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FIRST REPORT OF THE FARMERS' INSTITUTES OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1897. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1898

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-OF   THE—
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty,  61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 699
Department of Agriculture, British Columbia,
Victoria, 10th March, 1898.
Sir,—I have the honour of transmitting herewith the first Report of Farmers' Institutes
of British Columbia.
J. R. Anderson,
Deputy Minister of Agriculture,
Acting Superintendent of Farmers' Institutes.
The Hon. J. H. Turner,
Minister of Agriculture.  61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 701
Consequent upon my appointment as Acting Superintendent of Farmers' Institutes, and
your request that I should proceed, under the Act passed last Session, in the work of organizing
Farmers' Institutes throughout the Province, I deemed it in the best interests of the Institute
system which it was proposed to adopt, to ask the advice of some of the farmers of the Province
as to the best means to be used to insure the success of the movement. I, therefore, addressed
communications to thirty-seven representative farmers in different parts of the Province. The
concensus of opinion in reply to my communications was that the best way of arriving at a
decision was to have a conference of a few farmers to discuss the question. Acting upon this
advice I summoned the following farmers to meet me on Monday, the 19th July last, viz :—
Messrs. Geo. Deans Victoria,
W. H. Hayward Metchosin,
G. H. Hadwen Duncan,
Chas. Munro Chilliwhack,
R. McBride Richmond,
H. T. Thrift    Hazelmere,
A. Postill Vernon.
The result of the conference was the recommendation to seek the services of some person
experienced in the working of Farmers' Institutes system in Ontario to come to the Province,
for the purpose of informing us of the methods used, and of the success attending Farmers'
Institutes since their inception in that Province. The Government of Ontario was therefore
applied to, and in due course it was announced that Mr. T. F. Paterson, a student of the
Ontario Agriculture College at Guelph, and assistant lecturer of biology in that institution,
was willing to come for the purpose indicated. His services were therefore secured for three
months, and he arrived in the Province on the 29th September.
In the meantime, the first petition for the formation of an Institute had been received
from the Richmond Institute District, Mr. R. McBride, Secretary pro tern., and the organization meeting was arranged to take place at the Town Hall, Richmond, on Monday, the 2nd
August. At the time appointed I attended, but in consequence of the failure of a sufficient
number of the farmers to appear I advised the postponement of the meeting for one month, as it
was represented, in consequence of the busy fishing and harvesting season, people could not
very well attend before that time. The meeting was therefore adjourned until the 11th
A petition for the formation of an Institute having been received from the Surrey-Langley
Institute District, Mr. H. T. Thrift, Secretary pro tern., the organization meeting was appointed to be held at the Town Hall, Surrey Centre, on Saturday, the 28th August. At the
time appointed I attended, and the Surrey-Langley Institute was formed, being the first to
organize under the Act, with the following officers :—
C. D. Moggridge, Hazelmere, President;
D. M. Robertson, Tyne Head, Vice-President;
H. T. Thrift, Hazelmere, Secretary-Treasurer ;
C. C. Cameron,      Clayton     "1-p,.
D. R. Brown, Mud Bay )iJirectors'
As this was a meeting for organization, no papers were delivered, but short addresses
were made by the Superintendent on " Organization, " Mr. H. T. Thrift and Mr. C. D. Moggridge, on " The Value of Farmers' Institutes to the Farmers of British Columbia." 702
Farmers' Institutes Report
On the 11th September, being the date to which the organization meeting had been adjourned, I again went to Richmond, but with the same result that attended the former meeting, there not being a sufficient number of farmers in attendance to organize, and the attempt
was therefore abandoned.
The first regular meeting of the Surrey-Langley Institute having been called for the 16th
October, I requested Mr. Paterson to give a paper on " Farmers' Institutes and Drainage,"
and on the day appointed, in company with Mr. Paterson and Mr. Thos. Forster, M.P.P., I attended at the Town Hall, Surrey Centre, where a very successful meeting was held and
addresses delivered by the Superintendent, on " Science in Agriculture," Mr. Paterson, on
"Farmers' Institutes and Drainage," Mr. Thos. Forster, M.P.P., on "Silos and Ensilage," Mr.
D. Johnson, on " Drainage."
Having arranged a programme of meetings at which Mr. Paterson was to explain the
workings of Farmers' Institutes in Ontario, and I the objects, aims, and meaning of the Act
in this Province, the following meetings took place :—
Metchosin; to make arrangements.
ii at Public Hall; small attendance.
Parsons' Bridge, at Hotel; no attendance.
Saanich, at Agricultural Hall; small attendance.
Colquitz, at Public Hall ; no attendance.
Cedar Hill, at School; fair attendance.
Colquitz, at Public Hall; small attendance.
Parsons' Bridge, at Hotel; small attendance.
Duncans, at Agricultural Hall;  large attendance.
Cobble Hill, at Public Hall; good attendance.
Richmond, at Town Hall; fair attendance.
Hazelmere, at School; good attendance,	
Mud Bay, at School; small attendance.
Burnaby, at School; large attendance.
Chilliwhack, at Court House ; fair attendance.
Sumas, at School House ; small attendance.
Mount Lehman, at School; small attendance.
Mission, at Council Room ; small attendance.
Abbotsford, at Agricultural Hall; no attendance.
Langley Prairie, at Post Office ; fair attendance.
Ladners, at Town Hall; fair attendance.
Comox, at Courtenay Agricultural Hall; good attendance.
Wellington, at City Hall; fair attendance.
Nanaimo, at City Hall ; good attendance.
Kamloops, at Raven's Hall ; small attendance.
Salmon Arm, at McGuire's Hall ; good attendance.
Vernon, at Court House; no attendance.
Kelowna, at Raymer's Hall; good attendance.
Armstrong, at Town Hall ; large attendance.
Enderby, at Town Hall ; good attendance.
Agassiz, at Temperance Hall; large attendance.
In consequence of the delays in the train service, some appointments made for the Lower
Fraser could not be kept, and it was deemed best to postpone further meetings until after the
New Year. __;
The petition for the formation of the Richmond Institute having been renewed, the
organization meeting was appointed to be held on the 18th December at the Town Hall, Richmond, at which time and place I attended with Mr. Thos. Cunningham. At this meeting the
Richmond Farmers' Institute was duly organized with the following officers :—
22nd Oct.
28th    „
29th    „
1st   Nov.
2nd      i.
3rd      n
6th      i,
11th        M
12th    ,i
13th    „
15th    „
16th    i,
17th    ..
19th        M
19th    „
20th    h
22nd    ii
23rd    „
1st   Dec.
2nd     ii
7th      i,
9th      .,
10th    n
11th    „
13th    i,
15th    „
Capt. W. F. Stewart,
Mr. Thos. New,
Mr. R. McBride,
Mr. James Thompson,
Mr. John Dinsmore,
Ehurne, President;
Central Park, Vice-President;
Eburne, Secretary-Treasurer
Eburne, Director;
Eburne, Director. 61* Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 703
Addresses were delivered by Mr. Thos. Kidd, M. P. P., Thos. Cunningham and others,
and the meeting adjourned to hold a meeting in the near future in South Vancouver. I
regret to say that the Vice-President, Mr. Thos. New, whom I and many other attendants at
the organization meeting had met for the first time, and of whom a very high opinion was
formed, lost his life by a falling tree before the meeting took place at South Vancouver.
The meetings, in company with Mr. Paterson, were resumed after the first of January,
when the following meetings took place :—
3rd  Jan.   Cedar, at Public Hall; fair attendance.    Mr. E. Hutcherson accompanied us
and made an address at this meeting.
4th       ii    Nanoose, at Parksville School; fair attendance.
5th      H    Alberni, at Court House ; good attendance.
8th       ii    Gabriola Island, at School; good attendance.
11th    n    Port Haney, at Public Hall; fair attendance.
11th    ii    Port  Hammond,  at  Public Hall;  fair attendance.     Mr.  Thos.  Cunningham
accompanied us to the two last meetings and made addresses.
13th    ii    Mayne Island, at School; fair attendance.
17th    ii    Burgoyne Bay, at School; fair attendance.
18th    ii    Vesuvius Bay, at Public Hall; fair attendanee.
22nd    ii    McPhersons, at Public Hall; fair attendance.
