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ANNUAL MEETING NEBRASKA STATE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE.

FIRST DAY AFTERNOON SESSION.

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, January 17th, 1888. In compliance with provisions of the law, the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture met in the State University Chapel, Lincoln, the date above named, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Officers present:

S. M. Barker, President; J. B. McDowell, 1st Vice President; R. R. Greer, 2d Vice President; L. A. Kent, Treasurer; Robt. W. Furnas, Secretary; Austin Humphrey, General Superintendent; W. R. Bowen, Superintendent Gates and Tickets; 0. M. Druse, Master Transportation; Eli A. Barnes, Superintendent Agricultural Hall; Chas. E. Bessey, Botanist.

On roll call, the following members of the State Board were found to be present:

L. A. Kent, R. H. Henry, J. D. Macfarland, F. H. Holt, Ed. McIntyre, J. S. Hughes, S. M. Barker, A. Humphrey, J. M. Lee, A. W. Buffum, C. Hartman, J. B. McDowell, R. R. Greer, W. H. Smith, R. W. Furnas, R. W. Blake, E. N. Grennell, S. H. Webster, J. Jensen, E. A. Barnes.

On roll call of counties, the following representatives were present:

Adams, W. W. Phillelo; Brown, R. W. Blake; Buffalo, J. T. Mallalieu; Cass, Fred. Gorder; Clay, G. F. Warren; Cheyenne, C. W. Johnson; Custer, F. M. Knox, Dodge, W. L. May; Fillmore, J. Jensen; Gage, A. V. S. Saunders; Hall, Eli A. Barnes; Hayes, J. S. Hughes; Hitchcock, R. L. Perry; Howard, X. Piasecki; York, H. Fry; Johnson, W. Ernst; Jefferson, W. W. Watson; Kearney, J. W. Ferguson; Knox, A. D. Holbrook; Lancaster, A. Humphrey; Madison, H. M. Robertson; Nance, B. D. Slaughter; Nemaha, R. W. Furnas; Otoe, D. T. Hill; Pawnee, W. B. Bull; Platte, J. E. North; Polk, G. W. Gregg; Richardson, Ed. Pyle; Saunders, P. J. Hall; Sarpy, J. L. Brown; Seward, H. P. Jones; Saline, James Foster; Sherman, Aaron Wall; Webster, J. C. Warner.

On motion of F. H. Holt, a committee on credentials was dispensed with, and those answering to roll call were declared members, and the Secretary authorized to place on the list of members such as may hereafter, during this meeting, report themselves as members, representatives, or delegates.

Letters were read from W. E. Hill, J. B. Dinsmore, M. Dunham, and W. H. Barstow, giving valid excuses for non-attendance, and on motion they were excused.

A quorum being present, the President declared the meeting in order and ready for business.

The Annual Reports of the President, Treasurer, and Secretary were called for. The President stated he did not think his address would be called for before the evening session, and therefore had not brought it with him.

The Secretary and Treasurer being in readiness, their reports were read, and the President's Address made the special order first after meeting in evening session. The following is the Secretary's Annual Report:

THE SECRETARY'S REPORT. To the President of the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture: As required by law, I hereby submit my annual report as Secretary of the Board. In compliance with the requirement of the State Board I present first, the financial transactions of the organization for the year 1887, showing receipts from all sources, and disbursements in detail, with number, date, and amount of each warrant, and purpose for which issued, to which careful and considerate attention is invited.

In order that the annual disbursements may be the more readily, comprehensively, and satisfactorily understood. I present the following summary :

Amount paid premiums: General

......$ 9,924 50 Speed......

2,972 05 Total..

.$12,896 55 Paid for labor, lumber, hardware, water pipes. painting, and other improvements on the fair grounds, $5,224.84.

Salaries, including those fixed by law for President of State Board, Treasurer, Secretary, Board of Managers, clerks, general and class superintendents, judges and experts, and their incidental expenses (experts $284.35), $6,321.41.

Printing and advertising, which includes all stationery supplies, advertising, hand bills, hangers, flyers, cards, diplomas, traveling expenses, bill posters, and posting advertising matter, $3,898.78.

Hotel, board bills, meal tickets, and livery, $1,827.20. This includes the battery, sixty-five men, during whole of fair and State Board and Managers for the whole year.

