AGRICULTURAL AND PASTORAL ASSOCIATION.
The .annual meeting of the Ashburton A and P. Association was hold on Tuesday afternoon at 3 o’clock in the sample rooms of the Somerset Hotel, when some 40 or 50 members attended. In the absence of John Grigg, Esq., President of the Society, W. C. Walker, Esq., occupied the chair. Mr. Grigg sent a letter of apology in which he expressed his regret at being unable to attend, having been called to attend a meeting of the general synod of the Church.
The Chairman, in opening the business, said the Society had great reason to congratulate itself upon the work of the past year, A very successful show had been held at Tinwald, notwithstanding the difficulties of the times, when it was at one time a serious question whether it was advisable to hold a show at ail. Referring to the prospects of the agricultural and pastoral interests, the Chairman said that from the abundant harvest just reaped, and the recent advance in the price of wool, they could now bo of good courage and hope for greater prosperity. He then mentioned the arrangements that had made with the Tinwald Domain Board, whereby the society’s laud, which had been hitherto been in two blocks, was now, by a judicious exchange,put into one undivided block. He would ask the Secretary to read the Mr. George Jameson, lion. Secretary, then read the annual report. Your Committee, in presenting this the second annual report, have much pleasure in congratulating the Association on what has been achieved during the period under review. On the 30th September last, a most successful Parade of entire horses was held, when a marked improvement was noticeable in the quality as well as the number of horses paraded. The annual exhibition of stock, produce, implements, and manufactures, was held at Tinwald on Tuesday, November 18. 400 entries were received as against 230 at the 1878 show. The large attendance of visitors testified to the increasing interest that is taken by all classes in those annual exhibitions. During the year the Association has been incorporated under the provisions of the “Agricultural and Pastoral Societies’ Act,” and now possesses ail the powers and privileges conferred by that Act. The reserves of twenty-five acres at Tinwald, having been cut in half [or two] by the Mount Somers Railway, an exchange has been effected with the Tinwald Domain Board, by which the Association has now its land all in one block, and lying between the Main South Line and the Mount Somers Railway, an arrangement which we think will be mutually advantageous. In addition to this, another reserve containing twenty acres, has been granted to the Association on the north side of the Ashburton, being part of the old Police Reserve near Saunders’s mill. This site will be found a most suitable and valuable one for the purpose of the Association, and for utilizing which a proposal will be submitted at this meeting for your consideration. In common with the rest of the colony, '’this district has during the year shared in the revival of prosperity, which a bountiful and prolific harvest, together with the improved value of wool and wheat in the English market, has substituted for the depression we had previously been* suffering from. The successful experimental trip of the Strathlaven, in conveying preserved meat to England by the Bell-Coleman process, cannot fail to have a most beneficial effect on all agricultural and pastoral properties in this . colony. A deputarion of gentlemen representing a body of Lincolnshire fanners visited the district a few months ago, at a time when a plentiful harvest could not fail to convince them that ourplains, under judicious treatment and in our favoured climate, are capable of far better results than a casual inspection would lead a stranger to suppose. We hope, their re-
port will he a favourable one, and be the, means of inducing some most desirable colonists to emigrate and settle amongst us. A reaper and binder contest was held on the 28th January, when a number of both string and wire binding machines competed. The work done by both classes Was very satisfactory. A Horticultural Society has been established during the year, and a most successful show was held in the Town Hall. You will be asked to take steps to co-operate with the Society, which we trust will be of mutual benefit. A proposition will be laid before you having reference to the holding of periodical meetings, at which papers relating' to Agricultural and Pastoral pursuits may bo read and discussed. A further matter of interest to all persona connected with agriculture will be introduced this evening by Dr. Irving, who has kindly promised to lecture in the Town Hall, under the auspices of the Association, on bees and their management. The balance sheet which appears on the other side, shows the receipts to have been L 382 7s. Id., and the disbursements to be L3Bl 10s. 9d. L2ll Is. has been paid in prizes, which is highly satisfactry considering the short time the Association has been in existence. Your committee have much pleasure in testifying to the energy and assiduity displayed by the Secretary, Mr. George Jameson, to whose unremitting exertions the success of the show and the satisfactory state of the Association is in a great measure owing. In conclusion wo trust that .every member will see the necessity for increased interest being taken in all that pertains to the welfare of the Association, and that they ivill do all in their power to add to the success of the shows that may be held during the coming year, both by getting their friends to become subscribers to the Association, and by using their best endeavors to add to the number of entries.
The balance sheet, which was printed along with the above report, and circulated among the members, showed a slight balance on the right side, and it was held as read.
On the motion of Mr. Garter, both were adopted.
NEXT YEAR’S SHOW.
