had applied lime newly slaked, at the rate of one hundred bushels fine lime to the acre as a top-dressing, with the effect of more than doubling the crop .

The General keeps a large stock of the short-horned Durham breed, in high condition, and raises annually 1000 bushels of rutabaga, beets, and carrots.  His mode of subduing the Canada Thistle is by frequent cuttings on the surface, and the daisy by good tillage and heavy seeding.  His buildings are extensive, convenient, and every thing about them kept in good order. His garden was particularly fine, and by the variety and excellence of its contents, evinced that its owner was no stranger to the comforts to which the farmer is pre-eminently entitled.  The cost of labor on this farm is estimated at from five to six hundred dollars.

The next farm visited by your committee is owned and occupied by Mr. Stephen Hotchkiss, situated in the town of Cairo, and containing 88 acres of land, 22 acres being in wood.  This farm has been occupied by its present proprietor eighteen years; and to use his expressive description, was found by him in a state of nature, covered with stones and bushes. It is now in an excellent state of cultivation, divided into eleven lots, and fenced with good stone walls.  This soil is a black mould.  Mr. Hotchkiss pursues the usual routine of crops, and sows his grass seed with a liberal hand.  He seeds his land with rye, at the rate of a half a bushel of timothy and clover, equal quantities of each to the acre: timothy in the fall and clover in the spring.  He keeps but little stock, and improves his land mainly by the free vise of plaster, and ploughing under clover. He has also used ashes in small quantities with great effect.  His mode of subduing the Canada thistle is by cutting or pulling them three times during the season, .in the months of June, July, and August, and the white daisy he subdues by good tillage. 

In viewing this farm, your committee were forcibly struck with what the industry and perseverance of one man had accomplished.  Perhaps few farms had originally fewer attractions than this; but it now abundantly repays the well-directed skill and labor of its proprietor, and has produced in one year, 150 bushels of rye, 250 bushels of corn, 150 bushels of oats, 50 bushels of buckwheat, and 50 tons of hay.  The buildings are in every respect well adapted to the farm, and kept in excellent order.  The cost of cultivation is $75 per year exclusive of the owner's labor.

About a mile and a half in -a southeasterly direction, resides Richard Van Dyck, esq., whom we next visited. Mr. Van Dyck has resided upon this farm 13 years, and has owned and improved it seven years.  It had been under cultivation upwards of forty years, and was found by him in a low condition.  It contains 100 acres of land, all under improvement--the sod a gravelly and sandy loam, and is divided into nine lots.  The fences are remarkably fine, three-quarters of them being stone wall, and are entirely free from weeds and bushes. Everything on this farm bore evidence to its present fertility and good culture; and we learned many things from Mr. Van Dyck which gave us a favorable impression of his system of farming.  We especially noticed that his meadows were not so closely fed as some that we had seen, (a practice which this committee consider highly injurious,) but were covered with a rich after-growth of grass, which Mr. Van Dyck considers not only a protection during the winter, but equivalent to a top dressing of manure.  He pursues the system of a rotation of crops, and sows grass-seed at the rate of eight quarts of timothy and four quarts of clover to the acre.  He seeds with rye, and succeeds with barley and spring wheat, but has no success in seeding with oats.  His manure is applied to corn, harrowed in with winter grain, or applied to meadows as a top-dressing immediately after haying.  Ashes he has found very beneficial as a top-dressing upon meadows.  As an indication of the great improvement of this farm within a few years, Mr. Van Dyck stated to us that the first year, his farm yielded 75 bushels of winter grain, 100 bushels of oats, 25 bushels of corn, and 9 tons of hay.  It now yields 250 bushels of winter grain, 200 bushels of oats, 300 bushels of corn, 800 bushels of roots, and 75 tons of hay. His practice in enriching his soil, is by seeding thoroughly, using plaster, plowing under clover, mowing early and letting the after-growth go back upon the land; which mode of tillage is, in the opinion of this committee, well worthy of imitation.

We next visited the farm of Mr. C. L. Kiersted, situated in the town of Durham, and containing 140 acres of land, 90 acres being under improvement.  Mr. Kiersted is a new beginner in the cultivation of the soil, having occupied his farm but two years, though a part of it has been cultivated 60 years.  Your committee, however, had abundant evidence to believe that he has begun with right notions of farming; and the fact of his having received from this society three premiums on field crops, the last year, sufficiently proves his success.  His farm is well proportioned in upland and flats--the former being a gravelly clay loam, and the latter sandy loam--and is divided into nine lots, fenced with rails and stone walls.  Mr. Kiersted pursues the usual rotation of crops, and seeds down his lands with winter grain at the rate of one-half bushel of timothy and four quarts of clover to the acre, going over the ground with grass seed twice—timothy in the fall and clover in the spring.  In the application of manures, we found that Mr. Kiersted adopted the mode pursued by some of our best farmers, though in opposition to the theory of our most prominent agricultural journals.  He applies his manure in the fall, with his winter grain and grass seed, to ensure the taking of the grass seed, and harrows it in.  Mr. Kiersted also directed our attention to his method of subduing the Canada thistle; which, he remarked, was attended with uniform success.  It is to bruise them with a mallet, and afterwards apply salt.