Miscellaneous expenditures, including ice for fair, repairs, expenses delegates to National Agricultural Convention, fees and membership in same, expenses State Board Botanist, horse killed, damages paid, sprinkling, telephone, and such like, $765.97. Forage during fair, $371.83. Extra speed, including Jay-Eye-See, and speed consolations, $2,352.86.

Freight, express, and telegraph, $448.49. This includes railroad switching at fair and all other express, cartage, and telegraphing for the year.

Postage, $195.13.

Police, $1,592.65. This includes total police expenditure, pay of superintendent and his pay roll, and special detective force.

Furniture, $121.20.

The incidental expenses of the Secretary's office, particularly postage and express, has been very greatly reduced this year by reason of the liberal arrangements I have made with the railroad and express companies, by which a very large proportion of advertising matter heretofore paid for was, the past year, transported free.

I submit also a statement of cash received by me as speed entry money, speed fines collected and disposed of, and stall rents, accompanied with receipts for same from the Treasurer of the State Board, and Secretary of the American Trotting Association, showing:

Dr. to cash,
Received speed entries.....

.$2,257 00 Received stall rents...

843 50 Received score card privilege,..

75 00 Received speed fine, J. M. Holland..

70 00 Received speed fine, J. S. Wolf..

26 25 Received speed fine, Fred Shank...

25 00 Received speed fine, driver.....

5 00 Received State Horticultural Society

17 75

$3,319 50

Cr. by receipts,
L. A. Kent
J. H. Steiner.

.$3,244 50

77 50

$3,322 00 Speaking of speed matters, permit me to say, this Board, I think, has no reason to regret its affiliation with the new national speed organization, the American Trotting Association. There was a call for it, and it has at once taken and maintains a permanent, honorable, and useful position in its line of work.

The account as kept with the Treasurer is as follows. His debtor, viz.: Statement of account with the Treasurer, Nebraska State Board of Agriculture, for the year

1887: Balance last year..........

...$ 8,972 01 Horticultural Society..

17 75 General admission tickets, 1887.

13,740 00 Amphitheatre tickets, 1887.

2,578 00 Quarter stretch tickets, 1887

925 00 Booth privileges, 1887.

2,918 50 Hacks, 1887.

500 00 State appropriation, 1887.

2,000 00 Camping permits, 1887..

103 00 Speed money, 1887.

2,257 00 Stall money, 1887.

843 60 R. R. coupons, 1887...

9,129 50 Advertisements in premium list, 1887.

121 50 Score cards, 1887...

75 00 Speed fines, 1887.

51 25 Uncalled for warrants, 1886.

9 40 Refused warrants, 1887.

3 20

$44,244 61 His credit is the list of warrants issued and hereto attached, from No. 1 to 510 inclusive. In this the account of the Treasurer and Secretary will never exactly agree, from the fact that all warrants for the current year are never presented and paid up to date, and some of those issued the past year are paid by the Treasurer the present year, and so on, one year lapping on the other.

While I ve made unusual efforts to obtain uch data as would enable me to render at this meeting at least an approximate crop report for the year 1887, the returns have been too meagre to warrant even an attempt at so doing. I hope before the annual report is placed in the printer's hands, however, to present as complete a showing as possible. This much I venture to say now: In the matter of the great staple crop with us, corn! Until of late, from reports at hand, I had been flattered with the prospect that increased acreage in the state would over-balance shortage in acre yields, and give us in the aggregate increased bushels over last year-in fact any previous year. Later and more reliable advice, however, compel, reluctantly, the conclusion that the corn yield in the state is largely short; how much I will not now venture to say. In portions of the state, however, it is a source of pleasure to know and announce that the corn crop was never better than for the season-1887. Some few sections were near an entire failure. Small grains, as a rule, are below an average yield, but the quality rather above than below an average. Still the state has corn to sell and prices better than for years past, which in part, at least, compensates for shortage in yield.

While many of the counties in Nebraska, through either the secretaries of the county societies or the county clerks, have been prompt and satisfactory in rendering statistical crop reports for file and use in compiling the annual volumes, very many are negligent, and fail entire. There should be some plan devised by which all counties should present reports. In this my official rendition to the Board, I beg to press this matter to the attention of representatives present. When it is remembered that these reports are used as advertisements, really, of the respective counties, it seems to me its importance should be appreciated, and those havirg matters in charge, stimulated to action. Under our law governing in this, it will be seen that no county society is entitled to representation at the annual meeting, or elsewhere, in this Board, that fails in submitting an annual report.

