Adapting to the Land examines the extent to which Colorado agriculturists adapted to or stretched beyond the limits of land and water. Historian John F. Freeman and horticultural scientist Mark E. Uchanski document the state’s agricultural history and provide context for the shift away from traditional forms of agriculture to the use of synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides—and, most recently, to more values-driven practices to support the burgeoning popularity of natural and organic foods. This shift has resulted in the establishment of the global organic food processing and distribution industry, which has roots in Colorado.
Ancestral Puebloans farmed and grazed within the limits of nature. Early settlers adjusted their cultivation methods through trial and error, while later agriculturists relied on research and technical advice from the Colorado Agricultural College. As part of wartime mobilization, the federal government prompted farmers to efficiently increase yields. To meet the demand for food and fiber scientific and technical innovations led to the development of new plant cultivars and livestock breeds, advances in mechanization, and widespread use of synthetic amendments. Increasing concern over soil fertility and the loss of irrigation water to urbanization contributed to more changes. Despite, or perhaps because of, what we see today along the Front Range, Colorado may still have a chance to slow or even reverse its seemingly unrestrained growth, creating a more vibrant, earth-friendly society in which agriculture plays an increasingly significant part. Scientific discoveries and innovations in regenerative cultivation are clearing the path to a more sustainable future.
Adapting to the Land adds an ecological and horticultural perspective to historical interpretations of recurring agricultural issues in the state and tracks the concept of stewardship, suggesting that spiritual beliefs continue to contribute to debates over acceptable agricultural practices and the effects of urbanization upon the land. This book will be a key resource for students, scholars, and general readers interested in agricultural and Colorado history, sustainability, and rural sociology.
During the first half of the twentieth century, degradation, poverty, and hopelessness were commonplace for African Americans who lived in the South’s countryside, either on farms or in rural communities. Many southern blacks sought relief from these conditions by migrating to urban centers. Many others, however, continued to live in rural areas. Scholars of African American rural history in the South have been concerned primarily with the experience of blacks as sharecroppers, tenant farmers, textile workers, and miners. Less attention has been given to other aspects of the rural African American experience during the early twentieth century.
African American Life in the Rural South, 1900–1950 provides important new information about African American culture, social life, and religion, as well as economics, federal policy, migration, and civil rights. The essays particularly emphasize the efforts of African Americans to negotiate the white world in the southern countryside.
Filling a void in southern studies, this outstanding collection provides a substantive overview of the subject. Scholars, students, and teachers of African American, southern, agricultural, and rural history will find this work invaluable.
Agrarian Environments questions the dichotomies that have structured earlier analyses of environmental processes in India and offers a new way of looking at the relationship between agrarian transformation and environmental change. The contributors claim that attempts to explain environmental conflicts in terms of the local versus the global, indigenous versus outsiders, women versus men, or the community versus the market or state obscure vital dynamics of mobilization and organization that critically influence thought and policy. Editors Arun Agrawal and K. Sivaramakrishnan claim that rural social change in India cannot be understood without exploring how environmental changes articulate major aspects of agrarian transformations—technological, cultural, and political—in the last two centuries. In order to examine these issues, they have reached beyond the confines of single disciplinary allegiances or methodological loyalties to bring together anthropologists, historians, political scientists, geographers, and environmental scientists who are significantly informed by interdisciplinary research. Drawing on extensive field and archival research, the contributors demonstrate the powerful political implications of blurring the boundaries between dichotomous cultural representations, combine conceptual analyses with specific case studies, and look at why competing powers chose to emphasize particular representations of land use or social relations. By providing a more textured analysis of how categories emerge and change, this work offers the possibility of creating crucial alliances across populations that have historically been assumed to lack mutual goals. Agrarian Environments will be valuable to those in political science, Asian studies, and environmental studies.
