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Handbook to Winnipeg and the Province of Manitoba
Agriculture in Manitoba by the Hon. R. P. Roblin and Principal W. J. Black, B.S.A., with the assistance of various contributors.

THE territory now included in the Province of Manitoba, is essentially agricultural in character. A study of the physical features of the country presents many peculiarities indicating its fitness for the production of crops.

Topographically, the Province may be divided into two separate plains or steppes. The first of these extends from the Eastern boundary westward to a ridge known in different regions as Pembina Mountain, Riding and Duck Mountains, and Porcupine Hills. This plain was originally a great lake which gradually receded from its former shores to what is now Lake Winnipeg, leaving Lake Manitoba and a few smaller bodies of water as basins for the drainage from the old lake bed. It is a fertile stretch with a marly clay sub-soil, and a black alluvial surface, the darkness of colour being due, in the opinion of Dr. Dawson, to the frequent burning of grass.

In describing Manitoba, J. Macoun, Dominion Geologist, says:—“High above the Pembina Mountains the steppes and plateaux of the Riding and Duck Mountains rise in well defined succession with southern and western steppes; of these ranges the terraces are distinctly defined, and the north-east and north sides present a precipitous escarpment which is elevated fully 1,000 feet above Lake Winnipegosis, and more than 1,600 feet above sea level. ’'

When viewed from the south and east the Riding Mountains present a peculiar aspect. Close to the ridge, the surface is marshy in many places, but, there are visible, three distinct steppes separated from each other by plateaux of considerable extent. Standing on the edge of the escarpment and looking in the direction of Lake Dauphin, a gulf two or three miles wide and 250 feet deep, are to be seen two ranges of cone-shaped hills, one lower than the other and covered with boulders. These are parallel to the general trend of the escarpment. In some places, they are lost in the plateaux on which they rest; in others they stand out as bold eminences showing the extent of the denudation which gave rise to them. These conical hills correspond to the terraces on the south-west side of the Mountains.

Next in the series come what are known as the Duck Mountains, a high range of tablelands similar, in many respects to the Riding Mountains. This range is entirely cut off from the Porcupine Hills, by the Swan River, which flows in a deep valley between the two ranges; and, on the west from the Great Western prairie, by the Assiniboine River. Proceeding eastwards, these mountains are mostly gently rolling elevations, but, in a few instances, take the form of cone-shaped hills. Where not covered with timber, they are overgrown with a luxuriant and almost impenetrable growth of peas and vetches. From the north-eastern side of the escarpment Lake Winnipegosis is plainly visible A,#00 feet below. Between the north-eastern slope of the Duck Mountains and Lake Winnipegosis, the land in some places is wet and marshy, and will require drainage before it can be successfully cultivated.

The northern portion of the Province, east of the mountain range, is covered, to a large extent, with wood timber. The wooded area commences in the southeastern portion of the Province and continues in a line running north-west, striking first the southern point of Lake Winnipeg, then cutting Lake Manitoba about the centre, touching the Riding Mountains at their most southerly point and following north along the western boundary of the Duck Mountains and Porcupine Hills. North of this line the prairie is wooded, and all south of it is bare, with but slight exceptions.

Large areas of the north centre, between Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba, are interspread with beaver mead cows, some of which are of considerable size, reaching from 1,200 to 1,400 acres. Midway between Lakes Winnipeg and Manitoba nearly all the creeks have been dammed by beavers for the purpose of constructing their abodes. These dams have been found to make good wagon roads, and are often used for this purpose by settlers and others. If the dams were cut through the meadows would be naturally drained. Many of these are already dry enough to make good hay lands for settlers.

That portion of Manitoba known as the Red River Valley, extends from the eastern boundary of the Province westward to the Pembina Mountains, a ridge which, at one time, formed the western shore line of the great lake already referred to. The summit of these hills is level for a distance of about five miles, till the foot of another terrace is reached. The summit of the second terrace is level with the Great Buffalo Plains, that stretch westward beyond the Manitoba boundary, and form a fertile tract, once the hunting ground of the Indian, but now the home of thousands of prosperous farmers. Close to the east of the ridge the land is marshy, and this circumstance has in some instances interfered with settlement.

Much of the central and northern parts of Manitoba present a limestone formation, indicated in these regions by out-croppings of large limestone slabs. There are also large belts of loose, irregular rocks, which are often found so close to the surface as to constitute a serious hindrance to cultivation. The early settlers in Manitoba soon found that the land was admirably suited for the purposes of agriculture. In the Red River Valley, the soil close to the river was found to contain a very high percentage of fine clay, and, although heavy to cultivate, proved to be very fertile. Passing from the river on either side, the soil was found to be more friable. In the north and west beyond the first ridge, the plain, in most places, consisted of a sandy or light clayey loam, capable of cultivation early in the springtime and suitable for the production of crops in a minimum amount of time. Although this region was more northerly than any which had been successfully cultivated in North America, it was found to be eminently productive. Manitoba has approximately twenty-four million acres suitable for agricultural purposes, and about one-fifth of this has so far been brought under cultivation. Owing to the ease with which the prairie land can be broken and cropped, the new settler very quickly makes a home for himself, and often, within eighteen months, has a surplus of grain to dispose of. A hundred years ago the territory now included in the Province of Manitoba was the home of thousands of buffalo. Until the advent of the Canadian Pacific Railway, comparatively few settlers found their way into this country. Those who came had no inducement to grow more than would supply the home market.

The first attempts at farming in the Province were made by the Selkirk settlers, in 1816. This colony numbered two hundred and seventy people, who were chiefly Scotch, sent out by Lord Selkirk, but, later, the settlement included some Irish, French and Swiss. These were intended to colonize the one hundred and ten thousand square miles of land granted to Lord Selkirk, by the Hudson’s Bay Co. Each of the settlers bought one hundred acres for which he agreed to pay one dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. The farms were from six to ten chains wide and ran back from the river front about two miles, and were hence often referred to as "lanes." This kind of subdivision, however, had its advantages; the river, which was the principal highway, was close to all settlers, and enabled them to secure an abundant supply of water and fish. This system of survey also made the settlement more compact, and hence was safer in times of danger. The settlers congregated around Fort Douglas, sowed in the spring of 1816 a few bushels of wheat and barley, and planted a few pecks of potatoes. From this first crop the returns were excellent, wheat yielding 40, barley 50, and potatoes 100 fold. The grain was cut with a sickle or cradle and was threshed with a flail, and the "Quern" or hand stone was used to crush the grain into flour. In 1817, the settlement was called Kildonan, after the native parish of the Scotch settlers. From 1818 to 1821, the crops were more or less destroyed by grasshoppers, and in 1820, there was no seed grain whatever in the settlement. In February, 1821, a party was formed to bring 250 bushels of wheat from Prairie du Cluen, in the United States. This grain cost 82.50 a bushel at the place of purchase, but yielded well in the fall of 1821, and was all kept for seed the next year. The first importation of cattle took place from the United States, in 1822, when the prices paid were $150 for a milch cow, and $90 for an ox. A few ploughs were in use in 1823, but most of the settlers still used the hoe and spade. About this time the two-horse tread-mill for grinding wheat was introduced, followed later by a Hudson Bay windmill, at Fort Douglas. A slight check was given to agriculture by the flood of 1820, but the supply of grain soon exceeded the demand, and a large stock was left over each year. The Hudson’s Bay Company could purchase only eight bushels of wheat from each farmer, and four bushels from “trip” men, the price paid being S7 cents per bushel. The settlers, however, were able to raise, even with their primitive implements, ten times as much as they could sell.

