Page images


To the Honorable the State Board of Agriculture :

In conformity with a law of the State, the Faculty of the Agricultural College have the honor to present the following Report:

As the past two years have been characterized by severe National troubles, all our institutions of learning have suffered to some extent, in common with the other interests of the country. Yet we are gratified in being able to state that the Agricultural College has been favored with a good degree of prosperity.


The College roll shows the number of students in attendance the past year to be 72, which is 6 more than during the preceding year, and 22 more than in 1860. Scores of young men, however, who made application for admission, subsequently enlisted in the army. Had it not been for our National difficulties, the institution would have been crowded to its utmost capacity.


In many respects the College is well provided with the means of illustration in the sciences taught. The Laboratory is one of the most complete in the West. A small outlay from time to time will be sufficient to supply such articles as may be needed, and as the advancement of the science of Chemistry may require.

The Herbarium is the property of the Professor of Botany, and is on deposit at the College. It is the largest collection of plants in the western States, and is practically rich in those things which are of especial interest to the farmer.

The Museum of Animals, a part of which is the private property of the Professor of Animal Physiology, although not large, is yet valuable, as it has been collected and arranged with reference to use in the lecture room. It may, however, be greatly increased at a trifling expense. A system of exchanges with other States is now being rapidly prosecuted. In addition to this, should a small sum-perhaps $150—be appropriated to defray expenses, the Professor of Animal Physiology would visit the Smithsonian Institute and the Museums in the Eastern States, from many of which he has received the offer of large collections if he will personally make the selections and pack them for transit. There would be no further expense than simply the cost of transportation. Such a museum would not only be of great advantage to the College, but would be of interest from its location at the capital of the State, where it would be readily accessible to all our public men, and others who may visit Lansing.

Measures should immediately be taken to form a museum of agricultural implements. Should models of the different farm implements used in the several States, and other countries, so far as possible be secured, together with antique and absolete forms, it would constitute a very instructive collection, not only marking the progress of art in its relation to agriculture, but practically illustrating to the student many important principles in science.


The library contains about 1200 volumes, and consists of books which have been presented to the institution. Further additions are very much needed. Some system might be adopted by which a limited sum would be set apart for purchasing such books as the College most needs. In this manner a comprehensive library might in a few years be acquired.

[It will be seen by reference to the Secretary's report, that the matriculation and graduation fees have been appropriated

[ocr errors]

to the purchase of books. The library is also increased at times, by the donation of books. The honorable and lamented ex-Governor Kinsley S. Bingham presented last year the Life and Works of John Adams, from the press of Little & Brown, in ten volumes. The Hon. John Russell Bartlett, Secretary of State of the State of Rhode Island, presented six volumes, the Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The Smithsonian Institution has presented all their publications, both reports, miscellanies and contributions to knowledge. The Commissioner of Patents has favored the College with several copies each of the Agricultural Reports. We are also indebted to the National Observatory, at Washington, to the State of Michigan, the Hons, the Messrs. Leach, Granger, Trowbridge, Howard, Beaman and Chandler, for Public Documents of value.

All agricultural papers presented to the reading room, are filed and bound for this library. We are indebted to the kindness of the several proprietors, for The Country Gentleman, New England Farmer, New Jersey Farmer, American Farmer, Horticulturist, Hovey's Magazine of Horticulture, Valley Farmer, Wisconsin Farmer, Maine Farmer, Lansing State Republican, Ingham County News, Detroit Advertiser and Tribune, Commercial Advertiser, Germantown (Pa.) Telegraph, Michigan Argus, Ann Arbor Journal, Shiwassee American, Wolverine Citizen, Bay City Press and Times, Weekly Clarion, Lapeer Republican, Clinton Republican, Kalamazoo Telegraph, Progress of Freedom, Rail Road Records, &c.

We have also received from the Secretaries, copies of the last Sixth Annual Reports of the Secretary of the Board of Agriculture of the State of Maine; also the last seven volumes of the Transactions of the N. Y. State Agricultural Society, completing the library set.

For these and other donations, the Board of Agriculture return their thanks.-Sec'r.]


[ocr errors]

As it has been deemed important to furnish the students the means of studying the flora of this latitude, measures were adopted some time since for enriching the botanical garden with such plants as would be of interest to them both in an economical and scientific point of view. Several new plants have been introduced the past season, and during the past two years many additions have been made.

The vegetable garden may soon be a source of profit. At the present time it not only affords the student the opportunity of learning practically the method of producing the various garden edibles, and supplies the boarding hall with the vegetables required for consumption, but it already affords to a good de gree a supply to the city of Lansing. This may be largely increased in the future.

A portion of the vegetable garden consists of rather a retentive soil, and ought to be drained. We should be able to plant considerably earlier in the spring, and would get a much more abundant yield.

During the past year a fruit garden has been started which is expected to be a valuable addition to the out door appli ances of the institution.


The improvements on the farm the past season have been confined principally to land which bad previously been under cultivation. There are now 250 acros which have been put into crops. A portion of this is entirely destitute of stumps, and the greater part of the balance could be cultivated with the plow. It is believed that enough land has been cleared for the present wants of the institution. This should be brought as speedily as possible into a state of thorough cultivation, that the whole farm may be used for its legitimate purposes as a part of the College.

When the timber was first cleared from the land, it was impossible to any considerable extent to illustrate on the farm

« PreviousContinue »