Your committee next called on Almeron Marks, Esq., of Durham, who, though not a practical farmer, has nevertheless a decided taste for horticulture; and has ever been a warm and efficient friend to this society.  Very much to our regret, we did not find Mr. Marks at home; we, however, walked through his gardens, and were highly gratified at the taste and order which characterized them.  There was a splendid collection of dahlias in his flower-garden, and we noticed a very great growth of beets and carrots, covering perhaps half an acre of his vegetable garden.  His fruit trees and grape vines were in a fine condition, and every thing about the premises exhibited a degree of taste highly commendable.

At night, we found ourselves under the hospitable roof of Mr. Peter Rosgen, of Oakhill, whose fame as a polite and attentive host, it needs not our testimony to establish.  In the morning we proceeded to examine his farm, situated on the south side of the Catskill creek, and containing 140 acres of land; 100 acres being under cultivation.  Your committee were very much gratified with the whole appearance of this farm; the soil, chiefly a sandy loam, can hardly be surpassed; the fences, which divide the farm into twenty lots, were of the very best construction, and free from weeds and bushes; the fields were remarkably free from noxious weeds, and there was every reason to believe that the crops this year were abundant.  It is indeed true that, as it regards the location of the land and the formation of the soil, nature has accomplished much for this farm:  still, in the opinion of this committee, great praise is due to Mr. Roggen for the improvements which he has made during the four years that he has owned it, and for the judicious system of culture which he pursues.  Mr. Roggen adopts the usual rotation of crops, sows his grass seed in the spring with winter or spring grain, and applies his manure to the corn crop, plowed in. His buildings are well adapted to the farm, and kept in fine order.

Your committee next visited the farm of Mr. Lewis Sherrel, situated in the town of Greenville, and containing 170 acres of land.  This farm has been occupied by Mr. Sherrel and his father before him, twenty-six years, and is divided into seventeen lots.  Your committee were surprised and gratified to see the amount of labor expended upon the stone walls enclosing these lots.  It is believed there are over 3000 rods of stone wall on this farm, averaging four feet in width at the base, and five feet in height, over nine miles, every rod of which the present proprietor has helped to lay, and has thus, in the opinion of this committee, set an example well worthy of imitation.  His fields are in a high state of cultivation, free from bushes and weeds, and each one supplied with water.  We learned from Mr. Sherrel that his usual mode of applying manure has heretofore been, to plough it under for corn, but that he has changed his views upon this subject, and intends hereafter to harrow it in.  His land has a rolling surface, and is admirably adapted to every department of farming, whether to pasturage, meadow, or plowing.  His buildings are numerous and well arranged, and as a whole, everything about the premises, makes a very creditable appearance.

Your committee next visited the farm of Anthony Van Bergen, Esq. situated in the town of Now-Baltimore, and containing 700 acres of land, 200 being in wood.  Judge Van Bergen commenced on this farm 36 years since, with 150 acres -of land, and has added to it from year to year, 550 acres.  The soil on one-half the farm, and that the part moat cultivated, is fine clay, the rest is gravelly.  The farm is divided into 13 lots, and fenced chiefly with stone wall.  Our attention was particularly directed to 400 acres of land, all of which can be seen from the dwelling-house, and upon which the most labor has been expended.  The greater part of this land is in meadow, in a high state of cultivation, and covered with a luxuriant after growth of grass.  In the opinion of this committee, Judge Van Bergen has had to encounter and overcome great obstacles in bringing this land up to its present condition.  The soil itself, a raw clay, is far inferior to most of the soils which we had examined, and needs to be managed with great care.  Added to this, it is always liable to great injury from excess of water, and hence it has been necessary to intersect the farm with ditches, chiefly stone drains beneath the surface.  The subsoil plough has also been used here with advantage to draw off the water through the dead furrows.  The principal produce of the farm, though by no means all, is hay, and the quantity yielded this year is about 500 tons.  We also saw a large herd of improved Durham cattle in high condition, and were told that the amount of stock kept on the farm, varied from 25 to 60 head.  Judge Van Bergen applies annually from 5 to 20 tons of plaster, generally upon his meadows immediately after mowing, and with good effect.  He has latterly sown his grass seed with buckwheat, and has been uniformly successful.  He also applies about 1000 loads of compost as a top dressing to his meadows yearly.  Our attention was called to the method of preparing this compost, which is as follows:  First a foundation of top soil 16 feet wide and 50 feet long; next a layer of barn yard manure; next a layer of tan bark; next a layer of weeds; next a layer of muck; another layer of barn-yard manure; another layer of topsoil; a layer of marl; another layer of tan bark, and another layer of topsoil.  These materials were in equal proportions, and remained in the heap through the months of July and August.  They were then overhauled, beginning at one end and incorporating the mass more thoroughly.  While in this state they underwent the process of fermentation so as to smoke. This heap contained 700 loads, and was drawn out during the winter, and spread as a top-dressing upon the meadows in April.  Judge Van Bergen's buildings are large, in good order, and admirably planned for convenience.  They will contain 500 tons of hay, and accommodate in stalls 50 head of cattle.  As a whole, the Judge's mode of farming is, in the opinion of this committee, judicious, and exhibits a great degree of enterprise and system.