In 1816, Lord Selkirk endeavored to assist the settlers by establishing an Experimental Farm, his ambition being to improve the breeds of cattle and horses, and to increase the yield of grain and dairy products. The Hudson’s Bay Company also started an Experimental Farm about 1830, near Upper Fort Garry. Good buildings were erected and animals of the best breeds were imported, among them being a fine stallion from England, at a cost of $1,500, and also a number of mares. These excellent animals greatly improved the breed of horses in the settlement. In 1832, a company was formed for the purpose of breeding large herds of cattle, for the sake of their hides and tallow, but owing to bad management, the enterprise failed. A few years later efforts were made to grow flax and hemp on a large scale, but, although these grew well, labor was too scarce to make the venture profitable. According to the census of 1849, the live stock in the country had increased to nearly 13,000, and over 6,000 acres were under cultivation. After the first Riel rebellion, settlers came pouring into the country and the acreage under cultivation increased rapidly. It is difficult at this distance of time to speak positively in regard to the first varieties of wheat used but thirty-five years ago there were two varieties in cultivation—an early stiff-bearded variety not very productive, and a beardless kind having a hard red kernel, rather longer than Red Fyfe, and apparently of good milling value. The last mentioned was grown on the Brandon Experimental Farm for some years under the name of the "Old Red River Wheat."

About 1877, the Golden Drop Wheat was grown extensively by some of the best farmers. This was a very fair wheat but somewhat soft, and inclined to smut badly. About 1880, the famous Red Fyfe Wheat was introduced into the West, a variety supposed to have originated on the Baltic coast. It is very productive, has a healthy, vigorous plant, the berry being hard and bright, the bran thin, and the gluten contents high, making its milling qualities unequalled. This variety has done more to keep up the reputation of the Province as a wheat-producing country than any other, and the greater proportion of the wheat exported is of this sort

On the establishment of the Dominion Experimental Farm in this Province, in 1888, an effort was made to introduce new varieties of early ripening wheat for sowing in the more northern parts of the country. The first to be tested was imported from northern Russia, and was called Ladoga. This was an early variety, but the quality was not equal to the requirements of the country. Later, Dr. Wm. Saunders, Director of the Experimental Farms, introduced several cross-bred wheats, such as the Preston and Stanley. These have been grown with more or less success in the less favoured parts of the country, but are not to be recommended in preference to the Red Fyfe, where that variety can be ripened successfully.

The acreage sown with barley in Manitoba is increasing very rapidly. Within six years the area occupied by this useful grain has doubled. The results of many years ’ experience show that the Chevalier varieties of two-rowed barley have not succeeded well. The ear seldom fills perfectly, and every year these varieties are more or less lodged, and they are late in maturing. The two-rowed sorts of the Duck-Bill type, such as Canadian Thorpe, are much stiffer in the straw, and generally speaking, the heads fill well. The six-rowed varieties are those best adapted for general cultivation. They ripen early and can be sown later than other grain, and even then will mature early enough to escape injury from autumn frosts. The straw is nearly always stiff and bright, and the ears well filled. Of these varieties the Mensury and Odessa are excellent. The average yield of Mensury barley on the Brandon Experimental Farm, for the five years ending 1907, was 63 bushels and 40 pounds per acre. Odessa gave an average return of 64 bushels and 40 pounds per acre for th< same period.

Barley is largely grown as a cleansing crop. The method is to spread barnyard manure on the stubble in spring, ploughing it under and sowing about the end of May. This practice gives a good crop and the land is left comparatively clean and ready for wheat the following year.

The yield of oats is usually very satisfactory throughout the Province, when proper care is given to their production. Although not so important as wheat, the sale of this grain for oatmeal and feeding purposes is increasing each year, and the price obtained is higher than in former years. A fairly pure and clean sample of heavy Manitoba oats is looked upon with much favor by oatmeal millers throughout the Dominion, and finds sale at remunerative prices. In some districts of this Province, where the soil is better adapted for oats than for wheat, that grain is grown almost exclusively. By careful selection of seed, and thorough cultivation, lm mense yields are obtained, and many farmers report an average of eighty bushels per acre over their entire farms. The “Banner” oat has been the favourite for a number of years This is a thin, hulled sort, of excellent quality, and very productive. Other valuable varieties are "Abundance," "Ligowa" and "Newmarket." These are all white oats, and sell at a good figure for milling purposes. The place occupied by oats in the rotation of crops is usually after wheat and just previous to either a barley crop or summer fallow. For this reason the returns per acre are not as large as they otherwise would be. On the Experimental Farm at Brandon, on summer fallowed land, without fertilizer, the average yield of “Banner” oats for the five years ending 1907, was 116 bushels and 4 pounds per acre. This is an indication of what can be accomplished on our rich soils with good cultivation.

In the newer settlements there is an abundant supply of natural hay on the lower lands and water meadows. For some years, this supply will be sufficient for all demands. Later, when these lands are drained and turned into grain fields, the farmer will be compelled to look elsewhere for his supply of hay.

Fortunately there are many varieties of cultivated grasses and other fodder plants, that give profitable yields in this country. The most popular grass is “Timothy;” this excellent grass is grown most extensively on the more moist soils of the Province, and returns on such soils are exceedingly good. Where “Timothy" fails to give large returns, Western Rye grass is grown with profit. This is an excellent native grass and is now extensively cultivated. In other districts where the soil is light "Austrian Brorne" is grown with good results. Among the annual fodder plants the following are cultivated with success:—German, Japanese and Common Millet, Broom, Com and Hungarian grass ; these all give excellent returns of useful hay. Although Indian com is not grown for the grain, it is a decided success here as a fodder plant. When sown about the middle of May it grows rapidly during our long bright days, and soon reaches a height of from 8 to 10 feet, the yield often amounting to from 15 to 20 tons of green fodder per acre. This is either made into

ensilage or stooked in the fields until required for feeding. Whether used as fodder or ensilage it is excellent for fattening cattle, and is one of the very best foods for milch cows.