In portions of the state, district organizations are found, composed of counties having no county organization. There is no good reason why such organizations should not be recognized by this Board, and in some way represented at our annual meetings and fairs, at least until county organizations are effected. Such would be but simple justice.

That the annual exposition for the year was a grand suci ess in all respects, and that the "Nebraska State Fair maintains an honorable position in the front ranks of such exhibits, second to none other in the United States, I scarcely need here note. The fact is known and conceded by all. The exhibits in all departments were larger, and of better character than ever before, showing wonderful improvement and progress in all branches of agriculture, horticulture, mechanics, education, and the arts. The largely increased attendance and exhibits from other states, especially in live stock, are evidences of the importance and value of the work and results of the Board's endeavors in this direction.

The annual report of this Board for the year 1886 in bound book form, near four hundred pages, has been published and distributed. I have sent six copies each to all the members and officers of the State Board of Agriculture, secretaries of county and district agricultural organizations, and county clerks in the state and other state and territorial agricultural societies in the United States and Canada, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture and those of France and England, with whom we are in correspondence; also to the managers of the different railroad and express companies operating in the state. Also single copies to the press of the state and agricultural papers in the United States, I have in Nebraska fifteen hundred individual correspondents, who render aid in making up these reports and distributing fair advertising matter. These should be supplied with a copy each. In this, however, I wait your orders.

Our winter corn exhibit must be enlarged, and made more liberal to become productive of desired best results. At least $200 should be divided up into various lots, with one or two grand sweepstake premiums for best general collection of corn. This exhibit can and ought to be made an important factor in the Board's efforts to advance the cause of agriculture.

The plan suggested last year, and adopted by the Board, in matter of county collective exhibits, produced admirable results in presenting at our last state fair the largest and best line of farm products ever before shown. am confident, that for same reasons given last year for the State Board acting in this matter, that county societies would find great benefits would come of their adopting same plan. That is, offer liberal premium for precinct or township exhibits, with permission to individuals composing the collection competing for all the minor premiums provided in their list.

Permit me again to call the attention of the Board to the urgent necessity of providing some safe and commodious place of deposit for the archives and other property belonging to the office of the Secretary. For two years past twelve large boxes have been stored, unpacked, in Lincoln. I have given two rooms in my residence, together with a large portion of my bárn and wood shed for office and storage. At the late session of the state legislature I drafted and had introduced a bill for an act setting apart the suite of rooms now occupied by the Governor, in the state capitol building, to be used, after vacated by the Governor, as contemplated when the new building is completed, as Nebraska State Board of Agriculture headquarters. For want of ne the bill failed to become a law. I suggest the appointment of a committee by this Board, to confer with the Commissioner of Public

Buildings, and ascertain if some arrangements cannot be made by which the Nebraska State Board of Agriculture can have rooms in the capitol building, as are provided by all other states.

The work of this Board has reached a point in magnitude, importance, and scope to demand a full and accurate record of all its doings. This can only be done by an enforced provision in your by-laws, requiring all heads of departments, or individuals transacting business of any kind for the Board, to render_itemized, detailed reports. These reports should be promptly rendered to the President, or Board of Managers, and filed with the Secretary for record. By existing law the Secretary is required to keep an accurate record of all the proceedings and business of the Board. Without some such regulation as that indicated, it is utterly impossible for him to perform such required duties.

Acting under authority from the President of the State Board I negotiated and consummated an agreement with Jerome I. Case, owner of the trotting horse Jay-Eye-See, by which the presence of the horse was secured at our late state fair; two days' exhibition on the grounds, and one trial speed exhibition trot. The terms agreed upon and carried out were to pay $1,000 and expenses to and return from Lincoln, and expenses while at Lincoln. Expense bills paid were: Express to Lincoln, $282.96; from Lincoln, $278.80; expenses at Lincoln, $22. Total expense, $583.76; total cost, $1,583.76. By special arrangements of the Board of Managers an additional trot was secured at an expense of $500, making a total cost for presence and service of Jay-Eye-See, #2,083.76. I need not say that this expenditure was both gratifying to attendants and peculiarly advantageous to the fair. This expenditure being without authority from the State Board, and an act of discretionary power on the part of the President and Board of Managers, should be by this meeting of the State Board approved, as none, I think, will call in question but that it was a timely and money making attraction of the fair.

