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SESSION 3. DEVELOPMENT OF DAIRYING IN THE
UNITED STATES. Honorary chairman, The Honorable FREDERIK A. BENZINGER, Agricultural Society
of Sweden, Stockholm, Sweden. Chairman, ROBERT W. Scoville, president, American Guernsey Cattle Club. Secretary, Dr. C. W. Larson, chief, Dairy Division, United States Department of Agriculture.
MEMORIAL CONTINENTAL HALL, Washington, D. C., Wednesday, October 3, 1923.-1.30 p. m. Chairman ScoVILLE. The congress will please come to order.
I have the pleasure to present to you the honorary chairman of the day, the Hon. Frederik A. Benzinger, of Sweden. [Applause.]
Honorary Chairman BENZINGER. Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen : Yesterday and this morning you will recall, if I may use the term, we were shown an immense picture of a house we might call the dairy industry. We have been impressed by its greatness and now we will look into the different rooms. We will look to see how it is built. We will try to find out whether we can improve different rooms, whether we will embellish them and make them more suitable for anyone to live in.
It is quite natural that we are beginning at the very foundationthat is to say, that we are beginning where all this comes from, and I suppose every one of you knows that that is the cow. Anyhow there is a big difference in cows.
We shall now hear some very important and useful words about how we shall raise the cow, which gives us not only milk but which gives us good milk, which gives us much milk, and which gives us cheap milk as well.
However, before I present to you the Hon. Mr. Lowden, I want to once more thank your Government that they have united all the world to work and to cooperate for the progress of the dairying business. We know very well since the war the combined efforts have not yet begun, and I feel quite sure that the fact your Government has invited us all to come here and to combine our efforts will not only be of great benefit to us but also of some benefit to your great country.
I have now the great pleasure of introducing to you the former governor of Illinois, Hon. Frank 0. Lowden, the president of the Holstein-Friesian Association of America. [Applause.]
THE DAIRY CATTLE ASSOCIATIONS AND THEIR WORK.
FRANK O. LOWDEN, LL, D., president, Holstein-Friesian Association of America,
Oregon, Ill. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen of the congress: I am not to speak about the dairy cow and her achievements. I would not be so presumptous as to attempt that before this audience of greater experts
than myself, but I am only to speak upon the work of the pure breed associations. That is a much less difficult subject because these associations are composed of men, and it is always easier to discuss men and predict their action than it is to discuss cows and predict their performance. (Laughter and applause.]
I want to say just one word in appreciation of this great congress and to express my deep interest in this meeting. The oftener that men of different countries can come into personal contact over any subject of common interest, the better it is, in my opinion, for the future peace of the world, and if the great industries of the other countries represented here and the great industries of the United States could come into more frequent contact, I am sure it would be for their mutual benefit.
With reference to the pure breed associations upon which I have been asked to say something, I perhaps will be able to say very little that is new to you. Of course I shaìl be able to say nothing which is new to my fellow-countrymen. Our associations had their origin a little differently from the associations of the older countries. When this country was settled our ancestors had to take whatever cow was convenient. They could pay no especial attention to breeds or breeding, and so until in the last century we had in America just
Now, I have no doubt that you have visited this very sacred spot to us Americans on the Potomac River a few miles below where is entombed the dust of George Washington, the first President of the United States. Perhaps you were not told while you were there that George Washington was probably the most conspicuous and most successful farmer of his time.
The other day in reading some account of his life as a farmer, I came upon this: Only a few months before his death and after he had retired from the Presidency and resumed his life at Mount Vernon, he wrote to his manager as follows:
"And it is hoped and will be expected that more effectual measures will be pursued to make butter another year, for it is almost beyond belief that from 101 cows actually reported on a late enumeration of the cattle, I am obliged to buy butter for the use of my family." [Laughter.]
So you can see that we in America had a problem which your forebears many centuries ago had already solved. However, during the last century we began to give more attention to the breeding of our livestock. There were two courses open before us.
We could, by a process of selection, go on just as your far-away ancestors had done and develop an American cow, if you please. This would have taken, perhaps, 1,000 years, possibly 2,000 years, but our people decided that it would be wiser to adopt the product of the great breeders of your own lands and start with the cattle that had been built up by the process of selection throughout centuries.
And so we went to Great Britain for the Jersey and the Guernsey cows; we went to Scotland for the Ayrshire; we went to Switzerland for the Brown Swiss; we went to Holland for the Holstein. These were the chief breeds with which we began our work.