Contributors. Arun Agrawal, Mark Baker, Molly Chattopadhyaya, Vinay Gidwani, Sumit Guha, Shubhra Gururani, Cecile Jackson, David Ludden, Haripriya Rangan, Paul Robbins, Vasant Saberwal, James C. Scott, K. Sivaramakrishnan, Ajay Skaria, Jennifer Springer, Darren Zook
With unprecedented use of local and national sources, Lauria-Santiago presents a more complex portrait of El Salvador than has ever been ventured before. Using thoroughly researched regional case studies, Lauria-Santiago challenges the accepted vision of Central America in the nineteenth century and critiques the "liberal oligarchic hegemony" model of El Salvador. He reveals the existence of a diverse, commercially active peasantry that was deeply involved with local and national networks of power.
The troubled history of democracy in Latin America has been the subject of much scholarly commentary. This volume breaks new ground by systematically exploring the linkages among the historical legacies of large landholding patterns, agrarian class relations, and authoritarian versus democratic trajectories in Latin American countries. The essays address questions about the importance of large landownders for the national economy, the labor needs and labor relations of these landowners, attempts of landowners to enlist the support of the state to control labor, and the democratic forms of rule in the twentieth century.
The second volume in the American Historical Association's global history series introduces readers to the cross-cultural study of ancient and classical civilizations. The opening essay by Jerry Bentley surveys methodologies and critical interpretations that have been essential to the development of comparative historical analysis. These include contributions from the fields of sociology, archaeology, linguistics, and anthropology, and recent investigative practices that honor previously neglected groups and validate testimony passed down through oral traditions. The first set of essays highlight predominant themes in global history by examining the ongoing interactions between ancient agrarian and nomadic societies as well as the impact of these exchanges on economic development and cross-cultural adaptation. The essays in the second section focus on regional patterns in the dissemination of ideas, institutions, and material culture.
By highlighting key historical transitions and recurring cultural patterns, this book provides an engaging introduction to the complexities of human development. Written by leading scholars in the field, the historiographic essays in Agricultural and Pastoral Societies in Ancient and Classical History offer students and teachers a comprehensive overview of the arguments, applications, and resources that inform comparative global history.
Agricultural Cooperation was first published in 1957. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Much has been written and published on the general subject of agricultural cooperation, but the material has been scattered and hard to find until now. The volume makes available in convenient form a selection of the most significant articles and excerpts from books, magazines, pamphlets, and other publications. It provides a comprehensive view of the development of farmers' cooperatives in the United States and an evaluation of their relation to the present economy.
The 54 articles are by 49 different contributors from various branches of cooperative activity. Among them are professors of agricultural economies, government research experts in agricultural cooperation, officers and members of cooperative organizations, as well as government officials including former Secretary of Agriculture Clinton P. Anderson and Senators Paul H. Douglas and George D. Aiken. J. K. Stern, president of the American Institute of Cooperation, contributes a foreword.
The articles deal significantly with such broad subjects as the economic and social forces that have shaped the development of cooperatives, the place of cooperative organizations in helping to meet the present-day needs of agriculture, and the role of these farmer-owned businesses in the nation's economy.
Author Denise C. Hodges examines the osteological remains from 14 archaeological sites in the Valley of Oaxaca, Mexico, in an attempt to address the relationship between the intensification of agriculture and the health status of the prehistoric population. Volume 9 of the subseries Prehistory and Human Ecology of the Valley of Oaxaca.
Nitrogen is an essential element for plant growth and development and a key agricultural input-but in excess it can lead to a host of problems for human and ecological health. Across the globe, distribution of fertilizer nitrogen is very uneven, with some areas subject to nitrogen pollution and others suffering from reduced soil fertility, diminished crop production, and other consequences of inadequate supply.
Agriculture and the Nitrogen Cycle provides a global assessment of the role of nitrogen fertilizer in the nitrogen cycle. The focus of the book is regional, emphasizing the need to maintain food and fiber production while minimizing environmental impacts where fertilizer is abundant, and the need to enhance fertilizer utilization in systems where nitrogen is limited. The book is derived from a workshop held by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) in Kampala, Uganda, that brought together the world's leading scientists to examine and discuss the nitrogen cycle and related problems. It contains an overview chapter that summarizes the group's findings, four chapters on cross-cutting issues, and thirteen background chapters.