In all parts of the Province where the original prairie sod is thick and tough, it is customary to “break and back-set,” but where the land is covered with small trees and scrub, breaking and back-setting is not necessary. 'I he breaking of new prairie is best accomplished with the hand breaking plough, having a rolling coulter, but fairly good work can be done with a sulky plough if the land be very smooth and level. For the best results the breaking should be shallow, and the work completed by July 1st. A few weeks after breaking the sod will be rotted and the land should then be "backset." This is carried out by ploughing in the same direction about two inches deeper then previously, thereby bringing up some additional soil for a seed-bed. After "back-setting" the land must be made as fine as possible with a disc-harrow or some other similar implement. If this plan be adopted only a light harrowing will be required when the land becomes seeded in the following spring. In some parts of the Province, the land is too rough to permit of thin breaking. In such districts, the land should be ploughed from 4 to 5 inches deeper than in the smoother lands, and as early as possible in the year. It should also be well harrowed in order to level the surface. In such cases a second ploughing is not necessary, but the ground must be again harrowed the following spring, before the grain is sown.

A considerable portion of the best land in Manitoba is covered with small timber and scrub which, when cleared, produces magnificent yields of all kinds of farm produce, and the work of clearing is very light when compared with that of preparing the heavy timbered land of other countries. The method of clearing such lands is just to chop out the larger poplars and willows during the winter. A fire is then run over the land in order to bum the remaining portion of the scrub. After this the ground may easily be broken with a strong brush plough; all the additional levelling can be accomplished with a disc-harrow or other similar implement. The land is then ready for seeding, and usually yields large returns. Immense areas of this class of land are still open for settlement, principally in the northern part of the Province, and can be obtained either as free homesteads or for a nominal price.

The larger proportion of the wheat crop of Manitoba is grown on land that has produced a grain crop of some kind the previous year. The stubble land is ploughed in the autumn as early as possible; the land is then harrowed and sown in the following spring. This system is very inexpensive, and, when the land is new and the seasons favourable, the profits are large and immediate. But this exhaustive plan cannot be retained for any great length of time. Sooner or later a regular system of rotation has to be adopted. A common practice is to include a season’s summer fallow in the rotation, and the most approved plan for this operation is to plough the grain stubble in June, just as soon as the weed seeds have begun to germinate. The soil is then “compacted” with either a “sub-surface packer” or other similar implement, and this proceeding is followed by thorough surface tillage during the summer, in order to kill weeds and prevent evaporation of soil moisture.

Summer fallowing is practiced in Manitoba by most farmers, its frequency depending on the character of the soil and other conditions. Some of the largest and best crops of wheat are obtained after this treatment, and the condition of the soil is greatly improved at the same time During recent years the more advanced farmers have included the culture of grass in the rotation. The

usual practice is to sow either Timothy or Western Rye grass with a “nurse crop;” to cut it for hay during the two following seasons, then to pasture for the third. This plan furnishes both hay and pasture for the farm, gives the land certain rest and so fills the surface with root fibre that soil drifting is prevented. At one time it was thought that none of the clovers would thrive in Manitoba, but, by practicing improved methods of cultivation, all the perennial and biennial species are found to be just as hardy and productive as in the eastern provinces. The fact that these leguminous crops can be grown suggests great possibilities for the agriculture of the West. To prove successful on the majority of farms in this country, clover of all kinds should be sown without a “nurse crop” of grain, although, in very favorable seasons, a very light seeding of grain may be permissible if cut early for green feed. In growing red clover excellent results have been obtained by ploughing gram stubble in spring, harrowing once, then sowing about 12 pounds of clover seed per acre, harrowing a second time and rolling. When the weeds and “volunteer crop" of grain are about a foot high, a mower should be run over the land and the cuttings left on the ground to act as a mulch. By this plan the clover plants become large and well rooted before autumn, and there is no danger of winter killing. Two cuttings of clover can be gathered in the following year.

In this country where large areas of land are cultivated, it is necessary that all farm operations be expedited as much as possible. For this reason the most improved machinery is on use on all the up-to-date farms. As soon as the grain is fairly ripe, large grain-binders are set to work, and kept constantly in operation from dawn to sunset. Sometimes a score of these large machines, each drawn by four horses are found following each other closely around one immense field, and in a few days, hundreds of acres of ripe grain are safely in the stook. The grain is allowed to cure for a few days, after which large threshing outfits, consisting of powerful steam traction engines and separators, are brought into the field where the threshing is done directly from the stook, and so quickly that only a few days intervene between the ripening of the grain and its delivery on the market. At the present time the prospects for agriculture in the Province are bright; the prices of farm products are high, the area under cultivation is increasing rapidly, and the employment of improved conditions of agriculture should result in larger returns than in former years.


In the early days of the settlement of Manitoba, Live Stock was considered the mainstay of agriculture, for some little time was necessary to enable the settlers to discover the possibilities of soil and climate for the production of wheat. Many of the early pioneers brought with them a foundation stock, and in not a few of the best studs and herds of to-day can be traced a descent from those early importations. Needless to say, the stock imported from the older provinces thrived wonderfully on the nutritious prairie grasses, which for many generations had sustained vast herds of buffalo. The pioneer delights to recall the big steers he produced when the herds fed on the short sweet upland pastures or revelled belly-deep in vetches and wild pea-vine. An opening having been made for the export of wheat by the completion of the railroad between the prairies and the lake ports, the wealth-producing possibilities of grain growing were quickly recognized. It happened that the open prairie was easily brought under cultivation. No expensive equipment was required, an easy credit system prevailed, wonderful returns were obtained, and settlement rapidly increased. As a result the live stock interests were neglected, and wheat became the one thing considered worthy of attention.

Many a traveller has marvelled at the myriad beacon fires that illuminate the autumn sky from the far-reaching stubble fields, where the straw piles are burned as soon as the threshers have completed their task. This improvident waste, coupled with careless methods encouraging the introduction and spread of weeds, is causing the pendulum to swing slowly back again. In order to improve the mechanical condition of the soil, to restore exhausted fertility, and to control noxious weeds, grasses and clovers are being introduced, farms are being fenced and the rearing of live stock is again receiving serious attention.

The following figures, taken from Government statistics will give some idea of the growth of the live-stock industry:—

The demand for horses is still greater than the local supply. For a number of years, horses have been shipped into Manitoba from the Eastern provinces, the Western ranges, and from the States to the South. During the past year, however, Manitoba-bred horses, mostly for farm purposes, are beginning to appear in considerable numbers on the Winnipeg market. The keen demand which exists, and the good prices obtainable, are stimulating the breeding of horses. In addition to several breeding studs which have been established, many farmers are procuring good brood-mares, not a few of which are registered mares of the draft breeds. For many years a considerable business in the importation of stallions has been carried on. Importers from the United States have not only brought with them American-bred stallions, but have also introduced their methods of disposing of these. One of the methods referred to is commonly known as "syndicating." Ten or a dozen farmers are induced to take shares in a stallion, signing joint notes therefore. In many of these cases, the stallion so disposed of is stated to be worth from $2,000 to $4,000, which is generally three or four times its actual value. The notes are of course discounted before maturity, and the salesmen decamp. Such practices have done much injury to the horse-breeding industry but happily they are now almost a thing of the past. Several large dealers, permanently established in the West, import direct from Great Britain, and Ontario dealers may now be expected to take greater interest in supplying Manitoba with good home-bred and imported stock horses.

