Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/590

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ever, I should be remiss of my duty did I not use such powers and gifts as have been given me to urge forward a project that sooner or later will be recognized as one of the keystones of the conservation movement.

The materials for the consummation of the ideals I have presented are all around us. The brawn and brain for the service is awaiting the opportunity. The service will be long and difficult, however, and the servant must live while engaged in the task. Only by long, consecutive years of service can the highest ideals be reached. Men must consecrate their lives to this achievement. The service will be pleasant and the scientific results gathered from year to year will repay the worker, but means must be found to place the investigator beyond the temptation of other employment, as permanency of tenure in such work will be of the highest importance. It is a work for the state and the nation, but I fear they will be too slow to recognize the long-time requirements of the work. Political institutions demand too quick results. I feel that the most hopeful method of accomplishing some of the ideals outlined is through endowed institutions. To what more serviceable task could benefactions be devoted than to the solution of such problems, and what type of institution would return more credit to the donor? Institutions to conduct such work could be tied up with some of our great universities to establish the proper scientific relationship, and should be in such close cooperation with these universities that graduate students could be utilized in connection with the investigations and trained in the service.

In summarizing this discussion I may say that to one unfamiliar with the possibilities of breeding the outcome of such experiments may appear doubtful. We need no lamp to guide us except that of experience. When we realize the little promise exhibited by the native grapes, tomatoes and potatoes from which our cultivated sorts have sprung, we gain a conception of the tremendous increases that can be brought about by a century of cultivation, even when the breeding is of desultory nature. Couple with a century of time, aye fifty years, the skill of trained breeders, and what might we not accomplish. The greatness of the possibilities stretches before the enthusiastic breeder as his mind spans the years filled with the battles of conquest and achievement in the building up of new industries, like a panorama of the wars and struggles in the building of a nation. Man's creative genius is touched. It appeals to him in its vastness as a challenge. The trained man in the field of breeding feels the certainty of his power. He longs for the conquest.