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- TECHNICAL AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION.

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[ALL RIGHTS RE, 6E, P,.VliD1. TECHNICAL AGRICUL- TURAL EDUCATION. No. 6. BY PROFESSOR BUCKMASTER (Science and Art Department) South Kensington). HYGIENE AND "PREVENTION OF DISEASE IN ANIMALS. Technical instruction in agriculture is a very different thing to technical instruction in other industries. We can easily sea how the science of mechanics would be useful to men engaged in making machines; a know- ledge of drawing and geometry useful to the surveyor, carpenter, wheelwright, mason, and persons engaged in any con- structive art; every industry has its cognate science. Mechanics, geometry, and chemistry have, perhaps, the widest indus- trial applications; and within the last 25 years magnetism and electricity have been directed to many industrial uses. Neither Franklin norGalvani nor Oersteelever dreamed that any industrial results would follow their experiments. Technical instruction in its more rigid definition means instruction in art, but as every industry is both a science and an art, the definition has often been narrowed to the teaching of science, leaving the applications of the science to be taught at other times by other teachers, but a complete system of technical instruction would include both the soience and the prac- tice. It is very strange how there could have arisen any opinion that theory and practice were sometimes opposed to each other instead of being what they really are, parts of the same kind of knowledge. It will in many cases be difficult to unite these parts in the same person, but the science of an industry may be taught the same way as other sciences are taught. You may teach a lad all the ohemical processes involved in the manufacture of sulphuric acid, superphos- phates, and other products in a class-room, and when he has acquired a knowledge of these technical processes it is easier to understand their appl ication in tbepractice of the industry. A lad instructed in mechanical and machine drawing and theoretical meohanics, other things being equal, will make better progress in the machine shop than a lad who is ignorant of these soiences, and the fear is that if he knows nothing of these subjects before he enters a workshop it is doubtful if be ever learns them afterwards, except he become a Btudent in some science class or technical school. A few years ago a large engineering firm in the West of Kngiand offered to take as apprentices without premium all lads who had passed oertain examinations of the Soience and Art Department. It was found that these lads made quicker progress, were more careful in the use of material, and, what is equally important, they were steadier, and employed their leisure more profitably. The only pubho body which has taken a continued interest in the technical education of their apprentices and young men is the London and North Western iiailway Company. For nearly thirty years oluses have been held at Crewe and Wolverton, and every year one and sometimes both of these places carry off W bitworth Scholarships and Royal Exhibi- tions. The average intelligence and ability of these workshops have been raised, and you have side by side the soience teaching of the class- room with the practical work of the shop. The desirability of extending this technical instruction to other than manufacturing and engineering industries has now become a necessity, not only for the purpose of meeting foreign competition, bat for carrying on the work of the country on scientific and business principles. The county councils are making praiseworthy efforts to extend technical in- struction into agricultural districts. In many districts county oouncils have decided that as agriculture is the chief industry it ought to have the first consideration. Other industries have to work on dead matter, but the farmer has to deal with the delicate and complex organism of animal and plant life. The teaching of the old philosophy, that the same laws under the same conditions produce the same result, is no doubt true, but in agriculture how often are these results influenced by rainfall, earth temperature, and sunshine ? iint this is no reason why farmers and farm labourers should not be technically eduoated. As well might we say it is of no use teaching navigation and nautical astro- nomy to sea captains, because they are some- times overtaken with storms. Much valuable knowledge to stockmen and young farmers not only as to the treatment of different soils and the use of manures, but the beat methods of rearing and feeding stock and preventing disease, may be communicated by class teach- ing. Fluke in sheep may he prevented, but the methods involve too great a change in our system of farming to permit of its application. The natural history of the fluke is as well understood as the natural history of a butterfly. Errors in feeding are a fertile source of ailments in stock, and simple matters of illness ought to be easily diagnosed by farmers; good nursing and the restorative power of Nature will often be wiser than bleeding and drenching, which are often very popular, and frequently do far more harm than good. In the general management of live stock attention must be given to ordi- nary sanitary conditious. This demands con- itant watchfulness. Inherited weakness is nooner affected than animals which come from healthy parents. It is as important to breed from a sound, hardy race as it is to grow from Bound seed, and to do this there must be lound, hardy parents. The proper ventilation of buildings isoften disregarded; there should be a removal of bad air and a oonstant supply of pure air. And what is called open-air is frequently contaminated with foul gases which are given off from stagnant pools and ditches and heaps of putrefactive matter. A stink in the open air may be as dangerous as a stink in a room. The confined, ill ventilated shed and stables in which animals are often kept are a fertile source of lung affections. The blood is not properly oxygenated or made healthy by respiration, because the air drawn into the lungs is impure and poisonous. The nutritive processes of digestion and assimilation are impaired, often ending in disease and death. Light is also very important. Calves and pigs kept in dark sheds are never so healthy al those which have an abundance of