Legislation has been introduced by the Western Provinces to encourage horse-breeding. The object of such legislation is educational, and the intention is to encourage the use of sound, pure-bred stallions, and to eliminate the unfit. Owners are compelled, under a penalty, to register stallions with the Provincial Departments of Agriculture; certificates are then issued stating whether the animal is pure-bred, or graded, soundness, or the reverse, also being indicated. A copy of this certificate must then be printed on all advertisements and route bills, which must be conspicuously posted on the door of every stable occupied by the horse during the breeding season. By this means the farmer is enabled to know the breeding value of the stallions he employs.

The draft breeds are undoubtedly the most popular with the farmers, and of these, the Clydesdales take first place. A few Shires have been introduced, and, during the past few' years, a good many Percherons. The latter would appear to be slowly gaining in popularity. As there are, however, many registered Clydesdale mares throughout the country, and in nearly every section, a good representative Clydesdale stallion, this breed is likely to hold its own for a long time to come. Of the horses bred on the average farm, few would scale up to the “draft" class, the majority having to be classed as “agricultural’’ horses, weighing less than 1,600 lbs., while there are many horses bred from small nondescript mares that could only be classified as "farm chunks," a useful enough horse on the farm, although lacking in weight, but hardy, and generally with good wearing qualities.

Of the lighter breeds, comparatively few are bred, although there are many American trotting stallions in the country and some excellent road horses are produced, These are always in good demand, provided they possess sufficient size and quality. Thoroughbreds, Hackneys and some of the Coach breeds have been introduced in various parts of the Province but, so far with little marked effect upon the horse industry. Some saddle, and heavy leather horses are produced, but most of these crosses are what may be called ‘ ‘ General Purposes” horses. This is a good, useful class, fit for all kinds of light farm work and for certain kinds of road work, but it will not command high prices in the market

The country on the whole is well suited for horse breeding. The climate is healthy, and feed of good quality is abundant. There are, however, some difficulties to contend with. The most serious of these is, perhaps, the mortality among foals, from the disease known as “joint ill,” and other little understood pathological conditions, which are attributed to insufficient exercise on the part of the mares during the long idle winter season. Another disease, which is confined to the lower-lying districts of the Province, is commonly known as “swamp fever,” an intermittent fever of a low type, not as yet thoroughly understood.

The cattle industry has advanced with the settling of the country, and, with improved market and transportation facilities, will doubtless become one of the most important branches of agriculture.

Manitoba cattle are of a healthy breed, and cost little to keep, for there is everywhere an abundance of suitable fodder. On the smaller farms (and most of those in the extreme eastern and north-eastern portions of the Province, come under this category) cattle of the dairy type predominate. By this it is not meant that the special dairy breeds are exclusively used, as most of the cattle in these sections, as well as throughout the province, show more or less of Shorthorn strain.

The little Red River cow of earlier days, rugged, vigorous, big middled, short-legged, crumple-horned, line-backed or brindled., has almost entirely disappeared. The foundations of several herds of Shorthorns were laid in the early eighties, and the progeny of these, and of many subsequently established, have been widely distributed throughout the country. The blood of this cosmopolitan breed now flows in the veins of nearly all our cattle. Other breeds have been introduced, but still the Red, White and Roan numerically holds supremacy, and at all leading Exhibitions outnumbers other breeds in the proportion of two to one. There are now in Manitoba over 350 members of the Dominion

Shorthorn Breeders’ Association, and their favourite breed of cattle seems in no immediate danger of losing in popularity. Breeders should, however, endeavor to revive the milking qualities of the breed in order that it may continue to hold the position of ‘1 Farmers ’ cow. ’ ’

Of the special "beef breeds," the Hereford and the Aberdeen Angus are fairly well represented, and a number of good breeding herds exist. Where the calves run with their dams, and beef-production only is desired, either of these breeds, or the Galloway, thrive abundantly. They are good grazers and feeders and mature heavy, compact carcases of beef of the best quality. The females, however, are not so useful as "Farmers cows," since they are not such good average milkers nor as docile as the Shorthorn.

Of the dairy breeds, the Holsteins seem to be steadily gaining in favour. They are robust and large-framed, with great capacity for the assimilation of "roughage," and produce immense quantities of milk of fairly good quality. There are several excellent pure-bred herds in the Province. The Ayrshire and the Jersey, have their fanciers, and small herds have been in existence for a good many years. The last named breed has made no headway, but the first is numerously represented in the dairy districts, and vigorously contests every inoh of ground with her big black-and-white sister.

Year by year, furrow by furrow, wheat has crowded back the herd from the sweet grasses of the upland prairies on to the lower-lying flatter lands, where ttv grasses grow coarse, sedgy, and less nutritious. Un such circumstances, cattle have suffered some deter/ tion, but with the introduction of more "intense" methods, including the growing of com, clover a/ falfa, with greater attention to sanitation of s' and the adoption of less laborious methods of for stock, better results will accrue.

There are already indications that cattle-feeding will be carried on more extensively in this Province. The straw and chaff and screenings of the wheat farms will “be marketed on the hoof" and the manure thus created will restore the fertility and improve the mechanical condition of the soil, resulting in better yields of superior quality, and hastening the maturing of the crops. As in the com belt of the States, the cattle from the ranges of the West will be “finished” on their way to the world’s markets, on the wheat farms of Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

It is sometimes said that swine-breeding on any extensive scale cannot be profitably carried on except in conjunction with dairying, or under such conditions as exist in the com States to the South. To a certain extent, that is true. Every farmer can, however, at a minimum expense, even without milk, produce a few' hogs on by-products that would otherwise be wasted It is necessary, however, to raise the hog in a cheap way, making him utilize pasture grass, rape, roots and “roughage,” and then finish quickly on “concentrates.” At the present time there is not sufficient pork produced in the West to supply the local demand, but, as previously indicated, the market conditions are not such as to encourage the industry. The demand being for light, mild-cured bacon and hams, the bacon type of hog is preferred to the lard type, consequently the two great bacon breeds, the Yorkshires and Berkshires, have virtually taken possession of the trade. A few Tam-worths are also bred, and their impress may be noticed m the Stock Yards. One or two small herds of Chester Whites and Poland Chinas are also maintained in the Province, but they are not kept in sufficient numbers to affect the general type of the market hog.

Sheep-breeding in the Province has been losing ground for the past fifteen years. This is not due to unsuitable conditions of climate, for sheep thrive remarkably well m this clear, dry atmosphere. Neither is this condition of the industry attributable to unfavourable markets, for prices for lambs and mutton—sheep of any kind— rule high. The market is supplied from the ranges of the West, from Ontario, and the Maritime Provinces, and even frozen mutton from Australia has found its way into the Winnipeg market. The one great enemy of the shepherd in the West is the coyote or prairie wolf. While governments and municipalities offer bonuses for wolf scalps, the breeding grounds of the wolves are so extensive, stretching as they do into the Northern wilds, that the only immediate remedy against their depredations would seem to be the protection of the flocks by means of fences. Provision of this nature will undoubtedly be provided ere long by many farmers. Flocks of many of the leading breeds have been established. Any of the medium wooled breeds are suitable. The Shropshires and the Oxfords have proved popular and useful, especially for “grading up” the common merino-grade range ewe. Leicesters are also strong favourites and have made conspicuously good exhibits at our leading exhibitions.