With the meeting at McPhersons (now known as Cowichan) Mr. Paterson's engagement
terminated, and as all of the Institute Districts had been addressed (some of them in several
places), with the exception of Lillooet, Cariboo and Kootenay which, for obvious reasons, could
not be visited just then, it was deemed unnecessary to retain Mr. Paterson's services for a
longer period. ....
In severing the connection of the Department with Mr. Paterson, I may be permitted to
express my appreciation of the services of this gentleman, whose clear and forcible arguments
and lucid explanations of the great good effected in Ontario since the adoption of the Farmers'
Institute system, went very far in convincing our people of the advantages to be derived by
taking the opportunity of organizing under the Act. His uniform courtesy and forbearance
also under circumstances, very often the reverse of pleasant, I heartily commend.
At the central places in all the institute districts, it was recommended that a secretary
pro tern, be immediately appointed, and names taken down of those wishing to become members,
and at other places in the district assistant secretaries were recommended whose duty it was
to report to the secretary pro tern., the latter official being supplied with the necessary books
of membership tickets and forms of petition. This system has worked so well that petitions,
exclusive of those received from Surrey-Langley and Richmond, prior to the meetings held by
Mr. Paterson and myself, and of which I have spoken above, have been received, and dates
arranged as follows:—
Delta, Ernest Hutcherson, Secretary, pro tern., organization meeting,    8th January.
Comox, Wm. Duncan, . . .    .       u u 26th         n
Kent, H. L. Calvert, u . . . u 1st February.
Chilliwhack, G. W. Chadsey, m .........  n 5th         n
Alberni, R. H. Wood, ,, .„ 19th
Maple Ridge, J. M. Webster, n ... 26th
Kamloops, C. B. Harris, u                                 n . . ..        5th March.
Nanaimo, F. B. Le Feuvre,        n . . . . ,  n 12th         n
Matsqui, F. Munro, .m . n 19th         .,
Okanagan, J. F. Watson, . .u . . ... n 1st April.
And petitions are expected in the near future from the Cowichan, Salt Spring Island and
Mission Institute Districts.
The election of officers at the organization meetings of Institutes, held up to this date,
resulted as follows:—
Delta Thos. E. Ladner Ladners President.
E. Hutcherson        m       .    Vice-President.
Wm. H. Ladner        n           Secretary-Treasurer.
John A. Paterson         n         ) n.
Frank L. Kirkland Westham   j 704                                       Farmers' Institutes Report.
Comox Alex. Urquhart	
. . Vice-President.
. . Secretary-Treasurer.
J. A. Durand	
T. E. Williams	
J. J. R. Miller	
Kent H. W. Holtby	
. . President.
J. Whepton	
Geo. W. Beebee	
N. T. Baker	
. . Vice-President.
T. A. Sharpe	
E. E Greyell	
Chilliwhack . . C. H. Higginson	
. . . Chilliwhack .   .   .
G. W. Chadsey	
Secretary- Treasurer.
H. Webb	
. ^Directors.
L. W. Paisley	
Alberni Allan W. Neil  ......
.   President.
R. H. Wood	
E. L. Gill	
. ^-Directors.
Stanley R. S. Bayne
Maple Ridge  . W. J. Harris	
. . . Beaver Creek . . .
. .Vice-President.
. . . Port Hammond  .
J. M. Webster	
. . . Websters Corners
. . Secretary-Treasurer.
Hector Ferguson     , . .
Moses Ball	
. . . Port Haney	
E. A. Atkins     	
The  two  Institutes  organized   last yea
-  have  held  their   annual
meetings  and  elected
officers as provided by  the  Act, the
being given  in  the
reports  of  the secretaries
further on.
The membership of Institutes already
received is given below.    The figures may be
organized,   and for   which  petitions have   been
somewhat misleading, as in some cases the names
on  the petitions  are all I had  to  go
by, whereas the membersh
obably is really larger,
...     41
...     32
.     43
.     31
...     31
...     18
.     36
Maple Ridge	
.     50
.     64
In all	
.   528
It is to be regretted that the Institute District of Victoria, w
includes the Electoral
Divisions of Esquimalt, South Victoria, and North Victoria, exclusive of Salt Spring Island,
the longest settled in the Province, seems to be the most backward in taking advantage of the
provisions of the Act.    The extent of the district was objected to,
only on account of the 61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 705
size, but that the settlements were so separated that it would be impossible to carry on an
Institute successfully. The same objection was raised in some other Districts, and with much
greater reason, but on its having been pointed out that Institute Districts in Ontario were in
some instances of greater extent, and that, inasmuch as all latitude was allowed as to places
of meeting within the Institute District, and that the number of meetings was unlimited, it
was a matter of very little consequence; it was decided in the other places to at least give the
scheme a trial. With the exception, therefore, of Victoria and the Institute Districts of Cowichan and Salt Spring Island (and from the latter, as I mention elsewhere, I expect petitions
shortly), all the Districts in division No. 1 will have organized.
The Institute district of Mission, in Division No. 2, is the only one in that Division
which has not sent in a petition, but I believe that also will soon come to hand.
In Division No. 3 the Institute Districts of Lillooet, Cariboo and Kootenay, as I
remarked before, have not, so far, been visited, and the subject of Institutes has therefore not
been brought before the people as a live question. In my opinion it is highly desirable that
these sections should be visited at as early a date as possible after the opening of the spring,
in order that, if possible, the whole Province may, before the end of the season, be working
under the Institute system.
The question of speakers has been engaging my attention, and, following the example of
Ontario, I am endeavouring to obtain the services of persons who are qualified to speak on the
subjects they are required, not merely from a theoretical standpoint, but from practical
experience; persons who have made a success of the subjects whereon they address their
audiences, and whose opinions are therefore entitled to the weight they demand ; persons
whose farms are object-lessons to their neighbours. There are, of course, men also who are
purely scientific and theoretical, whose opinions, from educational training, are also entitled
to the respect which is their due; and, lastly, I have urged in all cases that local talent be
utilized as much as possible for supplementary meetings. There is much latent talent amongst
the farmers of the Province which only requires encouragement to be developed, and such
persons oftentimes make the most efficient speakers. On the maxim that " a prophet is not
without honour save in his own country and in his own house," it is desirable that an interchange of local speakers should be made between Institutes. This will serve not only to
cement the Institutes in friendly intercourse, but that the respect which is due from one
section of the country to another, as to capabilities and wants, now so often wanting, will be
engendered. The employment of local speakers for supplementary meetings is also to be
encouraged on the grounds of economy. Under the existing rules, each Institute is entitled
to two regular meetings during the year, to which paid speakers are sent (if asked for) without
expense to the Institutes; but if such speakers are required at other meetings, their expenses,
during their stay, have to be borne by the Institutes ; hence the desirability of the employment of local speakers. I regret to say that, so far, I have not been able to secure the services
of any lady speakers, but I hope that as the work develops, so will it become apparent who are
qualified and willing to undertake the work. As regards other speakers, the following
gentlemen have either signified their willingness to make addresses, or are in positions which
entitles me to call upon them when occasion arises, viz.:—
A.  C.  Wells, manager  Eden Bank Creamery,  Chilliwhack—On  dairying  and  kindred
J. W. McGillivray, Guelph Agricultural College, Sumas—Same.
J. T. Collins, English Creamery, Salt Spring Island—Same.
A. A. King, manager Delta Creamery, Ladner's—Same.
S. H. Shannon, farmer, Cloverdale—Swine husbandry and kindred subjects.
E. Hutcherson, nurseryman, Ladners—Fruit and kindred subjects.
Thos. Cunningham, member Board of Horticulture—Same.
R. M. Palmer, Inspector of Fruit Pests, Victoria—Same.
G. H. Had wen, President Fruit-Growers' Association, Duncans—Co-operation and other
H. T. Thrift, farmer, Hazelmere—Culture of flax and co-operation.
W. H. Hayward, Metchosin—Fertilizers, dairying, market facilities, co-operation, etc.
There are many others who are capable of imparting valuable information on various subjects whom I have not yet asked, but who I have no doubt will readily give their services
when requested.    Valuable assistance has been freely accorded by  Mr.  Paterson  and  Mr.  C. 706 Farmers' Institutes Report. 1897
Marker, the representative of the Dominion Dairy Commissioner, who has been in the Province
for a short time, in giving addresses when requested at the meetings of the Institutes.