light, and, what is also important, the same tjuantity of food will give better results. We can understand how impure air may endanger health by its producing impure blood, but light is a more subtle force, and its influenoe on health not so easily explained, but from ex- periments made on feeding calves it was found that those fed in the light were healthier and increased in weight more than those fed in emi-darkness, and yet how often do we find calves and other animals kept in places with Wsarcely a ray of pure sunlight. In a similar way water is often the cause of ill-health among farmstock. Farmers often Jook with indifference at the filth and refuse matter whioh pollutes our streams, in whioh it must be said the auipials assist; but the danger is not so much from fresh matter, but the I constant drainage from manure heaps, and the fermenting matter from cesspools and sewers. | Filthy water has its apologists, like foul air. ( It is said that animals prefer drinking the drainage of the cattle yard, bnt health cannot be maintained without pure air and water, and every justification for bad air and water would equally apply to bad food, which is the staple support of life. The natural food of animals is not much liable to contamination, but the introduction of cake and other feed- ing stuffs has opened the door to all sorts of imposition. The ingenuity in preparing manures which are recommended as containing everything also applies to cake. The farmer has a largo amount of faith in the plausible assertion of others; dear bought experience has taught many that a healthy scepticism with regard to the genuine- ness of feeding stuffs and manures is a neces- sary state of mind if they are to be protected against fraud and imposition. Common sense will in many oases be useful in teaching a farmer what he ought to avoid. The use of his nose and eyes will tell whether the atmosphere in which his stock feed is foul, whether the water is contami- nated, whether the hay is mouldy, whether his roots are frozen. No language is strong enough to denounce the cruelty of keeping growing stock on poor and insufficient food, especially during the period of gestation. Most veterinary surgeons are of opinion that much injury arises from the use of roots as the chief article of food for breeding ewes. Care should also be taken as far as possible to protect stock against contagious and infec- tious disease. Pure air and water, good food and shelter in severe weather, will no do everything, but it will do some- thing. An infected animal must be taken from some farm or place before it is sold in the market; it must travel perhaps several miles along the road, but the most common sense precautions are often dis- regarded. Much may be done to prevent contagion and infection among stock. Ani- mals not sold at market may come into con- tact with infeoted animals, and on their return home they should for a time be kept by them- selves. Recently purchased stock should not be turned out with other animals for some days. These general precautions are more important at one time than another, but the stock farmer should always have them in his memory. Farmers should know what diseases are contagious and what are infectious. The story of the Scotchman who took to Australia his native thistle illustrates what is meant by an infectious disease. Thistles were previously unknown in Australia until introduced by the Scotchman. When seed-time came. the light pluffy seeds were oarried to neighbouring farms until thistles have become the great difficulty of farmers in Australia. We can see these seeds floating in the air but the atmosphere may be full of unsown seeds of diseases which are either inhaled or fall on sores or outs, and there fertilise, like the thistle-down, into malignant diseases, and if the constitution has been previously weakened by bad food or an insuffioiency of food or impure air or other causes, the results are often fatal, and a fresh batch of seeds are liberated to carry on the disease, and what is rather unfortunate the most dangerous are not always evident to our sense of smell, There are other diseases which can only be oommunicated from one to the other by actual contact; these are called con- tagious, such as itoh and ringworm. Sudden changes of temperature exercise a great influenoe on the breath of animals, and the term cold is used to expresss! all derangements of the respiratory organs. Cattle and sheep cough when in perfect health, but the cough due to the irritibility of the air passages can be easily distinguished from the common cough or hoose." Influenza may be distinguished from an ordinary cold by the physical prostration which charac- terises the early stages of the disease. As the disease progresses the organs of chest, intestines, and brain may become affeoted; as soon as signs of influenza are evident in the drooping walk and watery eyes, work should be stopped, the animal placed in a well ventilated box, and encouraged to eat with a bucketful of clean warm water with half an ounce of nitre dissolved in it, the appetite should be stimulated with easily digested food, and the nostrils kept clean by occasional sponging with vinegar and water. Good nursing in all cases of derangement of the breathing organs is of the first importance; these are the kind of things farmers ought to know something about; it is the technical side of their business, which is not to be taught by lectures alone. Farm- ing is an industry which depends on the most varied kind of knowledge, but hitherto no attempt has been made to bring this know- ledge in its most elementary form within the reach of those engaged in agriculture. How far county councils in agricultural counties will be successful in their desire to promote technical instruction depends mainly on the sympathy of those for whom the instruction is intended. The eduoational effort which underlies this teaching can never be overtaken with lectures, and it is to the rising generation that our hopes should be chiefly directed. To a technical knowledge of the industry there must be added forethought and industrious business habits, and without these qualifications pro- fitable farming is no more to be expected than good crops without manure. No greater mistake oan be made than when a young man enters on the business of farming with an opinion that his education is finished and he knows all about it.

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