Early in the live-stock history of the province, active Associations were organized, and through the agency of these, public interest has been stimulated in the important work of live-stock improvement. Valuable concessions in regard to freight rates for pure-bred stock have been obtained from Railroad Companies. Exhibition Associations have been induced to employ more efficient judges and to provide larger prizes and more adequate accommodation for live-stock. Provincial auction sales of pure bred stock have been inaugurated, and farmers have thus been enabled to select bulls for breeding purposes, from among the consignments of many breeders.

Within the last year or so a very successful Winter Fair, Horse Show and Fat Stock Show has been established at Brandon, under the auspices of these associations, where practical demonstrations in live stock judging are given and lectures delivered on various phases of the industry.


Careful consideration of the past and present conditions of the Dairy Industry in Manitoba, justify a feeling of optimism as to its future. Although this industry is still in its infancy, it has made steady progress as a reference to the following table will show:

Average annual yield and value of butter and cheese by five-year periods.

While this table fairly represents the growth of the industry, it does not indicate either its magnitude or its value to the Province, since it does not take into account the town and city milk and cream supply and the "by-products" fed at the farm. When it is remembered that the town and city population constitutes somewhat more than fifty per cent, of that of the Province, it is readily seen that there is a large quantity of milk and cream consumed as such. The columns of average prices, given in the foregoing table, are quite as worthy of note as those indicating the growth of the industry, since they point to the growing demand for dairy products at increasingly remunerative prices.

Our native and cultivated grasses are both suitable for the production of a fine quality of milk, suitable for the making of excellent butter or cheese. We can grow in abundance, suitable - soiling crops for supplementing the pastures when necessary, such as peas and oats, alfalfa (in many parts of the province) and com. Furthermore, we can successfully grow such crops as mixed hay (clover and timothy), brome grass, alfalfa, com, roots, and the coarser grains for fall and winter feeding. With the right kind of cows, properly eared for, no trouble is experienced in the production of milk economically and in quantity.

The beef breeds of cattle, particularly Shorthorns, predominate in the Province. These were introduced in the early days when every farmer was surrounded with all the grazing land he desired. Later, as the country became more generally cultivated, dairying was combined with beef production, and, as a result, particularly amongst the Shorthorns and Shorthorn grades and crosses, many very creditable and even excellent general or “dual-purpose” cows, whose milking qualities have been developed by careful selection. In addition to these there are, in the Province, several excellent pure-brcd herds, representative of the Holstein, Ayrshire and other dairy breeds. The Holsteins probably being, at least in so far as numbers go, in the ascendency. Many good dairy grades are also to be met with.

A ver}' considerable portion of the Province, particularly in the east and north, is much more suitable for mixed farming than for grain growing. Even the present grain districts cannot sustain indefinitely the continued impoverishment resulting from the continual production of grain crops. Continuous grain-growing has additional bad result of increasing the number of weeds. To restore and maintain soil fertility, and to eradicate weeds, the adoption of a suitable rotation of crops is imperative. Along with this would naturally be introduced a certain amount of stock rearing. Thus dairying would in due course occupy a prominent part in any thoroughly satisfactory scheme of farming. The present conditions of the dairy market are encouraging, the home market especially is rapidly developing.

One feature of the Manitoba dairy industry is the extent to which the manufacture of butter and cheese has become co-operative. Although the Province is yet sparsely populated, fully fifty per cent, of the butter and cheese put upon the market is made in factories.

There are in the Province about forty cheese factories, situated in the more thickly settled districts. But there is greater scope for butter-making and cream gathering.

There is at the present time, a marked tendency towards the centralization of the creamery industry. This is encouraged by the co-operation of the Express Companies, who give reduced rates on cream for butter-making purposes. This system has its advantages, and its disadvantages. Among the former are a larger output, better equipment and a more economical production: while among the latter may be mentioned a lack of interest on the part of the producer in the scientific work of the creameries.


In considering the agricultural possibilities of the Province of Manitoba, the subject of horticulture is too frequently overlooked or given scant consideration The fact that cereals can be grown with splendid success has been very clearly demonstrated, but up to the present time comparatively few of the people residing in Western Canada, have had sufficient confidence in the fruit growing possibilities of the country to enter into the industry on a very extensive scale. However, a few pioneers have paved the way and to the results of their work we look for encouragement and guidance.

In a country of such rich agricultural resources as Manitoba, where excellent crops of cereals can be produced on an extensive scale with a minimum amount of labor, one would naturally expect that the people would turn rather slowly to the production of fruits which require much greater care and a much more “intensive” system of cultivation. The growing of this finer class of agricultural products is usually delayed until the country has become thickly populated and the land has been brought into a fairly good state of cultivation. Making an allowance for the difficulties which have to be overcome in the production of fruits, some splendid work has been done and substantial progress made. Attempts in fruit growing have been made since the first settlement of the country. The first experimenters were greatly handicapped by a lack of information regarding the suitability of the country, and many mistakes were made. The introduction of tender varieties was attended with failure, and it was only at considerable personal expense that the early growers learned that only the hardiest fruits obtainable were suited to this rigorous climate. Since this lesson has been learned steady progress has been made. Experiences have resulted in great efforts to secure hardy varieties of apples, plums, cherries and other fruits from countries where the climatic conditions are similar to those of Manitoba. The Experimental Farms have given splen did assistance in this work and have been instrumental in introducing some fruits that undoubtedly will be of great value in future years.

Among the valuable introductions is the Pyrus Bacata or Siberian Crab Apple, which was first planted on the Experimental Farm at Brandon, in the year 1890, the trees having been grown at the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, from specially selected seed that had been imported from Russia. The introduction of this hardy Russian apple has done much for the advancement of apple growing in Manitoba. It furnishes a hardy stock on which the tenderer standard varieties may be grafted and their hardiness very much increased. Dr. Saunders, Director of the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, has also endeavoured to increase the hardiness of some of the standard varieties by hybridizing them with the Pyrus Bacata. Several promising hybrids have been produced in this way and are now being grown to some extent in the Province.

Among the earliest attempts in fruit growing in the district of Winnipeg, may be mentioned those of the' late Mr. W. B. Hall, of Headingly. In the early sixties some not unsuccessful experiments were conducted by him with currants, tomatoes, gooseberries, Siberian crab apples and rhubarb. The results were indeed so satisfactory that he and others in the neighborhood were induced to carry on fruit growing on a large scale. Among other pioneers whose experiments on fruit growing have been of value, may be mentioned the late Mr. Thomas Frankland, of Stonewall, and Mr. A. P. Stevenson, of Dunstan. Mr. Stevenson has experimented very largely with plums, cherries, grapes, gooseberries, currants, raspberries and strawberries, and his untiring efforts in this direction have been a great incentive to others within the province to interest themselves in the growing of fruits. His work, together with the work that has been done on the Experimental Farms, has demonstrated very clearly that hardiness is one of the first essentials, a fruit suited to the Province of Manitoba. From the time of the introduction of the crab apple and the hardy Russian sorts may be said to date the first successful attempt at apple culture in this province.