In addition to the publications of this Department, I am negotiating with the Ontario
Department of Agriculture for a supply of the literature issued by that department, and other
publications, for distribution among the members of Farmers' Institutes, as provided by the
Act. I have had sets of books, consisting of Minute, Special Mailing List, Cash and Membership books, after the Ontario pattern, books of membership tickets, poster's and notices for
calling meetings printed, which are sent to the secretaries for their use.
In obedience to your directions, I referred the Act to the consideration of the farmers
generally for their opinions as to any changes which they might deem necessary. The result
has been communicated to the Attorney-General's Department with a request that the proposed
amendments be brought before Parliament at an early date.
It is gratifying to note that France, generally so forward in all matters pertaining to the
welfare of farmers, is about to adopt some of the principles embodied in the Farmers' Institute
system, which this Province adopted at the last session of Parliament. During a debate in
the Chamber of Deputies on the 20th of November last, Premier Meline is reported as
follows : —
" The agriculturists," he explained, " were not only beset by foreign competition, but
they had to fight the middlemen, who were far too numerous." But, according to M. Meline,
the latter evil may be remedied by increasing the number of unions and co-operative societies.
"It was the duty of the government," he said, " to bring the consumer nearer and nearer the
producer, and consequently the government would shortly submit a bill for the organization of
agricultural credit establishments and of agricultural insurance offices."
The following communication, being one of the answers to my circular letter sent out
when assuming charge of the Farmers' Institutes, I think worth publishing, embodying as it
does the views of a successful farmer and many practical suggestions and ideas as to the successful working of institutes :—
"Metchosin, B.C., May SOth, 1897.
" To J. R. Anderson, Esq.,
" Deputy Minister of Agriculture :
" Dear Sir,—Having received your letter of yesterday's date I hasten to reply, more particularly as the subject-matter is of such great importance to the farming community of this
Province and, indeed, to the Province at large. The Government, through the Hon. Mr.
Turner, having put through the Legislature a Bill entitled "An Act respecting the establishment of Farmer's Institutes," have thereby put the farmers in a position to organize with some
Government aid, it therefore, seems to behoove them to take up the matter heart and soul and
put the Act into force with the least possible delay. The one point necessary, to my mind, to
make a success of these Institutes is the proper organization of them. Here lies the whole
trouble, as I cannot but think that if only they were once started on the right road they
would be carried along to a successful issue by those whose profit it would be to do so, namely,
the farmers. Distances here are very great, and here also we have the inherent dislike of
nearly all farming communities to join together and band themselves into an organization.
Now here we have two points to overcome, the first requiring time and the expenditure of
some money ; the second (and the hardest to overcome) requires, to my mind, that some
farmers (thoroughly imbued with the good that could be done through the Institutes) should
be chosen, both on the Island and the Mainland, to drive round to the more advanced farmers
in his district, discuss the matter thoroughly and do his best to persuade them to organize an
Institute, believing as I do that if some fifteen or twenty in each district (as in Schedule A)
took the matter up with the intention of carrying it through, a large number of the remainder
would come in after they had seen that the original organizers meant to make a success of it.
That I believe to be almost the universal experience among farming communities. This, however, requires money for organization purposes; without it I cannot help but think it will be a
very hard matter, if not an impossible one, to start the Institutes successfully. Other
provinces and countries that have their Institutes are not troubled with the same natural
cause for non-success that we have, by far the greatest being distance both for organization
purposes and afterwards for the necessary travelling to the Institute meeting. Nothing to my
mind would do more good in our agricultural districts than more frequent meetings, both for
the discussion of the thousand and one subjects pertaining to farm life as well as' the social 61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 707
side of the question, creating as they do better friendship with a better understanding of each
other. Might I call to your attention section 21 of the above Act, feeling sure that you will
see the necessity of having a main organization so as to place all local Institutes in the Province in possession of each other's thoughts and wishes, and giving thereby a solidity to all the
separate parts. It might be possible to create the central Farmer's Institute and continue the
organization of the local Institutes through it; at an any rate it seems worth a thought. Trusting I have answered in such a way as to make myself clear, and that at an early date you will
be able to bring out the rules and regulations required,
" Believe me,
"Yours truly,
"W. H Hayward"
Some of the suggestions made in the foregoing communication have been acted upon, and
others, such as that in reference to the formation of a Central Farmers' Institute, I consider
unworkable, believing that the organization of that branch should follow, not precede, that of
the local Institutes. No provision having been made in the Act as to the manner in which
it is to be formed, I have recommended that it should be done by the appointment of delegates
from the local Institutes.
In conclusion, I believe I am justified in saying that the Farmers' Institute system has
so far succeeded as well as its most ardent advocates could wish, and on the farmers themselves now devolves the duty of making a complete success of it, and, by its means, of acquiring
such education in all the most advanced methods that science and experience has ascertained
to be essential in successful farming. The time has gone past when farming was considered
to be an occupation which any one, too dense for any other walk in life, could undertake, and
the successful farmer of to-day is invariably a man who has studied the various causes which
affect plant and animal life, the most approved methods of manufacturing products, and all
the incidental subjects pertaining to his occupation, and who acts in conformity with the
teachings thus acquired; hence it is that, of necessity, a successful practical farmer is a
scientific farmer, and to acquire this knowledge in the easiest and most direct manner is what
all should aim at, and it is hard to imagine how such information can be acquired in a simpler
and more practical form than through the medium of the experiences of the scientific and
practical people who will be asked to make addresses at the meetings of Farmers' Institutes,
and by the discussions which follow.
The co-operative side of the question is also of the greatest importance to the agriculturist,
who can less afford to ignore the maxim that "in union there is strength" than those pursuing
most other callings in life. The farmers as a whole are not imbued with those business
instincts inherent amongst commercial people, and in attempting single-handed to obtain those
advantages to which they are entitled it almost invariably happens that they get worsted.
It is a common complaint that the middlemen prefer to deal in non-provincial produce,
although the domestic article may be better. The obvious answer to this is, if the farmers
must deal with middlemen, they must show the latter that they can make as much or more
money out of domestic than other produce. Now, it is a notorious fact that, in the past, most
of the produce offered for sale by farmers has not been put up in the attractive manner that
the imported article is, and it has not been of that uniform quality which is essential to
command a ready sale. But the middleman is by no means a necessity, and the sooner the
farmer emancipates himself the better it will be for him and the consumers of his products.
The means lie within his reach, and he should lose no time in securing to himself the advantages of direct dealings with the consumers. In the matter also of transportation, the farmer
is terribly handicapped. He either has to pay excessive charges, or, if he is in a position so
to do, he may transport his produce to market himself. In the latter case he is very little
better off, as the loss of time, wear and tear, feed and keep of horses (perhaps ferriage), and
charges of all descriptions, and probably hawking his produce about, the chances are he may
have paid as much as in the other case. Now, much of this can be remedied by the co-operation which can be attained under the Farmers' Institute system. The questions of supplies of
suitable and uniform packages, transportation, markets, purchasing commercial fertilizers,
implements and other necessaries, dairying, suggesting legislation, cheap money, cold storage
facilities, and all such questions come legitimately within the sphere of Farmers' Institutes,
and can only be successfully dealt with by co-operation through the medium : first, of the
local Institutes, and. secondly, of the central Institutes. 708
Farmers' Institutes Report.
It is but fair to say that the agriculturists are quite alive to their short-comings in respect
of want of adhesion amongst themselves, and are ready and willing to accept the assistance
offered to them by the "Farmers' Institute Act." They acknowledge that its provisions are
calculated in the best interests of farmers, and, provided they can overcome that feeling of
distrust in each other and acquire sufficient confidence in their own abilities to act in concert
and with determination, they have no doubt that the Farmers' Institute system will prove a
lasting benefit to the farmers of British Columbia.
The annual reports of the Surrey-Langley and Richmond Institutes here follow.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture,
Acting Superintendent of Farmers Institutes.
Annual  Report  of the  Surrey-Langley  Farmers'  Institute  for the Year
Ending December 31st. 1897.
Business Transacted since Organization in August.