Now it was necessary, as soon as we had imported those cows, to establish some machinery for the keeping of records, and thus came about (and only auring the last half of the last century) the great pure breed dairy associations for all of these breeds I have named.
Their primary work, of course, is to keep the records of breedingin other words, to look after the pedigrees of these cattle. That in itself is somewhat of a task, but it was not long until our breeders began to speculate upon some further record, namely, a record of performance, and therefore they established what is generally known as advance registry by which the various breeds could have kept a daily performance of such animals as their owners might think were entitled to this distinctive care. That work was usually done in cooperation with the State colleges of agriculture.
That work has proven of great importance to our breeders. It not only shows the accomplishments of the individual cow but it furnishes a very important check upon our ideas of type, for if the advance registry records show that generation after generation of a certain family of cows produces more milk than any other family of cows, without the type of the cow corresponding exactly to the ideal type which we are taught to emulate, we are at once entitled to infer that maybe there is something wrong with our original idea of type and that perhaps we would better correct that.
In other words, in all breeding—I am talking now about our country because I know that as breeders we haven't begun to compare in thoroughness or in patience and, therefore, in accomplishment with the breeders of other lands—in our country we are likely to indulge in fads somewhat as to the type of the individual. Occasionally color becomes the paramount consideration with any kind of livestock to the exclusion of more important qualities.
The advance registry, therefore, honestly conducted over a series of generations of any cow, serves as the most accurate and reliable corrective of any excesses in which we may indulge as to any point in type.
I don't know whether I make that very plain or not.
Another very important work of these associations is education. Notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of the breeders of this country since we first imported purebred cattle, only 3 per cent, we are told by our Government, of all the dairy cattle in the United States are purebred. The remaining 97 per cent are either grades or scrubs.
There is, therefore, a great field awaiting the development which so far has come largely through the activities of the pure breed associations.
These activities are manifested in different ways. We have been interesting ourselves of late years very effectively in the organization of boys and girls' calf clubs. We go into a community through the inspiration of one of these associations and we get the boys and girls interested in better cattle than any they see about, and bankers usually cooperate with these boys and girls to organize a club and buy a purebred calf or two.
This serves a double purpose. It very frequently happens that the boy or girl who joins the calf club becomes shortly the educator of his father, and you are likely to find upon the farm of that boy or girl's family, where once were scrubs, purebred cows; in other words, this is another case of where “a little child shall lead them."
And then again, they serve this purpose which, in America, is of the utmost importance—they give the boy or girl a new interest in the farm. They show to the boy or girl that farming does not consist in mere deadly and mechanical routine, but that it is a fascinating occupation in itself, and therefore we attach that boy or girl to the farm permanently.
I feel certain that when a generation hence some other great World's Dairy Congress shall meet here—as I hope it will, and I hope we may all be present you will find that the greatest breeders of all the breeds in America will be those who are now members of the boys and girls' calf clubs scattered over the length and breadth of our land. [Applause.]
We have been making a concerted warfare against the scrub bull. That is something that you know nothing about in your own countries, at least in the same degree that we do here. It is no easy warfare. The agricultural colleges, in conjunction with the pure breed societies and now with the cooperation of the farm bureaus of our country, are making a united attack upon the scrub bull.
One of the most conspicuous instances of this which has come to my attention lately is in the State of Minnesota. I don't know whether these gentlemen visited Minnesota or not.
A VOICE. Some of them have.
Mr. LOWDEN. Well then, they didn't see Minnesota. [Laughter and applause.]
In Minnesota, all of the pure breed associations, not only dairy but beef, have cooperated in a campaign against the scrub buli. They go into a community where the scrub bull has been pretty conspicuous and they say to the farmer, "We don't care what breed you prefer. If you want to produce beef, of course you should have a bull of the beef breeds; but exercise your choice. If you are engaged in dairying or wish to engage in dairying, we have no recommendation to make to you as to what breed you shall use. If you prefer the Jersey, very well; or the Guernsey, good; or the Holstein, very well; but we know that you can't afford to go on using the scrüb bull."
That campaign has had very great results. It is still on, as I understand it. In other words, while there is a generous rivalry as between the various breeds, there is as there should be a concerted and wholehearted unity of action as against the scrub bulls of the country.
And so along various lines of this kind the pure breed associations are really making an impression. They have many other duties to discharge which I shall hardly have the time to enumerate but when I tell you that the average milk production in America is less than half per cow of the milk production of the most advanced dairy countries of Europe you will appreciate the enormous field that opens before these pure breed associations.