The Experimental Farm at Brandon, under the direction of Mr. S. A. Bedford, has done a great deal for Manitoba horticulture. Hundreds of varieties of the various classes of fruits from different parts of America and Europe have been tested there and the results published. In the month of April, 1S99, about five hundred fruit trees, consisting of apples, crabapples, plums and cherries, were placed under test at the Experimental Farm. These included many of the large standard varieties together with a number of hardy imported kinds. Numerous varieties of grapes, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries were also tested. Many of these trees did not survive the first winter and in a few years only the hardiest sorts were found to be alive. Since the first planting, many other varieties of fruits have been introduced and experimented with and much valuable information has been gained. Among the numerous introductions was the Russian-Berried Crab Pyrus Baccata. Its extreme hardiness makes it eminently suitable for this country. It is used as stock on which the less hardy standard sorts are grafted, for the purpose of increasing their hardiness and thereby adapting them to an environment that would otherwise be uncongenial to them.

Small-fruit culture in the Province of Manitoba has always been attended with a very fair degree of success. Currants, gooseberries, red and black raspberries, and strawberries have been grown since the early settlement of the country. They yield profitable returns when intelligently cultivated. They apparently possess an inherent hardiness not shared by many tree-fruits, and this renders them much more suitable for the severe climate. It is only a matter of a few years until these smaller fruits will be grown in all parts of the Province, in sufficient quantities to supply the local demand. Another phase of horticultural work to which considerable attention is being given, is the decoration of home and school grounds by the planting of ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers. The prairie is bare and unattractive and round many prairie homes there has been a lack of trees and shrubs. The work of beautifying the surroundings of residences is the most necessary step in the horticulture of the Province of Manitoba, and a great deal is being done in the cities, towns and rural districts to increase their attractiveness by ornamental planting.

In regard to the growing of vegetables the Province occupies a splendid position. Practically all garden vegetables with the exception of a few that require a long season, may be grown to a high state of perfection. The richness of the soil and the shortness of the seasons tend to give a flavour and tender crispness not attainable elsewhere, to the vegetables.

The splendid yields that may be obtained from these fertile fields make vegetable growing a very profitable branch of agriculture, as there is an abundant demand in the home market.

The work of fostering the cause of horticulture within the Province is carried on largely by the Agricultural College and certain societies; among these are the Western Horticultural Society, the Brandon Horticultural and Forestry Society and others of a more or less local character. The objects of these societies are to bring together those persons interested in horticulture, to gather together horticultural literature and to stimulate in every possible way a greater interest in horticultural pursuits. Much good work has been accomplished by these societies and to their efforts is largely due the irf creasing interest that is being taken in the various lines of horticultural work within the Province.

There are several directions in which progress may be made in Manitoba horticulture; for example, a better selection of varieties; an improvement by breeding and selection of wild and native fruits and varieties grown in the country; and by improved systems of culture. Much is being done in plant improvement, and the Province of Manitoba offers an excellent field for the improvement of native fruits. Various wild fruits grow very abundantly in many parts of the Province, and if a combination could be effected whereby the hardiness and productiveness of these could be combined with the larger ske and better quality of the cultivated fruit, a great step in advance would be achieved.


The possibilities of the poultry industry in Manitoba are just beginning to be understood. When the country becomes more thickly populated and mixed farming is more generally practiced, poultry raising will no doubt occupy a prominent place on the farm. To many people living in small towns in Manitoba, a flock of hens is sufficiently profitable to be a source of considerable income. The question is sometimes asked: “Is the return likely to be sufficiently great to render it worth while to devote one’s entire energies to the rearing of poultry?”

The best reply to this question may be deduced from the following facts:—

From the Province of Ontario and the Northwestern States, over one million pounds of dressed poultry, having a value of at least from $150,000, were imported into Winnipeg for its own consumption during the past winter. From the same districts no less than 4,500,000 eggs, of a total value of about $100,000, were brought into the city during the winter. Thus we see that the City of Winnipeg with 10,000 inhabitants imports for its own consumption about $250,000 worth of poultry and eggs each year. To these figures must be added the amount imported for Brandon and some of the other larger towns.

The above mentioned values of poultry products imported into the Province are so great that the industry ought to be a good investment. It has been estimated that in the neighborhood of Winnipeg alone, there are openings for about fifty poultry farms. A serious drawback to profitable poultry keeping in Manitoba is the extreme cold during some of the winter months. But since the air is remarkably dry this disadvantage may easily be exaggerated. It is, however, necessary that adequate protection should be afforded the poultry during the severe weather.


Coincident with an increase in the area of cultivated land, improvement has been made in the organization of systems of marketing farm products. In no particular is this more apparent than in the building up of the grain trade of the West. Primarily, a grain-producing country, her whole prosperity bound up in the annual product which a bounteous nature gives her, it is but natural that Manitoba should find the business of handling the crops, so as to bring them to the various markets of the world, a task of the first magnitude. This is no less urgent a duty than the actual production of the crops.

Six different railway companies now run trains to Winnipeg. These give complete connection with every part of the continent, and their branches radiating to all parts of the West make it easy for the farmers to transport their products to the world’s markets. By statutes of the Canadian parliament, all inspection certificates for grain or other products that come under inspection in Western Canada, must be issued by inspectors in Winnipeg. The Western crop of 1908, was estimated at over two hundred and thirty-six million bushels, about eighty-five per cent, being marketed for export. All of this amount passed through Winnipeg and went out bearing Winnipeg Inspection Certificates. Of the total Western crop Manitoba produced 113,058,189 bushels of grain, nearly one-half of which was wheat. From the crop of 1909, Winnipeg grain dealers will handle enough bread stuffs to furnish a year’s supply for all the inhabitants of Canada, and 10,000,000 people besides.

For the handling of this grain, there are in Western Canada, 1,41(5 elevators and 41 warehouses with a total capacity of 43,037,000 bushels. Most of these are situated on the Canadian Pacific or the Canadian Northern Railway. In the Province of Manitoba, on the Canadian Pacific Railway, there are 4(52 elevators and 12 warehouses with a total capacity of 14,574,000 bushels, while on the Canadian Northern in the same Province there are 205 elevators and two warehouses having a total capacity of 5,921,000 bushels. Besides these elevators, at every station there is built a loading platform over which a farmer may load grain from his wagon direct to the car, thus allowing him to ship his grain independent of the elevator companies. During the marketing of the crop of 1908, about 33 per cent, of the grain was shipped in this way.