Name   of   each   place
where  a    meeting   wa?
Number of
papers and
given at each
for year end
ing Dee. 31st.
held  since   last  annua)
A M.
Addressed only by Pres. k See.
First regular meeting.
Supplementary meeting.
Surrey Centre	
Mud Bay	
Annual Meeting of Surrey-Langley Farmers' Institute.
Surrey Centre, B. C,
January 27th, 1898.
Present, President C. D. Moggridge, Secretary-Treasurer, and Directors, and a large and
appreciative audience, composed of the farmers, etc., of Surrey and Langley, many ladies being
present, the whole numbering 90 at the afternoon and evening sessions. Notwithstanding
what we regarded as two of the most important essayists were not present, the meeting was
thoroughly satisfactory and eminently successful in all points.
It was quite a disappointment to many when informed that, through circumstances over
which he had no control, Mr. A. C. Wells, of Chilliwhack, found it utterly impossible for him
to attend to-day. However, this feeling soon vanished when the audience were informed that
Mr. C. Marker, Dominion Dairy Commissioner's assistant, was present and would address the
meeting on current dairy topics.
The President called the meeting to order at 1.25 p.m., and immediately read his annual
address; this was received with much approval by the audience.
Mr. President then called upon the Secretary-Treasurer for a report of what had been
accomplished during the few months since the orgnization of this Institute.
This address and reports were received with evident satisfaction by the meeting.
The Auditor's report was then received and dealt with, showing the receipts for membership subscriptions up to December 31st, 1897, amounted to $16, while the expenses incurred
amounted to $12.30, wholely for advertising meetings and postage. 61 Vict.
Farmers' Institutes Report.
It was moved, seconded and carried : That, if possible, regular meetings be held during
the year at Surrey Centre, Anniedale, Hall's Prairie, Langley Fort, Langley Prairie, and
Shortreed, and supplementary meetings wherever sufficient interest was manifested in the
matter by the residents.
Election of Officers :—C. D. Moggridge, re-elected President by acclamation; S. C.
Baumgartner, Vice-President; H. T. Thrift, re-elected Secretary-Treasurer; Messrs. Hy.
Bose and D. Johnson, for Surrey, and W. E. Buckingham and Thos. Culbert, Directors, for
Mr. C. Marker delivered a very effective and much appreciated address; also Mr. W. H.
Ladner, of Delta. Mr. E. Hutcherson was in splendid trim, and gave a most excellent paper
on fruit culture and orchard work.
At the evening session, as one of our essayists was absent, Mr. Hutcherson very effectively
stepped into the breach and gave a second address that was well received, and discussed at
great length. After which, Mr. S. H. Shannon submitted his paper " Swine Husbandry,"
which he handled in a most practical and convincing manner, showing thorough knowledge of
the subject, a subject which is now engaging the attention of a great many of our best farmers.
A very interesting discussion led by Mr. C. D. Moggridge ensued, on Mr. Shannon's paper.
After arranging for a reciprocal interchange of courtesies with the Delta Farmers' Institute,
the meeting adjourned, thus closing the first annual meeting of the first Institute organized
under the " Farmers' Institute Act " in British Columbia. A meeting that has been successful
in every sense of the word, and that must be productive of great results.
H. T. Thrift,
Secretary- Treasurer.
Arrangements for the Coming Season.
Points at which to hold
Regular Meetings.
Name of Hall.
Nearest Railway Station
and Distance, &c.
Anniedale, Surrey ....
Surrey Centre, Surrey.
Hall's Prairie, Surrey .
Fort Langley	
Langley Prairie	
School-House . ..
Town Hall
School-House . . .
Town Hall
School-House  . ..
School-House  . . .
Port Kells, or Brickyard, 1 mile.
Cloverdale, 1J miles.
Hazelmere, 2      n
Steamboat Landing, J mile.
,i               ii         6 miles.
Abbotsford, 9 miles.
* Note by the Sxipt.—It has been pointed out that inasmuch as the Rules only allow two regular
meetings to be held by an Institute during the year, the requisition for six meetings could not be entertained under existing eiroumstances.
Remarks—As there are many isolated settlements in both Surrey and Langley Municipalities, it was felt that we should make an effort (see Annual Addresses) to get the people in
touch with the principles of the Institute system, and to do this most effectively it would be
best to try and arrange for at least three regular meetings in the most central places in each
municipality, if possible, whereat at least one experienced and practical speaker might be
It was arranged that one regular meeting should be held at Langley Prairie School-
House on or about 27th or 28th February, inst, as the first outside effort, and that the
supplementary meetings be held in outlying settlements wherever sufficient interest was
manifested by the resident farmers in holding such meetings, no special places being designated. 710
Farmers' Institutes Report.
Executive Meeting of Board of Directors After Annual Meeting.
Surrey Centre, B. O, January 27th, 1898.
Present: C. D. Moggridge, President; H. T. Thrift, Sec.-Treasurer; Director Buckingham.
Moved, seconded and carried that the first regular meeting of the Surrey-Langley Farmers'
Institute for the year 1898 be held at the School-House, Langley Prairie, on or about February 27th inst., and that the Secretary correspond with Mr. C. Marker, Dominion Dairy Commissioner, and endeavour, if possible, to obtain the attendance of that gentleman at the meeting
to give an address on dairy topics, also, if possible, to secure the attendance thereat of Mr. A.
C. Wells, of Chilliwhack, to deliver his address on Silos and Ensilage.
Moved, seconded and carried, that the Secretary endeavour to obtain such books, reports,
bulletins, etc., from the various experiment stations as they are willing to donate, for the
purpose of forming the nucleus of an agricultural library for the Institute, also that he obtain
such assistance in the matter from the Superintendent of Farmers' Institutes as that gentleman is disposed to accord.
H. T. Thrift,
Election of Officers.
Directors -
C. D. Moggridge ..    ..
S. C. Baumgartner	
H. T. Thrift	
Farmer and Fruit-grower..
ii                and Dairyman
n                         ii
Hazelmere, B. C.
Langley Prairie, B. C.
Hazelmere, B. C.
Mud Bay, B. C.
Langley Prairie, B. C.
Langley Prairie, B. C.
W. E.  Buckingham	
Thos. Culbert	
Financial Statement.
Members' fees, 32 @ 50c $16 00
Postage and stationery $ 2 30
Advertising    10 00
Total $12 30
Balance on hand $ 3 70 61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 711
Address of the President, 0. D. Moggridge, at the Annual Meeting of the
Surrey-Langley Farmers' Institute, at Surrey Centre.
27th January, 1898.
Ladies and Gentlemen,—This is the first meeting of our Institute at which the work is
other than introductory, and it is with great pleasure, not unmixed with a feeling of responsibility, that I fulfil the duty of opening it.
I think I may safely assume that there are some here whose ideas as to the nature and
functions of the Farmers' Institute are a little vague, and I propose to briefly explain what
are our objects and how we propose to obtain them.
The first aid at which we aim is agricultural education. The old rule of thumb system of
farming is no longer profitable. Science has turned her attention to agriculture, and the facts
she has revealed have been applied by intelligent men to practical farming, the result of which
is new methods and fresh devices for lessening labour and increasing yields. To make a success of farming a man needs to keep in touch with these improvements. The dairyman must
learn how to grow his feed most cheaply and feed it so as to secure the greatest results; the
strawberry culturist must study the best way to keep his beds clean, and be up to date in his
methods of packing and marketing his fruit— and so on. Whatever our special line may be
we are none of us so good at it that we cannot become a little better, and few of us are so
bad, I hope, that there is not some point which another may profitably learn from him.
Now that is the basis from which the Institute starts ; let us learn from one another to
combine the best features of our respective methods, and supplement the aggregate of our
wisdom by the advice of the best specialists from outside that we can persuade to come to our
assistance. Here the Government steps in to our aid; we, of ourselves, could not do much in
the way of importing lecturers from outside who were willing and competent to teach us ; but
we are relieved from this difficulty. The Government of the Province, irrespective of party,
undertakes the duty of providing us every year with lecturers who are known and successful
men in the branches of farming on which they will speak; and a wiser and more profitable
way of using a small portion of the farmers' taxes I for one should find it hard to suggest.
