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ful feeding may escape their notice and that every opportunity for economy and improvement in the selection and utilization of foods may be made full use of.
Local conditions of farming-either geological or geographicalmay necessitate considerable variation in detail in the schemes most suitable for different districts. Also, after a few years' experience, a society may develop its scheme so that additional information is obtained on some points of local importance, such as the relative importance of home-grown and purchased foods in the selection of economical rations.
The main point, however, should never be lost sight of, namely, that the chief object of the scheme is to aid each farmer in studying his own conditions so that he may thereby be enabled to increase his profits or reduce his losses.
In mentioning the development of milk recording in England and Wales at the beginning of this paper emphasis was laid on the fact that in 1922 there were 3.291 farmers having the milk yields of their cows checked and vouched for by 55 societies. The number of farmers taking advantage of food recording and advisory schemes is as yet probably numbered only in hundreds, but there are sure indications that the popularity of this work and the numbers taking part in it will increase in the near future at least as rapidly as the membership of milk-recording societies. In the future the scope for development and the advantages which will accrue to the dairy farmer are well-nigh unlimited. There is no reason why the membership of milk recording societies should not be increased tenfold, nor why all these members should not keep careful records of the rations given to their herds and make sure that they are feeding on sound and economical lines. Such a development is possible. within a comparatively short term of years and could not fail to lead to the more economical production of milk, and to a material improvement in the quality and productiveness of the nation's dairy stock.
In addition to the direct benefits gained by dairy farmers through systematic milk recording and advisory work in feeding, the work of such societies provides a valuable stimulus toward better herd and farm management. Farmers who find that attention to detail. in the milk yields and feeding of their herds brings about an increase in yield and a decrease in the cost of production, see for themselves or are easily led to see the advantages of applying the same general principles to other branches of farm work. The work is of the kind which helps the farmer to help himself, provides material for self-education and brings men with common interests together for helpful discussion. Further, the farmer is brought directly in touch with helpful advisers and is led to ask for advice and assistance on other matters affecting his soil, crops, and stock; in this way he comes into closer contact with the accumulated results of agricultural experiment and research. This contact widens the outlook and stimulates the mind, and by bringing new light to bear on the old problems and customs, leads to a reconsideration of practice and the adoption of improved methods and develops a new and deeper interest in all branches of herd and farm management.
Chairman HATCH. It is now 5 o'clock. We have just a short time to conclude this program and get our dinner before the arrival of the automobiles to take us to the dairy show. I would like to ask Mr. James Dunlop if he will kindly give us a three-minute continuation of the same subject, "Milk recording in Scotland." Mr. Dunlop. [Applause.]
Mr. JAMES DUNLOP. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Honorary Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: It is with considerable trepidation that I follow such an able fellow countryman. Mr. Alex Steele is a Scotchman who went down to England over 30 years ago and has taught the Englishman how to farm. He wins the gold medal every year for the best-managed farm. It is not a question who will be first; it is a question who will be second. America did well by Andrew Carnegie. England has done well by Alex Steele. Andrew Carnegie left us ibraries and public halls in Scotland. I have often wondered what form the Steele benefactions would take, but I now believe from the keen sympathetic interest he has shown in the reading of that paper on dairy research that he will do something handsome for our new research institute in Scotland, so ably managed by Doctor Orr but seriously hampered by lack of funds. [Applause.]
Well, in connection with milk recording in Scotland, you have a fine synopsis of Mr. Stevenson's paper in your hands, so that I need not take up your time repeating what he has so well said. I would just like to say that in this work Scotland leads; England and Ireland follow. We started 20 years ago as the result of visits the late John Speir, along with one or two others of us, paid to Denmark and saw what they were doing there. We came home and got work started in a small way.
We had great opposition at first because the Scotch farmer was of the opinion that he had the best cows in the world; that his cows, which had been bred and improved for 150 years, had reached the maximum of production. Robert Burns, our national bard, was an early improver of the breed. I would like to say that they were remarkable cows, not so much for what the farmers did for them but because of what the farmers' wives and daughters, who milked and attended to them, did for them.