The marketing season usually begins early in September, and a great bulk of the grain is disposed of before December. All the grain handled in this space of time is reloaded at the lake ports, Fort William and Port Arthur and shipped by lake. At these points thirteen elevators, classed as “terminals,” are owned and operated as follows:—

At Port Arthur, Ontario, the Canadian Northern Railway owns two, with a joint capacity ot 7,000,000 bushels. These are operated by the Port Arthur Elevator Company. There is also-at Port Arthur, the elevator of Jos. G. King and Company, with a capacity of 800,000 bushels. This elevator is on the line of the Canadian Pacific Railway At Fort William, the Canadian Pacific Railway owns and operate three, with a respective capacity of 2,258,000; 2,209,700 and 1,221,000 bushels each. Four other elevator companies have storage capacity amounting to 2,360,000 bushels.

At Keewatin, Ontario, the Lake of the Woods Milling Company have two milling elevators having a capacity of 700,000 and 500,000 bushels respectively. And at Kenora, the Maple Leaf Flour Mills Company own one that will store 500,000 bushels.

The greater portion of the grain taken into the hun dreds of smaller elevators in the West, and shipped from loading platforms at country points, finds its way into the above mentioned terminals at the Lake front and is shipped from there to its ultimate destination, the bulk going by vessel to Georgian Bay ports, Montreal and Kingston, although last year close on to 9,000,000 bushels went to Buffalo and other United States ports. In addition, 1,571,940 bushels were shipped in 1908, by rail over the Great Northern Railway to Duluth. During the crop year of 1907-1908, there was a total shipment of 02,107,513 bushels, and of this 47,743,330 bushels were shipped by boat, and 14,364,177 went by rail. The total amount invested in terminal and country elevators and warehouses in the Manitoba Grain Inspection Division is approximately $11,707,000.

The rates in force at Public Terminal Elevators are —

For receiving, elevating, cleaning, spouting and insurance against fire, including fifteen days free storage, 5½ cent per busfiel. When it is necessary to re-clean grain in order to ascertain the amount of domestic grain of commercial value contained in the screenings, a charge of one-half cent per bushel is made for extra treatment.

Foremost in the business interests of the West, stands the Winnipeg Grain Exchange, which, in the comparatively short space of twenty years, has reached an enviable position among the leading grain institutions of the world. The Winnipeg Grain and Produce ‘Exchange was incorporated in 1891, after having been organized for several years. Commencing with a membership of ten, and an entrance fee of $15, the Exchange has, in less than two decades, reached such a commanding position that the leading grain dealers of the continent consider it imperative to become members. The value of the seats has reached $2,500, and the membership numbers 300.

The objects of the Exchange, as outlined in the articles of incorporation, were declared to be—“to compile, record and publish statistics, and acquire and distribute information respecting the produce and provision trades, and promote the establishment and the maintenance of uniformity in the business, customs and regulations among the persons engaged in the said trades throughout the province, and to adjust, settle and determine controversies and misunderstandings between persons engaged in such trades.” The record of the past years clearly indicates that these objects have been fully attained.

Through the efforts of the Exchange, permanent standards have been secured for the various grades of grain, and those have proved of great benefit to both the producer and grain dealer throughout the West.

The different grades are named thus:—“No. 1 Manitoba Hard,” “No. 1 Manitoba Northern,” “No. 2 Manitoba Northern,” “No. 3 Manitoba Northern,” “Commercial grade No. 4,” “Commercial grade No. 5,” “Commercial grade No. 6,” “Commercial grade, feed.” The grade “No. 1 Manitoba Hard,” consists almost altogether of hard, red, plump kernels. In every hundred only about three immature, shrunken kernels are allowed and the sample must be practically free from “frosted” kernels, i.e., kernels with pale, roughened skin, due to the action of frost or water, and there must be no appreciable odor of smut.

“No. 1 Manitoba Northern” is distinguished from “No. 1 Hard,” chiefly by the larger proportion of starchy kernels present , and of those which are somewhat shrivelled. It has about ten shrunken kernels in every hundred, and is practically free from kernels showing the action of water or frost. “No. 2 Northern” is very much like “No. 1 Northern,” but with a slightly larger proportion of defective kernels, about twelve in every hundred. “No. 3 Northern” contains about twenty-three defective kernels in every hundred. “No. 4” has about thirty defective kernels in every hundred, while “No. 5” contains about fifty-six defective kernels, forty of which may be shrunken. "Commercial grade No. 6” contains about sixty-five damaged kernels, while Commercial grade rated as "feed" contains about eighty-eight defective kernels in every hundred, and the sample usually possesses a distinct odour of smut.

In the prices received for those different grades, there is considerable variation. “No. 1 Hard” always sells for one cent more than “No. 1 Northern,” while there is a difference of from four to six cents between each of the following grades. During the four months from September 1st, 1908, to January 1st, 1909, about 83 per cent, of the crop was marketed. The average price for all grades of wheat has been estimated m one computation at 85 cents, and with the price for “No. 1 Northern” hovering about a dollar, as was the case during those four months, this average may be considered fairly representative. The price of oats held fairly steady between 35 and 40 cents, and, if allowance be made for low grades and freight rates, the average return to the farmer may be placed at not less than 27 cents per bushel. Barley held up in price throughout the season and has been valued at the rate of 40 cents per bushel.

Manitoba is not merely a wheat growing and exporting country. Every branch of farming has made rapid strides of late years. The products include oats, barley, flax, rye and peas; the Manitoba root crop alone amounts to 8,568,386 bushels and the dairy products to 3,918,568 lbs. of the value of $10,604.31.

The development of the live stock trade has been very great. This is shown by the increase in the stock marketed. The past year was an excellent one for the rearing and shipping of live stock, the receipts at the Winnipeg stock yard were nearly double those of any similar period. Not only is there much improvement in the number of cattle marketed, but also in their quality. The total receipts at Winnipeg for 1908, were 170,088 head, and of these about 91,045 cattle were suitable for export. The remainder were sold as "stackers’' and "feeders."

Many farmers now ship their own cattle and do their own selling on the market. This fact has made the competition much keener between buyers than it was previously. However, most of the arrivals of butchers ’ and feeders’ stock are sold by farmers to buyers in the country, who again sell to dealers in Winnipeg. The prices for average export cattle have been about $47 per head at the shipping point. For butchers’ stook the average price to the farmers has been about three cents per pound. This price is small but is accounted for very largely by the fact that the Winnipeg market for butchers was glutted during most of the past season. A number of "butchers" and "feeders" were taken East to Toronto and Montreal, and others, South to St. Paul and Chicago. The Winnipeg market, however, provided for nearly 64,000 head, a number slightly out of proportion to actual requirements. Each year a greater number of these cattle are being "fitted" before being marketted, and, as this process becomes more general, the price will improve.

The average weight of the "butchers" and "feeders" at Winnipeg, was 1,061 pounds, in 1908, and the average price $3.53, giving a total value of $2,960,483 for one year. The total amount paid out for cattle at the yards was $7,245,589.

