History of Bucks County, Pa Volume 3 by William H. Davis
Names and Page # Index



THE NATIONAL FARM SCHOOL In the summer of 1894, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, of Philadelphia, visited Russia in an effort to secure data concerning the condition of the Jews in that country and to urge means for its amelioration. While there he observed the astonishing zeal with which Jews pursued agriculture within the limits allowed by the Russian Government. He saw a people yearning, not as common prejudice has assumed, for a life of trade, but for opportunities to work out there existence from the soil. He further visited, at the suggestion of Count Tolstoi, the Jewish Agricultural School at Odessa, the end and aim of whose activity was the graduation of practical working farmers, and instructors and managers of agricultural colonies. The avidity with which the Jewish lads avail themselves of the facilities thus given them convinced him that the agricultural instincts, fostered in Bible times, still lingered, and needed by opportunity for their manifestation.

On his return to America, Dr. Krauskopf proceeded to formulate plans for the institution of a Farm School, which, while welcoming all students regardless of creed, might satisfy the demand of large numbers of Jews for agricultural opportunities. After months of agitation sufficient funds were procured for the purchase of a farm and the erection of adequate buildings thereon. On April 10, 1896 the National Farm School was incorporated. The Watson farm, situated a mile from Doylestown, the county seat of Bucks, was purchased, where school buildings were erected, and the school opened with fifteen pupils in its first class. The school is a purely technical institution which as for its purpose the education of young men in both practical and scientific agriculture. The course of instruction continues for four years. The entrance requirements are those ordinarily demanded of candidates to enter a good high school. The grade of instruction is somewhat higher than that of a high school, because the length of the school year is 11 months. The academic studies consist of instruction in many of the different branches of agriculture and horticulture, general, analytical and agricultural chemistry; general and agricultural physics, animal hygiene, United States history, English, mathematics and surveying. The technical or practical agriculture is required of each pupil every day for three hours, and during the summer months the time is extended to seven hours per day. All of the work on the farm is performed by the pupils. The young men graduating from the school are sufficiently proficient to take positions in the United States Department of Agriculture at Washington and with different Experiment Stations, and some have full charge of farms, other conduct dairies, while others go into farming for themselves.

The facilities for instruction consist of a home farm of 122 acres, well stocked with fifty head of cattle, fifteen horses, sheep, swine and poultry. There is donated or loaned to the school from the manufacturers for use and instruction every kind of a farm implement that is considered of practical use on a Pennsylvania farm. There is also a well equipped dairy where the pupils are taught how to make butter. In addition to these advantages the school possesses two farms of about forty acres each, which are equipped as model farms, and which are used for post-graduate instruction, upon which the graduates of the school have practice in superintendence. One also finds at this school well equipped laboratories of chemistry and physics with surveying instruments and a good greenhouse, together with orchards and vineyards and small fruit gardens, for instruction in horticulture. A library consisting of over 2,000 well chosen books adds greatly to the equipment of all departments. A comfortable dormitory provides a home for forty-five pupils, which is the number enrolled for January 1, 1906. A large number of names are on the waiting list due to the school's limited accommodations.

The president of the board of managers is the Rev. Dr. Joseph Krauskopf, of Philadelphia; the secretary is Mr. Harry Felix; the director of the school is John H. Washburn, Ph. D.

Text taken from page of: 276-277

Davis, William W. H., A.M., History of Bucks County, Pennsylvania [New York-Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1905] Volume III

Transcribed October 2001 as part of the Bucks Co., Early Family Project, www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/bucksindex.html

Published October 2001 on the Bucks county, Pa., USGenWeb pages at www.rootsweb.com/~pabucks/

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