I beg to renew the suggestion, and more impressively if possible, the importance and necessity of the State Board providing stated monthly, or at least quarterly, crop and other agricultural statistical reports. There is urgent demand for this, both in and out of the state. All other prosperous and progressive state boards of agriculture have long since adopted and practiced this plan of making known the development and condition of their respective states. There is no good reason, while Nebraska occupies front ranks in all else, she should remain hindmost in this respect. An expenditure of not to exceed two to four hundred dollars annaally will abundantly provide. There are many substantial arguments for this work. Principally two. Much valuable information will be obtained and diffused, and the annual repon, which the state publishes separate from all others and in permanent book form, will be doubled at least in its value. As stated in my last report an order is on record to this effect. But no means or provision for its execution have been made. I trust it will not be overlooked at this session.

The people of Nebraska, both directly and indirectly, support, maintain, and defray, in fact, the expenses of this organization in its work, and have a right to all benefits it can officially and possibly afford them. If this Board maintains, as it has thus far, public confidence, and continues its usefulness in accomplishing the purposes for which it was created, it must do something more than merely hold a state fair once a year and meet in annual convention to elect officers. It must be progressive and keep step with this moving, growing age.

The problem of transportation in connection with the raw agricultural products of the state is of such importance as to demand at the hands of the State Board more encouragement be given fat stock breeding in all departments of live stock used as meat supplies. To this end i advise that a distinct class for fat stock animals be introduced into the premium list with sufficient amount offered to secure such exhibits as the stock feeders of the state can make if they can be induced to make the effort.

The State Fish Commission of Nebraska, a co-worker with this organization in a common cause, is doing good work in its line. This Board would do well, in my opinion, to give encouragement to individual efforts in this important industry. To this end, premiums should be offered for fish exhibits made by other than the state fishery, accommodations for which can be conveniently provided in the building where the state exhibit is made.

The Board in its efforts for good should resume a profitable form of work it engaged in years ago, but which has, somehow, almost imperceptibly dropped out of our line of operations. I refer to suitable awards for essays or papers on subjects connected with the various agricultural industries of the state.

To the present class of county collective exhibits, I would offer premiums for county statistical reports, either by the county organization, or individuals.

The policy of entrance fee for exhibitors, that which has always prevailed with this Board, or free entries and face of premiums paid, are points worthy of thought. I find but very few of the oldest and best established fair associations adopt the latter. The only argument in favor of an entrance fee is revenue and avoiding a multitude of trash and valueless entries. In consultation with a large number of experienced secretaries and fair managers of other states and like associations, find a large preponderant opinion that our plan, all things considered, is preferable, at least for years to come. Personally speaking, therefore, I would not deem it sound policy to change in this respect. While of

course there are always and each succeeding year advantageous progressive changes in certain particulars, which ought to be and are made, the general policy of this Board is recognized the world over as second to none other, and has produced for the past few years results not attained by any other fair association in the United States or world even.

From anuual recurring experience, observation, and consultation, I am the more impressed with the necessity for increased care and diligence in the manner of awarding premiums at our fairs. The plan of “picking up committees has only objections, nothing to commend. Exhibitors, as a rule, are practicing more care in preparing and presenting exhibits, and demand corresponding vigilance in making meritorious awards. Without such progress firstclass exhibitors will in the end withdraw from fairs. In live stock especially is this true. The time is near, if not already at hand when experts of known and acknowledged ability and fitness for the various improved breeds must be used. There is yet diversity of opinion as to single experts, or two, with an umpire. The prevalent tendency is toward the single. In many instances there are already established scales, or points of excellence, which when well understood and enforced, there can be but little, if any, grounds for objections to awards.

At present even, there is really but one objection to the expert system, namely, its expense. Very many of the best live stock exhibitors would prefer less money in premiums than to be subjected to * pick up

" committees. Where experts were used at our last fair there was near universal satisfaction; at least far less complaint than ever before, to my knowledge.