Mr. David Wilson, Wakauui, in a few words, moved that the next annual show be hold in Ashburton. Ho had given notice of this motion, and did not require to dilate on the subject, as all know that the town was quite the beat place to hold the annual shows of the Society. Mr. Cox seconded Mr. Wilson’s motion. The shows haiHhitherto been held on the Timvald side (Whe river, but that fact by no means settled the site of the shows, and the decision for the time being had been aided by Mr. Clark placing his sheds and yards at the Society’s disposal. But now there was ground belonging to the Society on both sides of the river. Ho would suggest the erection of permanent yards on the new reserve at Saunders’ Mill, which yards could he used both as sale yards and show yards. He was sure that if such yards were erected the fees derived from them would put the Society in a position in a couple of years to erect similar yards at the Timvald ground. On the question of funds, there was a great proportion of members who had not paid up their subscriptions, but from the large number present at that meeting, and the good harvest that had been reaped, he did not think there would be any difficulty in doubling the present number of members. If all the subscriptions were paid up there would be about L2OO available to build yards, the fees cf which would leave a very respectable balance on the right side. He favored the erection of yards on botli sides of the river, so that after the next two years the shows of the two following years could be held at Tinwald. As an instance of how the yards of the Society may be expected to turn out, he pointed to the yards at Addington which had long ago paid for themselves. Mr. Andrew Dawson said the Society could not afford to go to the expense of two sets of yards. He would move that the Society’s shows bo held on the south side.
Mr. Carter seconded, and to show that the bulk of cattle, sheep, and horse entries at last show had come from the south side he quoted from the last catalogue, wh ch showed—from, the south, 10, 61, and 13 respectively ; and from the north, ■5, 13, and 11 respectively. Those figures showed from which side of the river the entries came, and it was unfair to ask the exhibitors on the south side to take their cattle across the dangerous Ashburton bridge for exhibition on the north side. He could not see that the Society was in a position to erect two sets of yards. Mr. Lewis, speaking in favor of the south side, said there was every railway convenience, and a ticket from the town to the show yard cost orly 4d. On show day a special train could easily be arranged for with the Government. Then, on the south side thcie was plenty of water and a luxurious growth of grass. It was nonsense to raise the objection that people would not cross the bridge, as every Sunday it was crowded with foot passengers. Regarding the Addington Yards, they were the most shabby affair he could imagine. It was imperative that good accommodation should be given for the valuable stock that came to the shows, and that accommodation should also be of a kind that woo'd not interfere with inspection. Saleyards were not suitable for show purposes, as they were built for the accommodation of large mobs, while showyard required to be arranged for individual entries.
Mr. F. B. Passmore had not intended to speak, but he must take exception to what had been said regarding railwry convenience. At Tinwald he found the trains on show days went off at times when they were not wanted, and their times of starting were insufficiently published, so that the trains were not made use of as they might. The cost of sheds would be as great at Tinwald as at Ashburton, and if they wore to bo erected the only question was, which site I Regarding the question of water on the Ashburton side, he said the mill race supplied plenty, so there was no difficulty on that score. Then, a show depended for its success on the gate money, and there were a great many instances brought under his notice at the last show of ladies having been grossly insulted on the bridge during a block. If the bridge was productive of hindrances of that kind, people would not cross it to go to Tinwald Show, and the gate money would suffer. Then it was a fact that bj 7 far the greater majority of implement exhibits came from the north. Mr. Hugo Friodlandcr thought there could be no doubt of the success of the show if hold on the Ashburton side. Notwithstanding the figures quoted by Carter, it was a fact that, when the entries of all kinds were added up, the north had a majority of 53. Tiie farmers on the south side had taken advantage of the show being held on their side of the river, and had rolled up ; but wore the site changed the northern men would roll up in far greater numbers. So far as railway accommodation was concerned, both sides of the river were equal, and as any concessions on the part of the railway authorities in the matter of a platform had yet to be made, it would be as easy to get it for the north as the south side. Mr. Allen was sure fees on the Ashburton side would soon pay the cost of erection of yards if they were used for saleyards. On a vote, 17 voted for the amendment of Mr. Dawson, and 32 for Mr. Wilson’s motion.
The next show will therefore bo held at Ashburton. THE SRARROW REST. Mr W. J. Silcock moved the resolution of which he had given notice, viz.
“ That in order to prevent the further spread of the fanner and cottager’s common enemy, the sparrows, the Committee be requested to take the initiatory steps to form clubs for their destruction.” In a few words Mr. Silcock advocated the adoption of the resolution. Mr. Andrew Dawson seconded.
