THE STATE DAIRY FARM.
A FINE OBJECT LESSON
FARMERS BANQUET: IN A
(N.Z.- Times.) On Wednesday, a party of nearly two hundred farmers from the Feilding district visited the Experimental Station at Weraroa, the model dairy farm of the Government. ' The visit was arranged by the Feilding A. and P. Association. One gratifying feature of the excursion was the inclusion of the children of the Taonui school, who won the chief, 'prizes in the school garden produce classes at the National Dairy Show and the Feilding Show. It was rather unfortunate that the most important excursion of farmers which has yet taken place in connection with the station was arranged for the very worst time of the year for inspecting it. And on top of this, i heavy rain had preceded the visit, ; which made the place very wet. under / foot. Heavy rain again set in during the afternoon.' The station could hardly have been seen at a worse time. Improvements are in progress, important drainage works particularly, but these are principally at the back of the farm, and could not be viewed by the casual visitor. The winter crops have been utilised or stored, ,and there was generally an absence of crop development, which, was only to be expected for the time of year. LUNCHEON IN A COWSHED. Owing to the unfavorable weather, luncheon for the big party had to be served in the cowshed, the only place on the station affording shelter for such a number: It would appear at first sight that having a banquet Jin a cowshed was an extraordinary proceeding. As a matter of fact, the Weraroa shed—though crowded with cows night and morning, and during the last few Jays the cows coming from soaked pastures and entering the yards of the shed over muddy roads—is maintained in such a clean and sanitary manner that it is fit for anyone to live in between the milking" periods. It was a striking obpect lesson to visiting milk producers ix> realise that a cowshed was possible of construction and maintenance in a manner capable of even enjoying a luncheon in. ,Had the idea- been devised—instead of the luncheon tables having had. to be removed from a lawn to the shed owing to the rain—a better means could not have been taken to demonstrate the possibility of a high standard of cleanliness in connection with the operation of drawing and handling milk. /DISAPPOINTED VISITORS. After the party had inspected a lot of fine Shorthorn and grade cows in milk, and had a look at some good Romney ewes, it made its way to the orchard. Msiny of the visitors were interested in fruit culture"; in fact the main object of the visit was to secure an object lesson in fruit-growing. Mr T. W. Kirk, biologist, and Mr W. A. Boucher, North .Island pomologist, had arranged, a spraying demonstration, and a talk on fruit-growing, but just as the proceedings commenced rain drove the party to shelter. The bad Weather put a stop to further in-
spection of the station, and the remainder of tho afternoon was spent in the cowshed, where the attraction was a demonstration of mechanical milking. APPRECIATION.
Though representative visiting farmers realised that the trip had been made at a time when there were few interesting things to. be seen on the station, they were delighted with the stock they had and the model cowshed, but ajbove all the reception accorded them wa& subject to many laudatory remarks. The president of the Feilding A. and P. Association, Mr H. Burrell, said their reception was most handsome, and he took it as a high compliment. He assured the Times representative that the visit was biit one of many which would be made in the future., He had visited the farm four years ago, and he was pleased to see the great improvements which had been effected since that time. A considerable sum of money must have been spent to bring the station up to its present stage of development. Other visitors also referred to the hospitable manner in which they had been received, and expressed their determination to return again and again.
A CHAMPION COW
One of the most interesting things to the milk producers of the party was the champion cow of the State herd, the little crossbred HolsteinShorthorn, Mary. In her size she gives no indication whatever of her breeding, as she is a small and particularly compact animal. Figures supplied by the station in regard to the income derived from her during the past three seasons make very interesting reading. In the 1906-6 season she gave 12,1671bs of 3.7 per ,cent, milk, yielding 450.1 ibs of butter-fat, realising 10£ d, or £19 13s lOd; skimmilk, 10,3431bs at id a gallon, £1 Is 6d. Total, £20 15s 4d. The next season she gave 13,0911bs of 3.8 per cent, milk, which was sold by the gallon at 7d—£36 6s lOd. Last season her yield was 13,1681bs of 3.8 per cent, milk, or 1254 gallons at 7d—-£36 11s 6d; her calf sold at £21 2s—a total return of £57 12s 6d.