Following out this scheme, then, the educational work of the Institute consists of meetings held every year at several points in the district, so arranged that every one shall have a
chance of attending at least one of them without too long a journey, and addressed on subjects of practical interest to practical farmers by men who have made a success of the particular line on which they speak; each paper will be followed by discussion on the same theme,
designed to bring out questions, criticisms and suggestions from any one present, and in which
any one as far as time will permit may take a part.
If you wish for advice on a question which does not fall within the scope of the papers
read at that meeting, submit the point in writing to the secretary; and when the question-
drawer is dealt with, the combined knowledge of all who are present, including the lecturers,
will in all likelihood be equal to solving your difficulty.
It cannot be too clearly understood that these meetings are intended for all farmers, and
that all, whether members or not, are equally welcome to attend ; the annual membership fee,
of 50 cents only, obtains various privileges for the member, among which I may mention, in passing, the right to all Institute papers and other agricultural matter printed by the department;
the right to vote for or be elected as an officer of the Institute, and, by no means the least
advantage, the feeling that you are doing your share to support what you are deriving
good from.
I must not omit to state that we shall always endeavour to provide attractions for the
farmer's better half, so often his harder working half. Especially at the evening sessions we
will have papers designed to interest the ladies, dealing, that is to say, with those parts of farm
work and farm life which fall more particularly within their domain ; these meetings, too, we
will try to enliven by interspersing the papers with music and lighter matter.
So much for the nature of a meeting ; and I will venture to say that the man who goes
away from such a gathering as I have described without having gained some valuable pointers
for his own work will have only himself to blame for his loss. 712 Farmers' Institutes Report. 1897
Our second object, on which I will touch as briefly as possible, is to promote co-operation
among farmers. We lose more by lack of it than from any other cause, but, and many people
overlook this, successful co-operation is a very difficult thing. Before we can begin to buy and
sell our goods in common, and manufacture our crude products for ourselves, thus saving the
profits of the middleman in every case, and working together instead of competing with one
another—before we can begin to do this it is necessary to have, as a foundation, a large body
of producers who will stand together and work together, and who know one another and trust
one another well enough to select from among themselves officers in whom all have confidence,
and who can count on being loyally supported in the difficulties in which their ventures are
almost bound to be involved at the start. I am afraid we are a long way from that at
present, and naturally so; we are busy and roads are long and bad ; hence it comes that we
know but little of any, save our immediate neighbours ; with them even I fear we quarrel quite
as often as we co-operate.
How then are we to remedy this ? How get into closer touch with those we hope to work
with ? It takes knowledge to beget confidence. We must first of all get to know one another
better; and this brings us back to our Institute. Let us, at certain seasons, come together at
these meetings and discuss matters of common interest; when you learn something useful from
a man you begin to see there is something in him ; your respect for him increases; that is to
say you become better fitted to co-operate with him. Thus the Institute meetings serve a
double end, they are good in themselves—well worth the trouble of getting up, much more of
attending for themselves and, at the same time, they are a step in the right direction with a
view to larger aims.
This makes a long journey to co-operative creameries you may say. True. But take my
word for it, what is to be permanent is always slow at the start. Begin at the beginning ; the
easiest form of co-operation is co-operative learning, therefore let us start with that, learn to
work together cordially in that, and then we can consider more complicated undertakings.
In a very few years, if you will all join in making our Institute a success, it will have
formed a nucleus of mutual knowledge and confidence on which we may safely found enterprises which, if started to-day, would be doomed to failure. I will not keep you longer on this
theme, save to call your attention to the fact that any Farmers' Institute can form co-operative associations under our statute for practically any object which farmers would find to their
Another benefit to be considered is this : Institutes are springing up all over the Province,
and once a year every local body will send delegates to a central point to discuss matters connected with the general welfare of our farmers, and to take action, if they see fit, to obtain
needful concessions from Legislatures, railroad companies, and so on ; you will readily see that
the representatives of the Central Institute, backed by the whole weight of all the Institutes
behind them, will be in a position to speak with authority to any man—especially any Government—and a firm stand taken in this way will have a good chance of securing legislation or
cuts in freight rates, or what not that individuals might spend their lives clamouring for with
no effect.
In conclusion, I will remind you that this is no new experiment, which may be a good
thing or may not. In the Eastern Provinces, especially in Ontario, and throughout the United
States, Farmers' Institutes have achieved uniform success, increasing with that steady growth
which is the best augury for permanence. Experience has already proved them good. And
it is our part to show that we are as good men—and women—as our neighbours to the East
and South, and that, like them, we know a good thing when we see it, and have the grit and
energy to make it a success. 61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 713
Report of the Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. H. T. Thrift, at the annual meeting
of the Surrey-Langley Farmers' Institute, at Surrey Centre.
27th January, 1898.
Mr. President and Gentlemen,—As Secretary of the Surrey Farmers' Institute for the
first regular term, and at the first annual meeting, following the usual precedent, it devolves
upon me to give you a short resume of what has transpired during the term, since our organization ; also it is, at this time, my privilege to point out to you in some measure, how the
interests of this Institute may be best promoted, and its advantages as an educational and
co-operative medium developed and secured.
1st. As you are aware our organization was perfected on 28th August, 1897, when Mr.
J. R. Anderson, Acting Superintendent of F. I., attended on behalf of Hon. J. H. Turner,
Minister of Agriculture, and under the authority of the "Farmers Institute Act, 1897,"
organized the first regularly constituted Institute in the Province of British Columbia; after
this the executive, elected at that time, feeling it was their duty to do all that they could to
make the Institute system popular among the people and with the object of giving them an
opportunity to observe its advantages from all points of view, determined to take action to
carry out that project, hence an executive meeting was held at Cloverdale on Sept. 22nd, when
it was decided to hold regular meetings of the Institute at Surrey Centre and Hall's Prairie.
The latter was held on the evening of the 15th October, whereat there were 12 persons
present, the meeting being addressed by the members of the executive. On the following day,
the 16th October, a very successful meeting was held at the Town Hall, Surrey Centre,
whereat Mr. J. R. Anderson and Mr. T. F. Paterson appeared as regularly accredited delegates
of the Department of Agriculture. At this meeting there was an attendance of 32 persons,
among whom there were several ladies. Mr. Anderson submitted a paper on "Science in
Agriculture " ; Mr. Paterson gave a paper on " Drainage," also an address on " Farmers' Institutes " ; Mr. Thos. Forster, M.P.P., gave an address on "Silos and Ensilage." The several
papers and addresses were well received by the audience, many of whom participated in the
discussion thereon.
The next meetings in the District were convened by the Superintendent of Farmers'
Institutes, the first of which was held at Halls' Prairie School-house, on the evening of November 12th, whereat 25 persons were present; Mr. Anderson and Mr. Paterson attended as
regular delegates, the meeting being of a most satisfactory and successful character.
On the following morning the delegates, accompanied by Mr. President and Secretary,
proceeded to Mud Bay School-house where another meeting was held at eleven o'clock, where
there were eleven persons present, the small number being accounted for by the fact that the
meeting being in the forenoon and a fine day the farmers of the neighbourhood did not feel
disposed to leave their roots, etc., but what the meeting lacked in numbers was certainly made
up by the enthusiasm of those present.
Messrs. Anderson and Paterson gave very acceptable addresses, which were well received,
and to some extent discussed, the discussion being of a most instructive character. From
Mud Bay the delegates proceeded to Cloverdale on their way back to Westminster.
On 28th November, a meeting of the executive was held at the Starr Hotel, Cloverdale,
for the purpose of deciding on a date for holding the annual meeting and for what the programme should consist of.
The results of that meeting you now have before you. The only regret I have personally,
is that more has not been accomplished during the past term. I certainly trusted we would
have had at least one meeting in each settlement in the district, so that the advantages of the
system might be brought home to the people. That such has not been done is not through
neglect on the part of the executive, but rather through the apathy of the people, hence the
lesson for us is, let our efforts in future partake more of the aggressive character, if we would
make the most of our opportunities for good.
You will observe from the foregoing, Mr. President and gentlemen, that the ice has been
broken. Our successors can take up the work now with every prospect of success, not only
ultimate, but immediate, if the proper line of action be taken to make the Institute system
both popular and beneficial.
