Dear Sir. - Will you allow us to call the attention of your readers to a proposition, emanating from many of our farmers, to join in an effort to form a County Agricultural Society. We hope that all who feel interested in this subject, either director or indirectly; all who are farmers or wish to have farmers and farming increase and prosper, will respond to this call, and give such attention, encouragement and aid to the enterprise, as they conveniently can. It seems to be a favorable and proper time to come forward and see what we can do towards improving and better developing our agricultural resources. It is a matter of fact that agricultural societies have raised the tome one this branch of domestic economy and industry, and wherever they have been formed and properly conducted, have tended to improve systems of culture, more produce, and less labor and expense, better and more abundant markets, better roads and means of communication, and increased value of land and farms, and more enterprise, industry and spirit in this most important branch of business and employment. It is a true adage, “in union there is strength.” It is hard for men to work alone. He who prefers to travel a new or a long road, and will not ask his way, or enquire if there is any “short cut” or “easier way round,” may give himself great and unnecessary trouble and labor. No one man can find out every thing himself in these “fast times;” but by council with each other, by united efforts at improvement, by careful comparison of results, and correct statements of how, when and where we work, we may cultivate more thoughtful and better considered plans, and more purpose in our business transactions. In no branch is this more essential than in our agricultural pursuits, and if there is any way by which we can gain knowledge and experience and arrange and manage our operations to better advantage, enabling us to get more abundant and profitable crops, surely it behooves us to take interest in what will tend to such results.
The benefits of a society for the improvement of agriculture are manifold and self-evident, as all the action of communities and members are greater, more general and extended, than individual efforts. If ten men resolve in the spring, each to try to raise the best acre of corn, potatoes, or grain, in the best manner, leaving their land in the best condition, and considering all the advantages of future crops at the least final expense - if these ten men meet again in the fall, “comparing notes,” testing their crops with each other, and making the results known to all interested lookers-on, will any one say that it is not likely to lead to improvement and better success in our farming operations?
There are other very material benefits to be derived from a society. The State appropriates a certain fund in aid and encouragement of this very spirit and enterprise in all her County Societies - and by each member’s subscribing a small sum (such as will come within the means of all,) quite a little fund can be accumulated. This fund can be placed at the disposal of some of our brother farmers, as a committee, for the purchase of improved breeds of stock - choice seeds - some of the more expensive farming implements, (such as mowing machines, &c.,) or an agricultural library, and all such matters as may tend to general improvement and good, but beyond the means of individuals to obtain, or for which they might not have sufficient use in their own operations.
Our peculiar situation and physical condition being confined as we are to our own island and our own community, makes the question of intercourse and correspondence with our sister Counties and our general State operations, a matter of particular interest and importance to us. This is another decided feature of advantage and benefit to be derived from an Agricultural Society, through which our own operations and progress can be compared with others, and we derive the benefits of their reports and statistics - and while we are united among ourselves in efforts if improvement, we will be taken into cordial fellowship with other County Societies, and receive all the advantages of sharing with them in the distribution of information and material aid from the general State Society.
Through the length and breadth of our country, great interest is felt and taken in this subject of rural and agricultural improvement, and at no time would it seem more important than following our late misfortunes and breaking up of commercial and manufacturing interests - and we should not longer submit to be utter “outsiders” in this spirit and march of improvement. we need not fear and hesitate in undertaking this matter; we have good farmers among us and many large and productive farms; some of our crops can compare with those of any other section of country; our corn is of the very best - handsomer, heavier and more nutritious than almost any other raised; rye, grass, and many root crops, can be brought to a high degree of perfection; parts of our island are admirably adapted to grazing; and with proper knowledge, enterprise and attention, we might have breeds of sheep and cattle equal to the very best.
But we do not expect to revolutionize our island, or “astonish the natives!” by any wonderful and instantaneous results. We should commence moderately and judiciously, progressing and expanding in our efforts at improvement, as it may seem necessary and advisable for us to do so. The main question now, is, will our farmers and those interested in the matter, agree to meet and discuss the subject of forming a County Agricultural Society? If we find sufficient encouragement and interest manifested, let us organize at once, and make a beginning now, before another season is lost. It is but a trifling sacrifice to devote one day, or the part of a day, to this purpose, and we can carry out the project with entire success, if our farmers and citizens will give it their cordial support. Where there is a will there is a way - and no cause or obstacle exists to prevent this society being formed among us, becoming a credit to itself and its members, a valuable acquisition to the general State Society, and taking an honorable part and place in the agriculture of the country.
By general consent, West Tisbury seems to be the place suggested as the most suitable and central for this meeting, and the use of the County Academy has been obtained for the purpose. To give ample time for all to make arrangements to attend who would like to do so, and to allow this little notice of the proposed meeting to circulate through the columns of the Gazette, hoping it may induce some to come out who might not hear of the matter otherwise.