Experiment Stations.The Kansas Agricultural Experiment station, an adjunct of the Agricultural College at Manhattan, is the most important station in the state. It was organized under the provisions of an act of Congress, approved March 2, 1887, commonly known as the "Hatch Act" and designated as "An act to establish agricultural experiment stations in connection with the colleges established in the several states under the provision of an act approved July 2, 1862, and the acts supplementary thereto." The objects of this measure is stated as being, "in order to aid in acquiring and diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects connected with agriculture, and to promote scientific investigation and experiment respecting the principles and practice of agricultural science." The law specifies in detail, "that it shall be the object and duty of said experiment stations to conduct original researches or verify experiments on the physiology of plants and animals; the diseases to which they are severally subject, with remedies for the same; the chemical composition of useful plants at their different stages of growth; the comparative advantages of rotative cropping as pursued under a varying series of crops; the capacity of new plants or trees for acclimation; the analysis of soils and waters; the chemical composition of manures, natural and artificial, with experiments designed to test their comparative effects on crops of different kinds; the adaptation and value of grasses for forage plants; the composition and digestibility of the different kinds of food for domestic animals; the scientific and economic questions involved in the production of butter and cheese; and such other researches or experiments hearing directly on the agricultural industry of the United States, as may in each case be deemed advisable."
On the day following the passage of the Hatch act, the legislature of the State of Kansas, which was then in session, passed a measure, approved March 7, 1887, accepting the conditions of the Hatch act and appointing the board of regents of the Agricultural College as sponsors for the fulfillment of its conditions. Until 1908 all the expenses of the experiment station were provided for by the Federal government. The Hatch bill carried an annual Congressional appropriation of $15,000. In March, 1906, the Adams act was approved by the president. This bill provided, "for the more complete endowment and maintenance of agricultural experiment station, a sum beginning with $5,000 and increasing each year by $2,000 over the preceding year for five years, after which time the annual appropriation was to be $15,000, "to be applied to paying the necessary expenses of conducting original researches or experiments bearing directly on the agricultural industry of the United States, having due regard to the varying conditions and needs of the respective states and territories." It further provided that "no portion of said moneys exceeding five per centum of each annual appropriation shall be applied, directly or indirectly under any pretense whatever, to the purchase, erection, preservation or repair of any building or buildings, or to the purchase or rental of land." The Adams act, providing for original investigation and advanced research, supplied a great need of the experiment station. Under the provisions of this act only such experiments may be entered upon as have first been passed upon and approved by the office of experiment stations of the United States department of agriculture. In 1908 nine such investigations were being made. The legislature of Kansas in 1908 appropriated the sum of $15,000 for that year, and the same amount for the following one, for further support of the experiment station. The whole income of the station for 1909 and 1910 was as follows: Hatch fund, $15,000; Adams fund, $13,000; state appropriation, $15,000, a total of $43,000.
The work of the experiment station is published in the form of bulletins, which record the results of investigations. These bulletins are of three sorts: technical bulletins, which record the result of researches of a purely scientific character provided for under the Adams act; farm bulletins, which present the data of the technical bulletins in a simplified form, and including also all other bulletins in which a brief, condensed presentation is made of data which call for immediate application. In addition to the bulletins, the station publishes a series of circulars for the purpose of conveying needed or useful information, not necessarily new or original. Up to 1909 the station had published 167 bulletins, 183 press bulletins and 6 circulars. The work of this experiment station is not confined to agricultural investigation and research, for it has been given state executive and control work. One important adjunct office created by the legislature of 1909 is that of state dairy commissioner, whose duty is to inspect or cause to be inspected all the creameries, public dairies, butter, cheese and ice cream factories, or any place in which milk, cream or their products are handled or stored within the state, at least once a year, or oftener if possible. Another important state function is the State Entomological commission (q. v.), which was created in 1907. The state live stock registry board, created by the legislature of 1909, is another adjunct of the experiment station. All commissions are supported by appropriation. By legislative act of 1909 a "division of forestry" at the Agricultural College is provided for. (See Forestry.)
The state has also placed the experiment station in charge of the execution of the acts concerning the manufacture and sale of concentrated feeding stuffs, and of fertilizers by acts which make it "unlawful to sell, or offer for sale, any commercial fertilizer which has not been officially registered by the director of the agricultural experiment station of the Kansas State Agricultural College." An important addition to the experiment station is the department of milling industry. This was established through the coöperation of the board of regents and the millers' association. Investigation is being made of growing, handling and marketing methods; their relation to the milling' value of wheat; of systems of grading; of insect enemies of wheat in the field and storage; and of flour and its by-products.
There is at the Agricultural College an engineering experiment station established by the board of regents for the purpose of carrying on tests of engineering and manufacturing problems important to the state of sufficient magnitude to be of commercial value. Experiments have been made in cement and concrete, and, in connection with these, tests of waterproofing and coloring cement building blocks. Experiments with Kansas coals, lubricants and bearings, relative adaptability, efficiency and cost of gasoline, kerosine and denatured alcohol for internal combustion of engines, etc., etc.
There are two branch agricultural stations, one at Fort Hays, and one at Garden City. The land occupied by the Fort Hays station is a part of what was originally the Fort Hays military reservation. Before final disposition of this land was made the Kansas legislature in Feb., 1895, passed a resolution requesting Congress to donate the entire reservation of 7,200 acres to the State of Kansas for the purposes of agricultural education and research, the training of teachers, and for the establishment of a public park. In 1900 a bill was passed setting aside this reservation "for the purposes of establishing an experimental station of the Kansas Agricultural College and a western branch of the Kansas State Normal School."
The state legislature of 1901 accepted the land with the burden of conditions as granted by Congress, and passed an act providing for the organization of a branch experiment station, making a small appropriation as a preliminary fund. The land at Fort Hayes is well suited for experimental and demonstration work in dry farming, irrigation, forestry and orchard tests, under conditions of limited rainfall and high evaporation. This station is supported entirely by state funds and the sale of farm products. Under the terms of the acts of Congress establishing and supporting experiment stations, and under the ruling of the United States Department of Agriculture, none of the funds appropriated by the federal government may be used for the support of branch experiment stations.
For the Garden City coöperative station, the county commisisoners[sic] of Finney county in 1906 purchased a tract of land of 300 acres for the purpose of agricultural experimentation. This land, situated four and one-half miles from Garden City, was irrigated upland. The Kansas agricultural experiment station leased the 300 acres for a term of 99 years as an experimental and demonstration farm. It is being operated in conjunction with the United States department of agriculture for the purpose of determining the methods of culture, crop varieties and crop rotation best suited for the southwestern portion of the state under dryland farming conditions.
The legislature of 1891 passed an act establishing an experiment station at the state university, the purpose of which is indicated in the first section: "That the sum of $3,500 be and the same is hereby appropriated out of the general fund not otherwise appropriated, for the purpose of establishing, maintaining and conducting an experiment station at the State University at Lawrence to propagate the contagion or infection that is supposed to be destructive to chinch-bugs, and furnish the same to the farmers free of charge, under the direction and supervision of the chancellor, F. H. Snow, as hereinafter provided." In 1893 the legislature appropriated $4,500 for the maintenance of this station and the legislature of 1895 appropriated $3,500.Pages 607-610 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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