The committee view with great regret and anxiety, the general prevalence of noxious weeds, particularly the Canada thistle and white daisy.  While it is but just to say, that on all the farms visited by us, well-directed efforts were made to subdue them, we are forced to state that in many parts of the county we saw large patches of the Canada thistle in the fields and by the road side, which by their ripened seeds too plainly indicated that they were left to themselves and to poison the whole neighborhood; and we earnestly exhort all good farmers to unite in some method to exterminate these intruders upon our soil.

Great delicacy has been felt in awarding the premiums to the best farms, where all are so justly entitled to praise; but this committee have felt constrained to give the preference to those who by overcoming great obstacles, have brought an unfriendly soil to a state of high cultivation, rather than to those to whom nature has been more bountiful in this respect.

Your committee award the first premium on farms in the county, to Judge Anthony Van Bergen; the second to Mr. Peter Roggen, and recommend a diploma to Mr. Lewis Sherrel.  They also award the first premium in the town of Cairo to Richard Van Dyck, Esq., and recommend a diploma to Mr. Stephen Hotchkiss.

_______________

The attendance at the fair, especially on the first day, which was quite pleasant, was very large.

The display of cattle, horses and sheep, surpassed in quality and numbers, those exhibited at the previous fair; and it is doubted whether many other counties in the State can produce a finer collection of such animals than was here brought together.

On the first day of the fair, after a public dinner, the company repaired to the Episcopal Church, where the Address was delivered by the Rev. Mr. Romeyn--an address which, as is well remarked of it, "contained many home truths well said, and good advice earnestly given--which, if practised upon by those who heard them, will prove very servicable to the farmers of Greene."

The second day of the fair, though not so pleasant as the first, was still not so stormy as to disperse the assemblage before all the ceremonies were completed.  The plowing match, the main feature in the exercises of the day; excited much interest, though much delay was occasioned by neglect to have the ground previously staked out, and by the omission of some of the competitors to provide themselves with suitable plows.  The main exhibition of articles of domestic manufacture-of grain, fruit, vegetables, &c.--was made in the Baptist Church, where, after brief addresses from Messrs. R. Van Dyke, P. Sylvester, Zadoc Pratt, and A. Marky, the premiums were distributed as above mentioned.


WILLIAM SALISBURY, Pres't.
Geo. Wicks, Recording Secretary.
 

How to award Premiums for the “best Farms," &c. In connexion with the award of premiums for the "best farms" in Greene and other counties, a correspondent presents the following, among other considerations, which are worthy of attention : 

"It seems to me there is some misapprehension on the question, in what way can the influence of the Agricultural Society be brought to bear on the great object in view, viz: the stimulation of the agricultural population to increase the amount and quality of their productions?  Now, I conceive that the question ought to be simply, who has the best farm in point of fact?  for nature has done almost everything for some choice old spots, and denied almost everything to others.  He, then, who will reclaim a broken and stubborn farm, and who does it particularly with small means, and great personal labor, is better deserving a premium than he who has large means, has inherited a fine farm, and has only to keep things as they are.  It is of the first importance that all classes of cultivators, rich and poor, should have an equal chance under the Constitution of the Society, and that feeling and action should be harmonized. I would, therefore, suggest that, instead of confining the premium for the best farm, to the one actually and absolutely the best, let the very best receive an honorary diploma extra.  Men of capital will generally and assuredly possess such, and the honor ought -to satisfy them.  Then let there be a premium, (not money, yet some permanent form, a medal or cup,) for the best farm in another sense, viz:  that which exhibits the greatest perseverance and skill in overcoming natural difficulties, gathering out stones, draining, subduing untoward soils, and making herbage and grain grow where it would not grow before.  Let it, also, be a rule that nothing, either farm or animal, can ever be entered again after receiving the first premium, or can receive a premium for the same grade twice, and you will soon have gone the round of the present prominent farms and animals of the county.  Their proprietors, though laid on the shelf, will have the satisfaction of being there in consequence of having attained number one, and a praiseworthy and desirable stimulus will be kept up by a constant succession of new competitors every year.  No. 2 of this year will have the best chance next, because No. 1 will have received his honors, and not allowed to enter a second time, within say ten or fifteen years, and is effectually out of the way; and if No. 3 comes close to No. 2, so much tire better for the cause.  This view is not intended in the least to reflect upon the fairness of the transactions hitherto.  The honorable gentlemen who compose the committees deserve the thanks of the community, for they have labored hard, gratuitously, with little support and favor, and poor thanks.  It ought to be known that no person can draw more than three premiums, all over that sum being returnable to the Society; and I know that some who received premiums less than three, voluntarily and generously declined taking the money, and others who received them did not expect to receive premiums for what they entered, and entered them only to fill up that department of the exhibition-and would have been perfectly satisfied with a different result.

It is hoped that the above suggestions will not be disregarded.  They are offered under the influence of an honest and hearty desire to prevent or remove what is believed to constitute something of an impediment to more spirited and united action."


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