It is believed that the West will become a great hog-raising country. In the year 1908, there was an increase of 63,040 as compared with the previous year, the total receipts at Winnipeg numbering 145,209. The yearly packing capacity of Winnipeg, is 450,000. The Winnipeg market price for hogs is very largely controlled by the price for which bacon can be brought in from the United States. Hogs, like butchers’ cattle, are mainly bought in Winnipeg through middlemen, but the prices vary less than for cattle. The average price paid last season was $5.70 per cwt. at Winnipeg, and, to the farmers at their own station, about 5 cents per pound.

The sheep industry is not yet very extensive. The mutton receipts show each year but slight increase, as Winnipeg still continues to bring frozen mutton from Eastern Canada during the past year; as much as eight cents per pound was paid on the hoof for lambs off cars at Winnipeg. The live stock industry in Western Canada is still in its infancy, but there are already indications of a considerable increase in a very short time, Farmers are beginning to realize that the fertility of the soil must be retained, and that this is best done by the rearing and feeding of live stock.


The Province of Manitoba is so young that most of its industries are still in the making. The first and par amount of these is farming, but even this is only in its infancy. “Extensive” rather than “intensive’’ methods have been followed. The farmers reaped crop after crop of wheat until they found that their land would not continue for many years to respond to this treatment. To-day in Manitoba, conditions are such as to demand the employment of more scientific methods of agriculture. To disseminate a knowledge of these is the function of our system of agricultural education.

Until within the last few years, agricultural education has been carried on by the Experimental Farms, the Agricultural Societies, the Breeders’ Association, and the Agricultural Press. The first Experimental Farm was founded by Lord Selkirk, in 1810, at Hayfield, and was carried on until 1822. In 1837, the Hudson’s Bay Company founded an Experimental Farm a short distance from Fort Garry, on the Assiniboine River. This farm also had only a short career of some ten or eleven years. In 1888, the Dominion Government called upon Dr. William Saunders and Professor S. A. Bedford, to choose sites for two farms in the West. These are situated at Brandon and Indian Head. The farm at Brandon was ably managed by Mr. Bedford, tor over eighteen years. During this time good work was done for the West in introducing early ripening varieties of wheat by experiments in raising and feeding stock, and in the testing of fruit and forest trees, as well as grasses and fodder plants.

The Provincial Department of Agriculture has been active, also, in educational work, and has always been generous in making grants of money to the Agricultural Societies, Farmers’ Institutes, Dairy Association, Breed-res’ Association, and Horticultural Society, and in other ways. Farmers’ Institute meetings have been •held in Manitoba ever since 1890, and Agricultural Fairs since 1892. Reports show that 56 Agricultural Fairs and 122 Institute meetings were held in Manitoba during the year 1908. In the winter of 1907-1908, the Provincial Government offered $50 to each of ten Agricultural Societies if they would subscribe equal amounts in order to hold Seed-Grain Fairs. This experiment proved so satisfactory that the offer has been made general, with the result that some thirty fairs were held during the past winter. The summer of 1908, was the first in which farming competitions were held, although previous to this, prizes had been offered for the best fields of standing grain. Special mention should be made of the judging-schools, which have been held since 1902, under the auspices of the Live Stock Association, whose meetings were formerly held in Winnipeg but are now held in Brandon during March, in each year. In 1906, a seed-grain special train carrying a corps of Institute speakers, travelled through the provinces and called at all the important towns, and in 1907, a special dairy train, suitably equipped, visited the leading dairy sections of the province.

The magazines giving space to agriculture .in Manitoba, are the Nor’-^est Farmer, the Farmers’ advocate, The Canadian Thresherman, Farm Crops, and the weekly editions of the Free Press, Telegram, and Tribune. The value of such periodicals in disseminating agricultural information cannot be over estimated. In the schools, agriculture has been a subject of the curriculum since 1896. The work prescribed is, however, rather “nature study” than systematic agriculture. For the High Schools and Collegiates, a short course in agriculture is outlined, to be taken by pupils pursuing the Third-Class Teachers’ Course. This covers a brief study of plants in their relation to water, soil and air; the origin, drainage and improvement of the soil; the different crops; and the live-stock of the farm. Experiments are performed in elementary physics and chemistry, bearing upon agriculture. During the past summer, a further step has been taken in elementary agricultural education. All second and first-class teachers are required, while taking their professional training at the Normal School, to spend one month at the Provincial Agricultural College.

In 1906, the Manitoba Agricultural College was opened and 85 students registered in the general course. The next session 143 were enrolled, while during the past session 170 were in regular attendance. A special dairy course is held for those who wish to prepare themselves to manage and operate cheese factories and creameries in the province. In 1908, a short course in Engineering was begun to meet the demand for instruction in working steam and gasoline engines, which are so much used in modem farming.

“Farmers’ Week” at the college has now become an important factor in agricultural education. The Agricultural Societies, Dairy Association and Horticultural Society hold their annual conventions at this time, and, in order to make the gathering of greater interest to the hundreds of farmers who attend, the regular classes, are suspended, and short courses are given in stock-judging, grain-judging and engineering, for their special benefit.

Over half a million dollars have been spent in the buildings and equipment of the college. These include a main or administration building, a mechanical and engineering building, a students’ residence, powerhouse, greenhouse, principal’s residence, farm foreman’s residence, stock judging pavilion, and barns. The mechanical building, recently erected, is 100 feet square and three storeys in height and contains a blacksmith's shop equipped with 50 forges and anvils, an equal number of work benches in the carpenter shop, and a machinery department containing all kinds of farm machinery, such as ploughs, harrows, seeders, binders, mowers, manure spreaders, hay loaders, packers, wagons, a threshing machine, and steam and gasoline engines, the majority of which have been presented to the college. In the stables pure-bred stock—horses, cattle, sheep, swine, and poultry—are kept for educational purposes.

The work in the regular course is covered by the following departments- Field Husbandry, Dairying, Veterinary Science, Horticulture and Forestry, Agricultural Chemisrty, Soil Physics, Biology, Farm Management, and English. The regular course extends over a period of two winter sessions of five months each and is controlled by an Advisory Board, which issues a diploma in agriculture to each student who completes the two-year course and returns to the farm to engage in practical agriculture. This Board is composed of the Minister of Agriculture of Manitoba, two members appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, two appointed by the University of Manitoba, and five by the Agricultural Societies of the Province. In 1908, the college was affiliated with the University of Manitoba, and a course has been added for those wishing to proceed to a degree in agriculture.

A society called the M.A.C. Research Association was organized in 1907, and has already done good work.

It has for its object the making observations and collecting data on agriculture by the past and present students of the college. The young farmer has every reason to be grateful for the generous provision which the Province has made for his education; and it is hoped that before long adequate provision will be made for the teaching of domestic science. Before many years have elapsed it will probably be necessary to establish agricultural high schools throughout the Province, as has been done in Ontario. We may reasonably hope that the foresight exemplified in our institutions for agricultural education will produce a race of farmers who will consider not merely their personal aggrandisement but will have regard to the advantages to be reaped by posterity from a scientific tillage of the land.

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