2nd. Right here I would suggest that if our people are shown conclusively that the development of the Institute system of B. C. really means the development of the best interests of the 714 Farmers' Institutes Report. 1897
agricultural industry of the Province, show them by what various means the Institute in its many
phases will prove a beneficial agent to them if they will make use of the facilities it provides.
I say show them all this, and then you have gained the confidence of the people, the rest is
plain sailing.
3rd. Just a word as to some of the advantages of the Institute system. There is first
the educational feature. This affects not only us, who now have the control of matters,
but it also affects the welfare of the rising generation of farmers, and is consequently a question all of us should take the utmost interest in, that is the development of the facilities for
educating the farming population, present and future, on such lines as will benefit the present
generation and prepare the coming generation for their life-work in a manner commensurate
with the importance and value of their profession.
4th. The co-operative feature of the Institute system. If taken hold of in a practical manner, this can be made immediately beneficial and of the utmost advantage to the agriculturists
all over the Province. By the exercise of this principle, there is now practically no industry or
business connected with agriculture, but that our farmers may take it up and run it to their
own advantage, instead, as has been the case hitherto, the farming profession being regarded
as about the lowest, and the farmer himself as away down in the social scale, and not worthy
of consideration except at election times, and then only as legitimate tools for the professional
politician to enable him to make his own position secure. Now, if the farmers will be true to
themselves and their own interests, their opportunities under the " Institute Act" are almost
perfect, and the results will be instead the position of the farmers will be secure.
In conclusion, I wish to say, in surrendering to you the charge placed upon me when you
elected me to the honourable position of Secretary-Treasurer of the Surrey Institute, that I
believe it were better, especially through the winter, that you arrange for meetings to be held
at regular intervals in the many isolated settlements into which the district is divided, encourage the farmers to come out and take part in the discussions, for while outside assistance is
always a most valuable adjunct to the Institute work, if we really desire to promote the best
interests of ourselves and of the Institute among us, the principal amount of the work will devolve upon the local members.
Thanking you all for the very hearty assistance rendered to me in the discharge of my
duty, and assuring you that my best efforts will always be at your disposal. I am, Mr.
President and gentlemen, Respectfully yours,
H. T. Thrift,
Paper on Swine Husbandry, delivered by Mr. S. H. Shannon, at the Annual
Meeting of the Surrey-Langley Farmers' Institute.
27th January, 1898.
The breeding and rearing of swine is a very important branch of farming. It is a subject upon which a great deal might be said and would require a good deal more time than I
have at my disposal this evening. However, I purpose to deal with a few of the most important details. The first thing we will consider is shelter, as that is one of the most important
items. Every farmer should provide his hogs with good comfortable quarters, both for feeding
and sleeping. They need not be expensive, but the sleeping department must be dry and free
from draughts. It should be floored and supplied with good clean bedding which should be
changed at least once a week or oftener if required. On a great many farms the hogs have no
particular place, but are left to shift for themselves as best they can. We cannot expect good
results from them unless they are properly cared for.
A farmer should not keep more hogs than he has feed for, but every farm should have at
least one or two good brood sows on it. Choose your own breed. I believe it is in the power
of every breeder to form an animal by intelligent breeding that will answer his purpose. A
great many people have a tendency to change their sows every year. They object to the aged
mother because there is danger of her overlying her pigs. But the consequence of immature
breeding is equally dangerous.    When you follow a course of immature breeding year after 61 Vict. 'Farmers' Institutes Report. 715
year you are following a downward course in size, constitution and vigour. The animal must
perfect herself before we can expect to have perfect offspring, and in immature animals you
will certainly never have this. You will have a deficiency in both size and strength after
proceeding along that line for a few years. How shall we select a good brood sow 1 A sow
gives from 20 to 30 pounds of milk in 24 hours. If 11 pounds of milk give us one pound
of gain in an animal of 70 or 100 pounds, it stands to reason that a litter that gains 3 or 4
pounds in 24 hours must have consumed 30 or 40 pounds of milk. This then should be our
selection—a good milking mother, one of a quiet disposition and of the build we desire. A
good sow should be broad in her forehead, eyes should be prominent and wide apart. She
should stand wide apart with her forelegs. A sow must be selected for the same purpose as
you do a cow.    I want a good milker.    She should have 12 or 14 good teats.
The thermometer of the hog is his tail. One curl denotes good vigour and life; two curls
are about the best sign of health that 1 know of. What kind of an animal should we refuse for
breeding purposes? Always refuse an animal that has a drop back of the shoulder; such an
animal should never be chosen for a sow or a sire, because it denotes a shortness of the ribs and
there is where the vitality of the animal lies. You must have an animal of great vitality in order
that it shall be a profitable feeder. We want to select an animal that is deep through the
chest and deep through the flank, and for a sow I would not want one so closely built as I do
the sire. As a rule a great many men select their pigs when quite young and they generally
select the prettiest one. Never select a pig that way ; wait until the pigs have been weaned
and fed on natural feed for a while, then take from the litter the animal that shows the
greatest improvement and suits you best according to your judgment for your breeding purpose. Remember that a pig after it is done nursing may take on an entirely different
conformation and probably not suit you. She should be kept growing and fed on such food
as will develop bone and muscle without producing too much fat and at the same time keep
in good condition. Barley or pea meal mixed with shorts is very good in the summer.
She should have the run of a good clover pasture. The age at which she should be bred
depends upon her growth. If she has done well at about nine or ten months she should be
bred to some good pure boar, and if at all possible breed her to an aged one, and do not follow
the practice too often followed, of using the nearest boar that can be found, regardless of age,
quality or constitution. Do not lose sight of the fact that like produces like, and take her to
the best boar in your district even though it should take a little time and I assure you that
you will be well repaid for your work, even if you should pay an extra dollar for the service
of the hog you choose. A good place should be provided for her at farrowing time. She
should farrow at about the 112th day.
She should be provided with a good bed of short straw. A fender should be placed
round the building ; a 2 x 4 scantling makes a very good one. It should be placed about 10
inches from the wall and about 8 inches from the floor. She should be fed on soft feed, so as
to keep her in as good condition as possible ; she should be placed in the pen three or four-
days at least before farrowing, so as to become accustomed to it; she should be watched carefully when farrowing, as she may become restless and move round and kill some of the pigs ;
she should be fed sparingly for a few days after farrowing ; when all danger of milk fever is
past, she should be given a good feed three times a day. When the young pigs are three or
four weeks old, they will commence to eat. If the sow's trough is too high, some shallow
vessel should be put in a convenient place from which to feed them; after they get used to
the feed, they should be fed three times a day what they will eat up clean, as they must be
shoved on as rapidly as possible. At about ten weeks, they should be weaned. A point we
should remember is the fact that it is the young animal that gives us the best returns for the
feed he gets. Many experiments have been made, and, speaking generally, they show that a
hog weighing 100 lbs. will neither gain nor lose if it is given 1^ lbs. of feed per day. Take
the same hog after he has been raised to 200 lbs., and it will take 2 lbs. of feed per day to
hold him at that weight; run him up to 400 lbs. and he will take 4 lbs. of feed per day and
show no gain for it; at 600 lbs. he will take 5 lbs. and show no gain, so you see it is the young
that pays. A young must have a sufficient amount of food to make bone with. If you were
to burn 100 lbs. of corn you would have 1J lbs. of ashes left; from 100 lbs. of oats you would
have 3 lbs. of ash ; from 100 lbs. of bran or clover hay you would have 5 lbs. of ash. On a
great many farms in British Columbia a few cows are kept and the skim milk is fed to the
hogs. Have you ever thought you have simply one kind of food, nitrogenous food. If you
add to each 100 lbs. of skim milk 30 lbs. of pea or barley meal or shorts you will find you are 716
Farmers' Institutes Report.
making 2 lbs. of live weight where you made one before on your skim milk alone. The competition in the breeding and feeding of swine is becoming greater and greater every year, and
it is only by economical feeding we can hold our own. It is customary upon some dairy farms
where there are not enough pigs to consume all the dry products, to store the milk in barrels.
