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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The Manager of Ruakura

The Manager of Ruakura

In Mr Primrose M'Council the Department has secured the services of a man singularly well fitted for the position of manager of an experimental and demonstration farm where training is provided for the sons of farmers and others, which is intended to make them good farmers. The fact of whether he has or has not a paper diploma from some scientific institution, as an agricultural scientist, is of very little consequence. It is of far more importance that he should be, what Mr M'Connell is, experienced in the best farming practice. He is essentially a practical farmer on scientific lines. The whole bias of his mind is scientific in relation to farming practice, i.e., reliance on scientific principles, interpreted and made use of in the light of experience. Hit-or-miss, rule-of-thumb methods one feels certain Mr M'Connell would eschew. Anyone who has some knowledge of the subject who discussed any agricultural question with him will find his opinion to be that of a thoughtful man of experience, who is well read on all important aspects of up-to-date agriculture. He has none of the narrow-minded cocksureness of the theoretical "expert" white he has at the same time an intelligent appreciation of the value of the knowledge gained by expert research. Good farming is a tradition in his family, and he takes a keep personal interest in the problems which present themselves for solution by the progressive farmer, whose object is to make his calling as profitable to him-self and as useful to the country as possible. The manager at Ruakura is therefore, in my opinion, the very mar that is wanted for the position he occupies, both as regards the work or the farm and the teaching of the cadets.