The Ayrshire cow was for many years almost the only milk breed we had in this country. As showing the high standard of production of the average nonpedigreed Ayrshire cow, they invaded the great dairy show in London a year or two ago, and the principal winners were nonpedigreed Ayrshire cows. Well, we had a difficult job at first, but the work gradually grew until last year we had about 30,000 cows tested. Every cow in the herd has to be tested each year, not merely once in the cow's lifetime when circumstances are abnormally favorable, as is the custom in some countries.
The Scottish Milk Records Association covers all dairy breeds of cattle. The association is against competitive records. We started, under Mr. Speir's leadership, with the idea that the records were primarily for the information of the individual farmers, so that they could weed out the bad cows and increase the average yield of the herd and ultimately eliminate from the country the uneconomic dairy cow. The milk records of one farm are not comparable
with another unless you know at what cost they are produced. Professionals in every country want to make records as a short cut to make money by advertisement. Luckily we have economists and statesmen like Doctor Douglas and Sir Hugh Shaw Stewart in our association who keep us on sound lines.
Excessive records do not altogether depend upon the cow. Like the winning of the Derby, they often depend more upon the trainer. I know something about that. I have studied this matter in various countries. It does not seem to me that it does a breed any good to select a few animals in a herd with exceptionally strong constitutions and train them before they calve and after calving feed them scientifically so as to compress the production of a lifetime into one or two abnormal records. It means a short life and a comparatively barren one. Many of them die before the record is completed; few of them survive and breed again. Is any record worth killing a cow for? I do not believe you are improving the breed in that way. We prefer 10 records of 9,000 pounds and 10 calves to perpetuate the good work of that cow to a 30,000-pound record and a dead cow.
In America I have seen some farmers with 15 or 20 cows and they have had records of 8,000 pounds for heifers and 9,500 pounds for mature cows. I have told them, "Oh, that is nothing. So-andSo has cows that average up to 18,000." They have replied, "We are not professionals; we don't go in for making records; we go in for breeding cows, and we sell our cows to these professionals, who. after getting them, are able to more than double the record which we make." You can't expect an animal to make abnormal records and then breed true to it afterwards. [Applause.]
I will cite an instance that occurred during one of our excursions. We had with us a most intelligent gentleman from Japan. It was a great misfortune that he did not know a little more English. However, in discussing these big records at one of your millionaire farms, he said, "In Japan, we have cows that give over 41,000 pounds with a butterfat variant of from 3.5 to 13 per cent." He produced a book in English showing a list of big records and how the checking had been done.
Well, that was rather a knockout blow, but I learned how the record could be made. I believe that these cows can give that quantity of milk if the trainer knows his business, but it is at a tremendous cost-the life or usefulness of the cow. Does she deserve that treatment?
I think it would be a good thing if the thinking men of the colleges and the breeders would put their heads together and consider how far these abnormal records damage the dairy cow, and if an advance registry as is currently conducted is of any real service. They would thereby render valuable service to the dairy industry. In Scotland, with only 30,000 cows on test, it was felt that we were not getting ahead quickly enough. We have been working out a scheme which is ready for the approval of the development commissioner and the Board of Agriculture for Scotland. We hope that in time, through this scheme, every owner of a dairy cow in Scotland will keep books to see what his cow is actually doing.
In Scotland we have benefited greatly from your work, from the results of your research and experimental work, issued by your
State departments and your Federal department. We have read these with avidity, and I wish personally and on behalf of my country to offer you our sincere thanks.