I cannot think of anything more detrimental to good feeding, and to the lives of our hogs, than
the storing of milk in barrels. Think of the swill barrel that stands at the back door in which
are put the washings of the creamery, and the milk and the house offal until everything becomes mixed and is allowed to stand until sour. And then that man complains that his hogs
are not doing well. He forgets that when milk becomes acidulated in a barrel it is losing the
4 per cent, of sugar that the skim milk contains. It has turned into alcohol or vinegar. I do
not know why some men persist in constantly feeding the sour stuff, and aiming to get it sour,
for their hogs. Let us judge the hog by ourselves. We want a pickle sometimes, but we
could not take pickles all the time without anything else. We sbould feed our hogs not
simply for increase in weight, but for profit. We are trying, simply as a matter of dollars and
cents, to get the best returns from the feed we give. The fact that a man has made a heavier
hog than his neighbour does not prove that he has done better. The cost of production must
be considered. A swine breeder's success depends upon himself. We cannot control the market
end of our business; that is beyond us, but we can improve the quality of our hogs and lessen
the cost. We can control the home end of our business ; we can reduce the cost of production ;
in that way a man's success depends upon himself.
Annual Report of the Richmond Farmers'  Institute for year ending 31st
December, 1897.
Business Transacted since Organization on the 18th December.
Name   of   each place
where   a   meeting    was
Number of papers
and addresses
given at each
for year ending Dec. 31 st,
held since  last   Annual
Organization meeting.
School House Central P'k
Supply meeting.
Arrangements for the coming season.
East-South Vancouver, School-house, Central Park Tram.
Richmond, Town Hall, Vancouver.
North Arm, School-house, South Vancouver, Vancouver.
Steveston, Opera House, Richmond, Vancouver.
It was suggested to hold supplementary meetings at above places, but owing to the lateness of the hour it was left open as to date.
Election of Officers.
Capt. W. F. Stewart....
Harold Matthews	
Robert McBride	
Eburne, B. C.
Central Park, B. C.
Eburne, B. C.
rv      ♦                                  J
W. J. Brandrith	
W. R. Wells	
J. W. Weart	
Directors -j
Accountant, ete	
// 61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 717
Financial Statement.
Members' fees    $20 50
Postage and stationery    $ 4 30
Balance on hand    $16  20
The Richmond Farmers' Institute was duly formed in the Town Hall, Richmond, on the
18th, December, 1897, after two previous attempts to form an Institute in Richmond had
The Society started with twenty-two members, the following gentlemen being elected
to the respective offices for the balance of the Institute year, viz.: Capt. W. F. Stewart,
President; Thomas New, Vice-President; Robert McBride, Secretary-Treasurer; John
Dinsmore and James Thompson, Directors. After which, the meeting was addressed by the
officers elect, and Messrs. Thos. Cunningham and J. R. Anderson.
On the 4th January, 1898, a supplementary meeting of the Institute was held in the
East-South Vancouver School-house, Central Park, at 7.30 p.m., thirty-one persons being
present. The meeting was addressed briefly by the President and Secretary, after which,
Messrs. Cunningham and Palmer give lengthly addresses on clearing land, planting fruit trees,
spraying, etc.; after which a general discussion took place on various subjects.
At the close of the meeting twelve joined the Society.
There are now in the Society forty-one members in good standing.
Total receipts up to date $20.50, made up of membership fees.
Total expenses, $4.30, incurred for stamps and stationery.
Balance of receipts over expenses, $16.20.
R. McBride,
Eburne, B. C, 31st January, 1898.
A Paper on Cheap Government Loans, by Mr. Alexander Philip.
Read at the Annual Meeting of the Richmond Farmers' Institute at the Town Hall,
Richmond,  31st January,  1898.
It may seem to some, a comparatively simple matter for the Government who can borrow
money at 3 to 3| per cent, to freely give out in loans to farmers and others to secure the
general advancement of the Province. Those who have experience in financing, however,
know right well that in this direction there are steps that cannot be taken without prejudice
to the Provincial credit, but I believe that in certain directions good work can be done, and
the result would greatly enhance the financial standing of the Province. That something
must be done is evident to all who have looked the facts fairly in the face. What are some of
the more important existing conditions ? I will only mention a few of them. In the forefront
I must put our enormous imports of agricultural produce. Turning to our last Provincial
Report on Agriculture, I find that the imports and duty paid during the last three years were
as follows: Imports, 1893-94, $2,422,374; duty, $213,286; total, $2,635,660. Imports—1894-
95, $2,181,299; duty, $202,549; total, $2,383,848. Imports—1895-96, $2,362,298; duty,
$232,925; total, $2,595,223, or a total for the three years of $7,614,731. Against this we
have practically no attendant exports. Of these imports we took in in 1895-96, $598,592
worth of dairy produce, $410,579 worth of pork, bacon and lard, and $126,735 worth of eggs,
to say nothing of the enormous quantity of grain and its products and meats of all kinds.
Surely this Province can grow enough butter, pigs and eggs for its own requirements. No
other Province in the Dominion is better adapted for dairying, and hog-raising necessarily, 718 Farmers' Institutes Report. 1897
goes with dairying every time. But this enormous export of money for produce is not all the
Province has to bear without an attendant import of money to provide for it. Our farmers alone
export a large amount of money in premiums for insurance and interest on loans. It is true
we have a large export of lumber, coal and fish, and a larger still of the products of our mines,
but as against these we have other enormous imports, including machinery, iron, dry goods,
furniture, etc., etc., and we have an attendant export of interest or profits from nearly all our
large industries to foreign capitalists. It is not wonderful, then, that previous to the present
mining activity we were in sore straits. We were impoverished, and the most exhausting
element in our expenditure was an export of money for agricultural produce. The leak still
exists as large as ever, and it would be felt as much as ever but for the amount of capital that
is in one form or another coming in for investment again. The wealth of our mines has saved
us from ourselves and given another chance for our Province. How are we to use it 1 Are
we to have more unremunerative expendings ? More useless guarantees to burden our credit 1
More speculative railway undertakings? Surely we have had enough of these things. To a
certain extent it is as necessary for the Government to open up railways as it is for them to
open up roads, but certainly where they do so there should always be an attendant return in
some form for the Provincial taxpayer.
But to return to existing agricultural conditions, we have an enormous area of most
valuable agricultural land convenient and comparatively easy to improve, lying absolutely idle,
held by speculators, or held by mortgage companies waiting for something to turn up; waiting
for someone to come, and by some energetic movement in the neighbourhood cause an advance
in value of the land that they may profit by it. That land might be producing supplies
enough for all our wants and to spare for a large export trade, but there it lies. But again,
we have had men taking hold of bush-lands and starting in with $500 or $1,000 to clear a
home for themselves. They have toiled and slaved and economised for five or six years, and
then they have possibly 10 or 15 acres in cultivation and a small house and barn, but their
money is all gone, and they have $160 to pay to the Government. To meet this and provide
something to keep them going they borrow $500 or $750 at ten per cent.—and that was the
beginning of the end. One hundred and sixty dollars went to the Government, $30 went in
expenses of Crown deed and mortgage. To another $100, or possibly $200, went to pay off
bills due. How much of the loan was left, and there was only a small stock in the place ?
How long would the balance of the loan last, and every year thereafter has to find $50 or
or $75 for interest, and bye and bye a fee for renewal also. What is there, what can there
be left to pay off principal, after providing for the interest and some food for the family ? 1
do not give an imaginary case. I have met with many just such cases, and the end in almost
all of them was abandonment of the ranch and all their work and moving into town. In
some cases the ranches were sold, but in many they were left to care for themselves, and to
return to their wild condition. This is the sort of life we have given our settlers, and it is
the best we have to offer to the class of immigrants we desire most to get into our country.
Can we wonder that they do not rush in to fill up our vacant farms and cultivate our wild
lands 1    It would be surprising if they did come !
