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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The Farm Cadets

The Farm Cadets.

There are at present eleven cadets at Ruakura, this number exhausting the present available accommodation for the purpose. This purpose is to pro-Tide such training at the State farms as will make good farmers as distinguished from technical agricultural experts and instructors. The latter, it is hoped, will be turned out in sufficient numbers by agricultural colleges in affiliation with the University colleges. The training of a youth to become a practical farmer includes teaching him how to do the actual work required on a farm, and also the best methods to follow in tillage cropping, stock and dairy management, based on a broad knowledge of the scientific principles which govern the best farming practice. Each cadet is required to take the part of a farm hand in all the work of the farm. He is supposed to stay at least one year at the farm, but is not bound to do so He may stay two years if he desires, but not longer under present regulations. I agree with Mr M'Connell, the manager, in thinking that, if in his opinion considered suitable, a cadet should be allowed to stay on for three years to get the full benefit of the excellent training given at Ruakura. At present nothing is paid by the cadet, even for board and lodging, which is, as it should be, substantial and comfortable. For the first three months the cadet earns nothing as wages for the work done, as in the case of inexperienced boys it is naturally worth very little. After that, if the manager considers he is worth it, the youth is paid 5s a week for the first year and 17s 6d a week for the second. The Agricultural Department reserves the right, at the discretion of the manager and on his report, to terminate a cadet's stay at the institution at any time. The boys are under the absolute control of the manager, who keeps a fatherly supervision over them after working hours, and none may leave the farm without his permission.