But we Scotchmen don't need to pray the Highlander's prayer. We remember the many excellent men and women whom we have sent to America as pioneers who helped blaze the trail, the men who by quiet, steady, meritorious labor, have helped make a great nation. We can never forget also that one of your most distinguished administrators, the man who laid the foundation of your agricultural research system, by establishing these State colleges which have done such great work for the world, was a farmer from Scotland, who in the hard conditions which exist there was unable to make a living and coming across to Iowa, made good, entered your House of Representatives and became your great Secretary of Agriculture, a man who was above party politics, whom both the Democrats and the Republicans kept in the position of Secretary of Agriculture. I refer to my fellow-countryman, the late James Wilson. I thank you.
Chairman HATCH. The remaining papers for this session will be read by title.
(Papers read by title):
MILK RECORDING IN SCOTLAND.
WILLIAM STEVENSON, B. Sc., N. D. A., N. D. D., superintendent Scottish Milk Records Association, Ayr, Scotland.
The systematic recording of the milk yields of individual cows on a public basis is carried on more or less extensively in all progressive dairying countries. The immediate object is to enable the owner of the herd to select, breed, and feed his cows according to actual milk yields.
Milk recording on systematic lines has been carried on in Scotland for over 20 years, and has proved one of the most important means of increasing milk production and improving the quality of milk on the most profitable lines, and of enhancing the commercial value of good-milking animals and their progeny. The object of this paper is to enable a comparison to be made with the milk-recording systems of other countries with a view to general progress.
ORIGIN AND EARLY HISTORY.
Previous to the introduction of milk recording on a public basis, some of the more enterprising dairy farmers kept records of the individual milk yields of their cows privately, for their own use, but the records, being unauthenticated, were not of the same value as records made under the auspices and supervision of a public body. The movement was initiated in Denmark in 1894, and since that date
systematic milk recording, on more or less similar lines, has been adopted in other countries, including the British Isles. Of the latter, Scotland was the first to introduce the practice.
The present scheme has developed from the scheme of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, in 1903, initiated by the late John Speir, Kt. St. O., of Newton, Lanarkshire. The movement was well supported during the first season; 34 herds, comprising 1,342 cows, were tested. But there was a fall in numbers in the following year; only 12 herds, or 389 cows, were recorded.
The turning point was reached in 1905, and the history is one of unbroken progress up till 1915, when war conditions in the dairying industry began to be severely felt. In 1915 the number of cows recorded in Scotland was 26,572.
At the end of 1907 the Highland and Agricultural Society considered that milk recording had been firmly established, but were of opinion that the scheme would be extended more rapidly if the work were to a greater extent under the control of the dairy farmers themselves. In 1908 the administration was transferred to a special body termed "the Ayrshire cattle milk records committee." The name of this committee was changed in 1910 to "the Scottish milk records committee," and owners of all recognized dairy breeds in Scotland were represented on this committee.
In 1911 the number of cows tested had increased to 14,000. Milk recording had apparently been adopted as routine on over 300 leading dairy farms; and an appreciable improvement in milk yields in recorded herds had become evident. But the need was felt of more systematic direction and supervision of the recording generally in order to give the public the fullest confidence in the authenticity of the figures.
In 1912, for the first time, a direct money grant was obtained from Government funds. An official superivsor of milk recording was appointed, with the necessary clerical staff; and offices were acquired in Ayr, as the most convenient center of the Scottish dairy farming industry.
The Scottish Milk Records Association, as presently constituted, was created in 1914, in accordance with a scheme approved by the Board of Agriculture for Scotland and the development commission, and an annual grant of £2,000 (gradually increased to £3,500 in 1922) was obtained through the Board of Agriculture for Scotland from the development fund. The authorities had recognized the importance of systematic milk recording from a national standpoint, and the opportunities it offered of improving the dairy breeds and developing the dairying resources of the country. Owners of herds had come to realize also that a good official milk record, beyond suspicion, would in the future enhance more and more the selling value of individual animals and their progeny. A natural progression in the outlook on milk recording was taking place, from records intended mainly for the private use of the herd owners to authenticated milk records that would be accepted without question by the general body of breeders and buyers.