I might mention other conditions which affect us injuriously, but I think I have said
enough. When we come to consider what can be done, the difficulty is to decide exactly
where to begin and where to end. The resolution which I submit calls for Government
assistance for our farmers. We do so because we believe that a remedy can be got in no other-
way. Some relief might be got by passing a law to restrict the rate of interest, but it would
do precious little good to the farmers. Such a law is necessary for other reasons, but the
farmer needs a more complete remedy than that. He must, to a moderate extent, be made
independent of the money-lender. In asking the aid of the Government, the farmer does not
come as a beggar, and hardly ever as a borrower, in the ordinary acceptation of the word. It
is a business transaction he enters into. We are sending $2,500,000 out of the Province for
farm produce every year. The farmers come to us and say, invest with us judiciously not more
than you now send out for food within two years and we will not only pay you interest and
principal, we will also provide you enough food for all your wants and some for an export
trade. Is the proposition a fair one 1 It is one actually made by the possibilities which the
assistance will open out, and it can be enforced. Let us consider how this can be done. The
resolution has two restrictive conditions. The Government should not give speculative loans,
and they should loan only for the making of permanent improvements. By speculative loans,
I mean loans on speculative values or loans that are dependent for perfect security upon some- 61 Vict. Farmers' Institutes Report. 719
thing happening that may not take place. Within this fence of restriction operations can be
carried out to any amount with notbing but advantage. Abandon these, and you may soon
land the Province in discredit, if not in heavy losses. In consequence of these restrictions the
operations would have to be limited to the regions that are fairly well settled, such as the
Fraser Valley, Cowichan and Saanich, and around Victoria or Nanaimo. The operations
would have to be conducted through a board of three loan commissioners. These commissioners should be selected with the utmost care. They should be men independent of party or
politics, men in whom Government and Opposition alike can place the fullest confidence, men
who know what elements need to be considered in determining the value of land, and who
may be relied on as safe guides to comparatively inexperienced farmers as to the best way to
tackle the work of improvement before them. They should not be hobbyists, but men guided
by experience and sound common sense. There are such men in our Province. Men who are
above suspicion or reproach. Let such- be selected. At least two members of this board
would require to examine every property offered in security, and ascertain what improvements
had been made or were contemplated. In the case of contemplated improvements they would
have to arrange that the loan would be advanced either as the work progressed, or after the
work was all done.
In discussing this matter as regards improvements contemplated, I have sometimes stated
a possible case to illustrate the operation and effects of what I suggest. A farmer owns a
ranch worth, irrespective of houses or fences, say $10 per acre, or $1,600. He applies for a
loan for intended improvements. The commissioners find his ranch worth the sum stated, and
agree to give him a loan of $1,200, to be expended in bringing the land into cultivation. The
commissioners and farmer confer as to the number of acres the farmer can reclaim with the
aid of $1,200, and the location of these acres. They conclude that he can reclaim 24 acres,
and arrange accordingly. When he has six acres ready for cultivation, they advance him $300,
and so on, till the whole is reclaimed, and the whole $1,200 loan is advanced. Every farmer
might not be able to reclaim so much—a great deal would depend on the resources he had
otherwise, aud also on the work to be done ; but if half a dozen farmers would combine their
resources and work, first on one farm and then on another, with modern appliances, they
would find that $50 per acre would go a long way, and that their combined energies would do
the rest. If that is so, and to return to my supposed case, the Government would have made
an advance of $1,200 on a security worth $1,600, plus $1,200, plus value of building and other
improvements. This property secures an annual payment of from $60 to $66 for principal and
interest. In respect of this transaction, the Government would have for 40 years an annual
profit of $12. The farmer for assistance to enable him to reclaim 24 acres of land, has to pay
$60 or $66 along with his taxes 40 years, and then he is done with it. It is no burden on
him, and he has already a nice little farm and home for his family. At his leisure he can,
without more borrowing, attack the rest of the bush and bring it also into his service, and in
this work he would doubtless again have recourse to the valuable principle of co-operation
among neighbours. If I may assume, as I think I can, that the aid of $50 would on the
average be sufficient to secure the reclamation of one acre of land, what is the result of the
investment by the Government of $2,000,000 in this way 1 Forty thousand acres would be
brought into cultivation within a very short time. This, at only $30 per acre, gross, would
produce $1,200,000 worth of annual crops. It would give a large amount of labour during
the time of the reclamation work ; there would be a large amount of steady employment following. The little expense the Government have to incur is more than provided for by their
annual profit of 1 per cent., or $20,000, and instead of their loan being a burden on the credit
of the Province, it would materially add to its credit on the great money markets of the world.
One other matter will need the consideration of the Legislature in promoting a scheme
such as this, and that has reference to the expense of the loans. The expenses of loans at
present are a serious item. I have known the costs to the lenders' agents alone, including
valuation and registration dues, amounting to $20 for a $500 loan. Add to this a fee to the
borrower's own agent, and possibly sundry other items, and you have what often occurs.
For the Government loans all the mortgages would be uniform in terms, except as to the
amounts of loan and payments and as to land included. The secretary of the commission could
therefore prepare the mortgages and register them, after receiving from the borrower a certificate that the register was clear of other incumbrances, and the whole expense of the loan, including valuation and registration of mortgage, might be covered by a fee of 1 or 1| per cent,
on the amount of the loan.     What is wanted is not to  provide  sources of  revenue either to 720 Farmers' Institutes Report. 1897
Government departments or to middle-men, but to so arrange that the borrowers will get the
benefit to the utmost extent from the loans advanced to them. There is a variety of other
elements to be kept in view in promulgating such a scheme. It should be for the purpose of
securing permanent and indestructible improvements, such as clearing and draining land, and
it should be for the benefit of the settlers only. I would incline to say that it should be for
the holders of not more than 160 acres of land only. Any man who holds more (unless he has
it under cultivation) is a mere speculator, and he is retarding the free sale of land. Certainly it would be folly to give such loans to non-resident speculators, no matter who they
have upon the land. What is wanted is to have the farms occupied by the owners and to encourage and assist a peasant proprietory in every way possible. Of course a loan scheme
such as suggested would benefit the speculators who would own large areas of land, as it would
greatly increase the number of men in want of farms to purchase. This is a misfortune, but
it is a necessity of the situation. I say it is a misfortune, as it enables these speculators to
levy a tax on the land for their own benefit, which they have done nothing to earn. They
have simply waited, Mr. Micawber-like, for something to turn up, and they reap where they
did not sow. If this is so, however, another element of importance would enter into the matter. It would remove the last vestige of an excuse for holding idle land, and those who continued to hinder the progress of settlement of the country by refusing to cultivate or sell their
lands should be dealt with afterwards in a very drastic manner. It is not tinkering here and
patching there that we need in land legislation. A complete plan must be laid out, based on
sound and solid principles, and then have it carried out to its full extent. Our farmers
have an immense power if they are united, and, as they are the backbone of the Province,
their power should be vigourously exerted for the maintenance and protection of the industry
they are engaged in. If they will not do this, who will 1 I am no party man, I am no partizan,
but I well know that so long as agriculture in the Province is in its present condition there
will be no real prosperity for the Province or for its citizens. As a citizen of the Province, and
one who desires to earn a livelihood here, I have viewed this matter, and I have brought my
experience to bear on it to the utmost extent. What I ask is that you earnestly consider the
whole situation and resolve as your united wisdom and experience may direct.
I beg to move the resolution, of which I have given notice. The resolution was as
follows :—
" Whereas, the Provincial imports of agricultural products every year to meet the requirements of the country are very large in amount and form a continual drain on the financial
resources of the Province, and
" Whereas, the agricultural capabilities of the Province are very great and the available
area of land is immense if the difficulties attending reclamation works were got over ; and
" Whereas, these difficulties have seriously hampered the farmers so far, many of them
having had their financial resources exhausted before they had much of their land improved
and were compelled to borrow money to maintain their families and carry on their work ;   and
" Whereas, the rates of interest and expenses for money advanced to farmers in small
loans have been very high, and many of the borrowers have in consequence been compelled to
abandon their holdings and all their work to the mortgagees; and
" Whereas, settlement on the land is greatly discouraged and hindered, as new comers
are guided by the experience of those who come before them :
" Therefore, it is in the opinion of this Institute urgently necessary that the Provincial
Legislature devise some means whereby the Government can give financial assistance to
farmers to release existing mortgages put on for reclamation works and to carry on further
works of permanent improvement, and that in such a manner as will not involve speculative
risks to the Government and will secure the carrying out of the works contemplated ; that
the rate of interest charged by the Government be such as will allow the Province a profit of
not more than one per cent, per annum, and that the loan be repayable by instalments spread
over not more than 40 years."
Printed by Richard Woifendes, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.


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