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Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture
LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE
FOR THE YEARS 1907 AND 1908
Concluding the Last Year Under Territorial Conditions and Including the First Year.
Census of July 1, 1907
Ending March 1, 1908
Growth, Progress, and General Development
of the New State
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
Office of Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture.
Guthrie, Okiahoma, November 16, 1908. To His Excellency, Governor C. N. Haskell:
Dear Sir:-We have the honor to transmit herewith the First Biennial Report of the Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture, for the years 1907 and 1908.
Very respectfully yours,
J. P. CONNORS, President.
To the Governor and Members of the Legislature:
In presenting the First Biennial Report of the Oklahoma State Board of Agriculture, we desire to call special attention to the many new conditions with which this Department has had to deal as a result of statehood and the liberal and beneficent treatment of Agriculture and its allied interests in the Constitution and acts of the First State Legislature.
The Oklahoma Territorial Board of Agriculture, operating under territorial statules, began the publication of a biennial report in 1904 and issued its second report in 1906. These reports covered the agricultural development of the Oklahoma Territory side of the State, with an intelligent enterprise and painstaking accuracy that was highly commendable, and the dissemination of the important statistical data gathered for these reports has done much to establish for the western section of our grand, young State the excellent reputation which it enjoys at home and abroad as one of the most progressive, productive and prosperous agricultural districts in the TransMississippi Valley. In the Indian Territory part of the State, however, owing to its lack of practically every form of self-government and its communal system of land-holding, no accurate or reliable method of obtaining agricultural statistics had been attempted, or was even possible, and the data heretofore published from that section has been very incomplete and unsatisfactory, and has in no sense done justice to the resources and rapid development of that splendid section of our new commonwealth.
This Department has, therefore, had to begin at the bottom in the organization and development of some of the most important features of the work confided to its care.
Under the territorial form of government which prevailed in Oklahoma, the Board of Agriculture, created by an Act of the Territorial Legislature in 1901, had its powers defined and limited to "the collection and publication of statistical information concerning agriculture, horticulture, animal hushandry and kindred industries of the territory, and supervision of the farmers' county institute system, and to devise such regulations as might be necessary to secure the efficient and proper enforcement of all laws which had for their object the preservation, protection and encouragement or improvement of any branch of agriculture, which same may be now in force or which may hereafter be enacted, except such as have already been specifically delegated to the Board of Regents of the Agricultural and Mechanical College and the Live Stock Sanitary Commission."
Under these provisions, and with a generally inadequate appropriation, the Territorial Board was organized and carried on the work assigned It in the twenty-six counties into which that Territory was divided.
The Constitution of the new State provided for a State Board of Agri
culture, and defined its powers in the following language:
“Section 31. A Board of Agriculture is hereby created to be composed of eleven members, all of whom shall be farmers and shall be selected in inanner prescribed by law.
“Said Board shall be maintained as a part of the State government, and shall have jurisdiction over all matters affecting animal industry and animal quarantine regulations, and shall be the Board of Regents of all State Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges, and shall discharge such other duties and receive such compensation as may be provided by law.”
With the accomplishment of statehood on November 10, -1907, the Governor, under the provisions of the foregoing Section of the Constitution, appointed the following members of the State Board to serve until such time as their successors should be elected and qualified under a law to he passed by the First State Legislature: J. P. Connors, President
. Canadian, Oklahoma. J. P. Roetzel
.Watonga, R. F. Wilson
Valliant D. M. Robb
Atoka, G. T. Bryan
Perry, Ewers White
McLoud, Dan Diehl
Gotebo, J. C. Elliott
Pauls Valley, R. S. Burns
Harper, R. W. Lindsay
:.. Choteau, S. D. Dennis
The law providing for the time and manner of electing members or the Board, and outlining its duties and powers, was passed and approved on March 3, 1908, and is published in full in this report. It will be noticed that the Constitution and State law eliminate the Live Stock Sanitary Commission and the Board of Regents of the Agricultural and Mechanical College as separate bodies, and confides to the State Board of Agriculture the duties and responsibilities heretofore imposed upon all three of the Boards named. In addition to these duties this Board is charged with the enforcement of the Stock Food and Fertilizer law and Nursery Inspection laws of the State, and the Secretary of the Board is made (by territorial statutes still in force) ex-officio State Engineer.
The President of the Board is a member of the School Land Board; the Banking Board; member of the State Board of Equalization; the Board of Control; the Board of Pardons; the State Commission of Agricultural and Industrial Education; the Board of Regents of the State School of Mines; the Board of Regents of Girls' Industrial School, and with the Treasurer and Secretary of the Board of Agriculture, constitutes a majority of the Pure Food, Dairy and Drug Commission.
In every department of the work assigned to the State Board of Agriculture, we take pleasure in reporting that the organization is complete and the utmost activity consistent with sound business administration is being employed to increase the efficiency of the various institutions placed In charge of the Board; finish successfully the constructive work ordered by the last Legislature, and to promote, in every way possible, the continued prosperity and successful development of the important interests placed under this Board's control.
In creditable contrast wità territorial legislatures and the law-making powers in many of our sister states in their provisions for the development and promotion of agricultural and industrial education and the live stock, agricultural and horticultural interests of the State, the First State Legislature of Oklahoma provided adequately and liberally for the establishment, on a sound and substantial basis, of the departments committed to this Board by the Constitution, and we take a pardonable pride in the announcement that this appropriation has been so prudently and carefully handled under the orders of the Board that this Deparment has no deficiency to report in any fund, but has, on the contrary, been able to return to the State treasury a substantial sum after the payment in full of all obligations incurred in the conduct of its affairs during the period covered by this report.
It will be noted that in order to preserve the continuity of the record, this report covers the last year of territorial government in Oklahoma ani the first year of State government, and it is a source of satisfaction that with the publication of this volume of reports, the record of statistical data relating to the agricultural, horticultural and live stock interests of the original Territory of Oklahoma, has been preserved compete from the day that the manifest importance of these industries first won the tardy recog. nition of a territorial legislature and administration.
For the convenience of readers, and to add to its value as a reference book, the subject matter of this report has been divided into nine parts.
Part I covers a summary of laws now in force in Oklahoma, relating to Agriculture, Agricultural Schools, Horticulture and Animal Industry.
Part II includes the annual report of the Secretary, and the financial report of the Treasurer of the Board and the Secretary of the A. & M. College, and a synopsis of the proceedings of the First Annual Institute and meeting of the state Board of Agriculture.
Part III—Horticulture.-Comprises the report of the acting State entomologist, list of nurserymen authorized to transact business, nursery inspection regulations, etc.
Part IV relates to the Live Stock and Dairy interests of the Sta Quarantine Regulations, etc.
Part V contains special illustrated articles on Crop Diversification, Farm Management, Cotton Planting and Culture, Corn Culture and Judging, Alfalfa Seeding and Growing, Bermuda and other valuable grasses, and other topics related to the promotion of agriculture and its kindred interests and the duties of the State Board.
Part VI is devoted to the progress and development of the Agricultural and Mechanical College; the teaching of Agriculture in the common and graded schools and higher institutions of learning within the State, and the establishment and development of the District Agricultural Schools.
Part VII deals with the Farmers' Institute System, the method and course of instruction in the County Institutes and the importance of Institute work.
Part VIII gives a final summary of the Oklahoma weather and crop service for the years 1907 and 1908, and a monthly review of climatology, annual rainfall, etc.
Part IX contains complete and carefully compiled statistical tables