Mr. Joseph Clark hoped that before the “ destroying angel” was sent among the sparrows, due thought should be given to what they were doing. He allowed that sparrows ate the grain, but the laborer was worthy of his hire, and since the introduction of sparrows there had not been a single instance of caterpillars destroying the barjey. Mr. Cox deprecated any action in the matter, as there was danger of many other small birds being poisoned with the sparrows. Tiie Chairman thought it would be lost labor to attempt the eradication of the sparrows, as from the firm footing they had got they could defy the strongest efforts to destroy them wholly. The motion was lost by 14 votes lo 10. ‘ 1 LODGES OF INSTRUCTION. ”
Mr, Silcock then moved the other resolution of which he had given notice, viz. : —“To bring rule 15 more effectively into operation, by asking the Committee to arrange that meetings should be held at short intervals, at which subjects of interest to the farmer could be discussed. Mr. Passmore seconded the motion. He lived at too great a distance from town to be able to take advantage of the meetings proposed, bub he could see in them a great benefit to those who could be present. He thought it would be within the spirit of the rule for him to point out the excellence of an American publication called the !“ American Agriculturalist” which was full of information of every kind to the farmer, and profusely illustrated. The subscription was only 7s. a year, and it could be obtained either direct from the Orange Judd Company, or perhaps Messrs. Weeks and Dixon would procure it for anyone who wanted it. He knew that firm did have it.
Mr. Lewis favored the project indicated by the rosoluton. There were many subjects on which the practical experience of individual farmers given at such meetings would be valuable to the whole. Mr. Guinness thought a library ought to be formed of standard works on agricultural subjects, that would be accessible to every member of the Society. Mr. Silcock accepted Mr. Guinness’ suggestion, and it was incorporated in the resolution.
Mr. Joseph Clark drew the meeting’s attention to the difficulty of getting farmers t--gather. If the meetings suggested wore 'to be held he would advise that they be held in the afternoon, and not in the evening. Farmers uicl not care to come out :ib night. They lived far apart from each other, and at a distance from a suitable centre, so that to avoid driving home in the dark it would be advisable to hold these meetings in the afternoon. They would forgive him for referring to that old place, Ivaiapoij hut his experience there of mootings of the kind proposed was that they were very beneficial, not only by the excellent papers that had been .readj but by the valuable hints thrown out in conversation. Farmers, as a rule were not speech-makers, but a half hour of a convetsational character would often elicit a great amount of useful knowledge. At present farmers ’were not the power in the country they ought to be considering that they were the country’s backbone. But if they united together in some such direction as these meetings pointed they would very soon become a power in the land. It was with pleasure indeed that lie saw in an Australian paper the heads of the farmers’ delegates and ha wished to see the day when New Zealand farmers would he able to point to a long line of able representative men.
The Chairman also advocated the movement, adding that Dr. Irving’s lecture that night on “Bee-keeping” was a step in the right direction. "The resolution being put was carried unanimously. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. Mr. Guinness suggested that, before proceeding with the election of office bearers, it would bo well to ascertain whether the Act under which the _ Society was incorporated did or did hot limit the number of Committeemen. The Act could not be readily found, and it was decided to proceed with the election, which resulted as under :—President—Mr. W. C. Walker ; vice-presi-dent—Mr. John Carter ; treasurer —Mr. W. H. Zouoh ; hon. secretary —Mr. G. Jameson. Committee —Messrs, Coster. Passmore, Cox, Gundry, Hugo Freidlauder, R Friedlander, Hunt, Mayo, Guinness, Stitt, Bell, Wilson, Cameron, Lewis, James Scott, Oliver, Clark, H. T. Smith, Sargent, Isaac Taylor, Thomas Taylor, Corsbie, Grigg, E. G. and E. F. Wright, Silcock, Brown (Wakanui), M‘Lean, Bullock, Dowding, Saunders, Jacobsen, M'Coll —with power to add to their number. THE NEW YARDS, Mr. Cox moved the appointment of a sub-committee to procure plans for yards, fencing, &c., on the reserve near Saunders’ mill. In moving the resolution, he advocated the erection of yards to supply the want of saleyards that now existed, and he was sure they would be extensively patronised. The fees derivable from their use would enable another set to be erected in Tinwald afterwards. The yards at Addington had been very successful, and if something of the kind were not done here some private company may step in and erect yards. He did not wish to see two sets of yards erected unless they were likely to prove a paying speculation, but he was sure yards on this side would pay, and Tinwald was increasing so rapidly that yards would pay there in" the end. The committee named were Messrs. Carter, Clark, Stett, Jameson, and Cox.
Mr. Clark thought that to erect yards on the Society’s ground, with, public money, was going out of their province, and trenching on that of private enterprise. The erection of these yards was clearly a work for private enterprise, and a company ought to be formed to do it. Mr. Hugo Friedlandor thought the Society was quite within its province in letting any yards it may build for the sale of stock.
Mr. W. Nome supported Mr, Clark’s suggestion. Mr. Lewis again reminded the meeting that yards erected for sale purposes were never suitable for purposes of exhibition. The Chairman thought the resolution was quite within the Society’s province, and instanced the cases of Addington and Timaru, where the Society’s yards were let for the sale of stock.
On being put to the vote the resolution was carried.
The Chairman then urged the members to be diligent in recruiting for the ranks of membership; the subscription was only a guinea, and he thought most of the farmers could afford that sum.
The usual votes of thanks were given, and the meeting adjourned.
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