This section is from the book "The Potato: A Compilation of Information from Every Available Source", by Eugene H. Grubb, W. S. Guilford. Also available from Amazon: The Potato: A Compilation Of Information From Every Available Source.
The acres of land in the world capable of producing crops can and must produce a greater annual tonnage of food in order to feed the people, unless there be some unforeseen calamity to stop the rate of increase of population.
The production must be increased by better methods in the countries now producing the greatest total crops, and undeveloped and semi-developed countries and districts must be brought up to the limit of their producing possibilities.
During the past decade more attention has been paid to the potato in America than at any period. This interest must continue because of the increasing importance to the world of all food crops.
A number of educational factors are at work in this country. Among these are the agricultural colleges and experiment stations, the farmers' institutes and the great transportation interests.
Great good has been accomplished in the development of districts by the railroads. It is true, of course, that the reason for this is the increase in tonnage, but the result has been of great benefit to individual growers.
Some of the potato districts in the United States.
D. E. Burley.
C. H. Schlaacks - Prominent railroad men intensely interested in potato growing.
The first railroad to operate a special potato instruction train was the Denver Rio Grande in Colorado. C. H. Schlaacks, now vice-president of the Western Pacific, was vice-president of the Rio Grande at the time of the beginning of this work, and credit is due him for its initiation. He was the first man in America to grasp the great importance of this work.
The first train consisted of five cars, carrying practical growers as instructors, specimen implements to improve crop production, and approved types of seed. The train travelled over the entire system - 1,700 miles. In five years the production of potatoes in this territory was quadrupled.
D. E. Burley, general passenger agent of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, Salt Lake City, Utah, was the first man to put up his own money for prizes for the best potatoes grown in his territory. He also ran a special potato train through Utah and Idaho over 3,500 miles of railroad. This gave great aid to potato growers in a big, undeveloped territory. His work in the interests of agriculture in the Northwest is far-reaching in its effect.
Following are the blanks and other documents used in the Burley contest: