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Official Guide to the Government Court: N.Z. Centennial Exhibition

Agriculture Department

Agriculture Department

In New Zealand, where the foundations of our economy are so firmly planted in the soil, it is imperative that the closest co-operation should exist between agriculture and the State. The units of agricultural and pastoral production are necessarily smaller than those found in the manufacturing industries, and the average farmer has neither the opportunities nor the capital resources of the manufacturer for the economic development of his property. Unlike the factory, the farm is not sheltered from the elements, the cycle of production is longer and subject to greater fluctuations than mechanised processes, and history has shown that prices for foodstuffs and raw materials are subject to wider variations than the returns for manufactured commodities.

One does not imply that the farmer should receive privileged treatment at the hands of the State, but at the same time, if he is to maintain his place in the national economy, the special circumstances of his calling must be taken into account by Governments in different countries. This principle is particularly applicable to New Zealand, which enjoys the highest external trade per capita in the world, and where practically the whole of that trade on the export side is made up of farm products. If either the price or the quantity of our exports decline, there must necessarily be a corresponding reduction in our imports, and an increased burden from overseas debt commitments. A healthy situation in our agricultural activities, therefore, must be reflected through the remainder of our economy.

In New Zealand, the aid to the farmer on the production side comes in on overwhelming measure from the Department of Agriculture, which carries out investigational, instructional and regulatory services in every phase of our primary industries.

The Department is under the control of the Minister of Agriculture, the Hon. W. Lee Martin, and the administrative officers are Mr. A. H. Cockayne (Director-General) and Mr . E. J. Fawcett (Assistant Director-General). From this central control the Department branches out into five divisions, the functions or which are as follows:

Live Stock Division (Director: W. C. Barry):—

Control of diseases of animals; inspection of live stock, meat, slaughter-houses

and town-supply dairies; rabbits and noxious weeds inspection; animal husbandry and advice to stock-owners; instruction in poultry-keeping, pig-raising, and wool-growing; operation of live-stock quarantine stations; registration of live-stock brands, slaughter-houses and town-supply dairies.

Animal Research Division (Director: J. F. Filmer):—

Investigation of diseases of animals and animal nutrition; operation of Ruakura Animal Research Station; operation of Wallaceville Veterinary Laboratory.

Dairy Division (Director: W. M. Singleton)—

Instruction in manufacture of butter, cheese, casein, etc.; inspection of dairy factories and factory-supply dairies; dairy-farm instruction; advice regarding formation of co-operative dairy companies, and factory buildings and plant; grading of dairy produce for export; C.O.R. testing of purebred dairy cows; official herd test; supervision of herd-testing associations; investigation in dairy bacteriology and chemistry; registration of dairy factories, etc.

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Fields Division (Director: R. B. Tennent):—

Agricultural instruction (advice in grassland management, top-dressing, ensilage-making, farm crops, etc.); direction of experimental areas and co-operative experiments; certification of seed potatoes, seed wheat, grasses and clovers, and other seeds; registration and inspection of fertilisers; hemp grading for export; instruction in milling; grain-grading; fostering of Young Farmers' Clubs; direction of Flock House, Bulls.

Horticulture Division (Director: W. K. Dallas):—

Instruction in fruit-production; horticultural advice; viticulture; direction of experimental orchards; inspection of orchards, vineyards, nurseries, and imported fruit and plants; instruction in bee-keeping; inspection of apiaries; grading of honey for export; instruction in tobacco culture; advice regarding orchard shelter-hedges, etc.; registration of orchards, nurseries and apiaries; operation of Te Kauwhata Horticultural Station.