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Ag Fair


Transactions of the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society
Henry L. Whiting, Esq.

Few have known or thought of Martha’s Vineyard, as an agricultural
district, and one capable of becoming as interesting and important as
any in the Commonwealth. Some perhaps, have heard of Gay Head – but
they hardly know where it is, or what it is.

Our farming operations are carried on after our own fashion, and based
upon the results, simply of our own experience. This may be well – but
sometimes a valuable hint is obtained, by looking over one’s fence to
see how a neighbor is progressing. The Vineyard Sound presents a
barrier to such an interchange.

Martha’s Vineyard is not an insignificant portion of the Commonwealth,
and as an agricultural district, has many important peculiarities. It
possesses a great variety of soils, and a great variety of surface.

In view of these facts, and to keep our young men at home, to give
more attention to our agricultural resources, something was necessary
to be done.

The first public movement connected with the “Martha’s Vineyard
Agricultural Society,” was a call upon the inhabitants of the Island,
published in the Vineyard Gazette, of March 26, 1858, to meet at the
County Academy, in West Tisbury, on Saturday, April 3, at 1 o’clock,

On the day appointed, quite a number of farmers, and other interested
in the cause were in attendance, and much interest was manifested.

The following resolution was then offered and adopted:
Resolved, that the attainment and diffusion of scientific and
practical knowledge in the cultivation of the soil, is a subject of
such importance as to demand the associated effort of the farmers of
Dukes County.

Mr. Benjamin Luce followed the resolution with some humorous and
pertinent remarks. He thought the word scientific might, to some, be
quite alarming, it carried the idea of disrelish for labor. But we
could learn a good deal yet before we were unfitted by our scientific
knowledge to enact our part as laborers.