CHAIR OF AGRICULTURE.
CHRISTCHURCH, April 29. At the monthly meeting of the .Canterbury College Board of Governors yesterday a letter was received from the North Canterbury Farmers' Union asking for permission to wait upon the board in regard to the institution of a Chair of Agriculture, which it was thought would be beneficial to tEe Dominon as a whole.
The chairman of the board (Mr H. D. Acland) said there was already a course provided for agriculture. There were other points, he understood, the deputation desired to explain, especially regarding forestry. it was decided to receive the deputation, which consisted of Messrs D. Jones, W. A. Banks, D. Bates and T. D. Boag. Mr D. Jones, president of the union, expressed their pleasure at meeting the board on such an important question. For some time to come the agricultural and pastoral industry Would be the mainstay of the Dominion. As farmers they were being urged to make the best use of their soil, and that was a great reason why they came to the board for assistance. All possible was not being made of the facilities at their hand at the present time, and there was great scope for further education. Seeing that Canterbury was the home of agriculture they felt that they could come to the board with confidence. Lincoln College could be a link in that chain, but the best of the plums were going to boys trained overseas. But the men trained in other parts of the world were not immediately at home in New Zealand farming. However well a man might be trained in other lands it was not fair to bring him to New Zealand with its different conditions. They felt also that they had some claim upon the l>oard in the matter of finance, its the skill of the farmers in the province had assisted the revenue of the board very materially. The most important part was the training of first-class men in agriculture. He understood that the board was considering the question of a Chair of Forestry; he did not know whether agriculture and forestry would work in together, but there were great possibilities in both for development.
In answer to the chairman Mr Jones said they wanted the university to give a direct-ion to students who wished to take up a course of agriculture. At Lincoln College the idea was to take farmers' sons and to make them practical farmers. Mr Banks said/that a great difficulty the Education Hoard had was in getting instructors for such a course as the Farmers' Union had in view. They did not see why their boys should have to go' to Hawkesbury to get an education that should be supplied in New Zealand."' In the discussion that ensued, Mr Brock said that the Degree of Agriculture was the hardest to get in New Zealand. What was needed was a coordination of the practical work at Lincoln College with the course at Canterbury College. Mr J. C. Adams said that Dr. Chilton was prepared to undertake a course j of lectures for students, but the difficulty was to get the students in from Lincoln College to attend, so busy were they. The main difficulty to be overcome was the correlation of the studies at the two colleges. What the deputation was asking was for the board to take up the scientific part as well as the practical part, but they must remember that the two colleges were distinct bodies. Should they' establish such a Chair as asked for there must be, under the present circumstances, a great deal of pingMr Opie said that with the instruction being given at Ashburton and Rangiora he. did not think they fell very far short of what was being done at Hawkesbury, but there were no diplomas. They had at one time intended to establish a very valuable scholarship, but they found tihey bad no power. The matter was In a very nebulous position, but they must get to work. There were ' hundreds of fathers in the country who wanted to. get their boys on the land, and as it was desirable to give the lads a chance to leave the city for the country something must soon be done.
Mr Jones said that one of their contentions was that there was no institution in New Zealand which was capable of training students for the position of instructors. Under the present system the results were entirely unsatisfactory. They also wanted to raise the status of farming. A man was a better man even if he only had two or three years' training whether he then went into the city or the country. They thought that' farmers' sons should have the same opportunity of going through such a course, as other students had of taking up any course they desired.
Mr Wood, after stating what had been contemplated in the past in the direction of formulating a scheme, which had apparently broken down, said he was of opinion that the deputation was on the right track, and that a Chair of Agriculture should lie established. ■. Mr Acland, in thanking the deputation for their attendance, said that the present conditions were not satisfactory and something would have to be done. In his opinion the best course was to refer the matter to a committee to take some practical steps to see if the present unsatisfactory conditions regarding agricultural education could not be remedied. It seemwl that at the present time there were no proper means in the Dominion for the adequate training of instructors and practical fanners. ... The deputation then withdrew, and the matter was referred to a special committee.' '-'•-.-'--• • ■ -.. ;
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HELPING FARMERS, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919
HELPING FARMERS Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9598, 30 April 1919
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