Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 67.djvu/368

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soon slough off its work of education and confine itself to research, the holding of occasional conferences for rural progress, in which country teachers and pastors join with the farmers, the initiative of the college in federating various state farmers' organizations into one grand committee, the inauguration of several brief courses in agricultural economics and rural sociology, the cooperation of some of the colleges with the Carnegie Institution in an investigation into the history and conditions of agriculture in its economic and social phases, the pride with which a few of our colleges point to the increasing number of young men they are sending to the farms—all these facts seem clearly to indicate that the agricultural college will soon assert its function of leader in the endeavor to solve all phases of the rural problem.

If the analysis thus offered is a correct one, the question of 'rural economics' is far from being merely a matter of adding three or four subjects of study to the agricultural course. It involves the very function and policy of the college itself. It alone gives proportion to the problem of agricultural education, because, while distinctly admitting the need of better farming and the consequently fundamental necessity of the technical training of farmers, it emphasizes the importance of the economic and political and social aspects of rural development. And it thereby indicates that only by a due recognition of these factors, in purpose, in organization, and in course of study, can the American agricultural college fulfil its mission to the American farmer.