While at first thought, reference in this report to the state agricultural college, industrial farm,

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or experiment station might seem foreign, the fact of mutual and co-operative interests, sym. pathy and labor will warrant brief attention to the matter this Board considered at its last annual meeting, the Hatch experiment station bill,” or law. At our last meeting that bill was under consideration before congress. The petition and memorial from this Board to the Nebraska delegation, and congress, met with the hearty approval of our senators and representatives, the bill passed and became a law. But by an inexcusable blunder of an overzealous and unwise friend, the appropriation clause was rendered inoperative, and the provisions of the law have remained of no force. Our delegation should again be memorialized to render aid in such an amendment as will give Nebraska, with other states, the speedy benefit of this act.

Prof. Chas. E. Bessey, botanist for this Board, is accomplishing much of value for the cause of agriculture in the state. in connection with the efforts of the State Board, and should have such additional substantial encouragement as will enable him to enlarge both the scope and character of his work. Heretofore he has been limited to the small sum of $50 annually, to defray all expenses connected with his duty. He should have not less than $100 for the current year.

In presenting suggestions relative to fair matters here made, I may seem egotistical. Official duties bring me in more direct contact with points referred to, perhaps, than others, and I give individual impressions only, for what they may be worth.

Under authority, and by direction of the State Board at its September meeting, last, again as delegate I attended the annual meeting of the Western State Fair Circuit Association," which met at Chicago, Ill., on the 16th day of November last. The dates agreed upon for state fairs of states composing the association were: Iowa, September 3 to 8; Nebraska, September 7 to 14; Kansas, September 17 to 22 ; Illinois, September 24 to 29; St. Louis, October 1 to 6; Wisconsin, September 3 to 8; Minnesota, September 10 to 15; Indíana, September 17 to 22.

The Friday and Saturday preceding each date to be used, as heretofore, for preparation days. These dates were subject to approval by the respective state boards of agriculture. Near all the delegates were empowered to act in the matter. So far as I have learned all the dates named have been approved. All the states named were represented at this convention, and were unanimous in expressions of appreciation of benefits of the organization, viz.: preventing conflict of dates, and securing uniformity of premium arrangements, and other fair regulations, so important and desirable to exhibitors.

The old officers were re-elected: Robt. W. Furnas, president; Chas. F. Mills, Illinois, secretary. Resolutions were adopted and committees appointed to secure, if possible, uniform reduced circuit railroad transportation for exhibitors desiring to make the entire circuit. This Board is desired to take action in this matter, either by resolutions, or committees, or both, as in its wisdom it may deem proper.

While at Chicago, under authority as your delegate to the district fair association, and in the absence of duly authorized delegate thereto, I assumed the responsibility to attend, as volun

eer observing delegate, the American Farmers' Congress, Clydesdale, Shire, Belgium, Percheron, and French Draft Horse National Convention, and as proxy for Hon. J. B. Dinsmore, the American Short-horn Breeders' Association. At the latter meeting, acting under instruction of the State Board, given at the late September meeting, I subscribed for and obtained for the Board one share of the capital stock of said association, issuing warrant for same $25. The certificate of stock is on file. At the several national annual meetings referred to I found legally constituted delegates from all state fair associations in the western district association except ours, and from nearly all like organizations in the United States and Canada. I am quite sure if this Board desires to have and maintain a place in those ranks, nationally, it should annually provide for delegates to represent it thereat.

Prompted by proper appreciation of the services rendered this State Board and its offices by the press, the railroad and express companies, more especially in matters pertaining to our annual fair and exposition, convictions of duty will not permit me to close this report without expressions in this public manner, and to be made of record, of unqualified thanks and acknowledgments to these inestimable agencies, for continued solid financial benefits and courtesies conferred. These otherwise seemingly strong expressions you will consider warranted when I assert that in no other state in the Union, or elsewhere, are to be found such instances of liberality from these sources, or in fact, from any other. A careful computation, taking what was actually done free the past year, and using the usual rates for such service, the inuring benefits to all concerned, State Board, patrons, and exhibitors, the sum in dollars and cents is shown to be between nine and ten thousand dollars.

Record of warrants for the year 1887, showing to whom and for what purpose issued, as follows:

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