The book offers a unique synthesis and provides an up-to-date, broad perspective on the issues of nitrogen fertilizer in food production and the interaction of nitrogen and the environment.
A comprehensive, original, and innovative analysis of the social, economic, and political factors affecting contemporary Russian reform, the book is organized around the central question of the role of the state and its effect on the course of Russian agrarian reform. In the wake of the collapse of the USSR, contemporary conventional wisdom holds the the Russian state is “weak.” Stephen Wegren feels that the traditional approach to the weak/strong state suffers from measurement and circular logic problems, believing that the Russian state, thought weaker than in its Soviet past, is still relatively stronger than other actors. The state’s strength allows it to intervene in the rural sector in ways that other power contender cannot.
Specifically, as a measure of state intervention, Wegren analyzes how the state has influenced urban-rural relations, rural-rural relations, and the nonstate (private) agricultural sector. Several dilemmas arose that have complicated successful agrarian reform as a result of the nature of state interventions, how reform policies were defined, and the incentives rhar arose from state-sponsored policies. During contemporary Russian agrarian reform, urban-rural differences have widened, marked by a deterioration in rural standards of living and increased alienation of rural political groups from urban alliances. At the same time, within the rural sector, reform failed to reverse rural egalitarianism. In addition, the nature of state interventions has undermined attempts to create a vibrant, productive private rural sector based on private farming.
Wegren’s research is based upon extensive field work, interviews, archival documents, and published and unpublished source material conducted over a six-year period, and he demonstrates the link between agrarian reform and the success of overall reform in Russia. This learned and often controversial volume will interest political scientists, policy makers, and scholars and students of contemporary Russia.
The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science, and Technology for Development (IAASTD) looks realistically at how we could effectively use agriculture/AKST to help us meet development and sustainability goals. An unprecedented three-year collaborative effort, the IAASTD involved more than 400 authors in 110 countries and cost more than $11 million. It report on the advances and setbacks of the past fifty years and offers options for the next fifty years.
The results of the project are contained in seven reports: a Global Report, five regional Sub-Global Assessments, and a Synthesis Report. The Global Report gives the key findings of the Assessment, and the five Sub-Global Assessments address regional challenges. The volumes present options for action. All of the reports have been extensively peer-reviewed by governments and experts and all have been approved by a panel of participating governments. The Sub-Global Assessments all utilize a similar and consistent framework: examining and reporting on the impacts of AKST on hunger, poverty, nutrition, human health, and environmental/social sustainability. The five Sub-Global Assessments cover the following regions:
Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA)
East and South Asia and the Pacific (ESAP)
Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
North America and Europe (NAE)
Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)
Amidst Mad Cow scares and consumer concerns about how farm animals are bred, fed, and raised, many farmers and homesteaders are rediscovering the traditional practice of pastoral farming. Grasses, clovers, and forbs are the natural diet of cattle, horses, and sheep, and are vital supplements for hogs, chickens, and turkeys. Consumers increasingly seek the health benefits of meat from animals raised in green paddocks instead of in muddy feedlots.
In All Flesh Is Grass: The Pleasures and Promises of Pasture Farming, Gene Logsdon explains that well-managed pastures are nutritious and palatable—virtual salads for livestock. Leafy pastures also hold the soil, foster biodiversity, and create lovely landscapes. Grass farming might be the solution for a stressed agricultural system based on an industrial model and propped up by federal subsidies.
In his clear and conversational style, Logsdon explains historically effective practices and new techniques. His warm, informative profiles of successful grass farmers offer inspiration and ideas. His narrative is enriched by his own experience as a “contrary farmer” on his artisan-scale farm near Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
All Flesh Is Grass will have broad appeal to the sustainable commercial farmer, the home-food producer, and all consumers who care about their food.
American agriculture in the twentieth century has given the world one of its great success stories, a paradigm of productivity and plenty. Yet the story has its dark side, from the plight of the Okies in the 1930s to the farm crisis of the 1980s to today's concerns about low crop prices and the impact of biotechnology. Looking at U.S. farming over the past century, Bruce Gardner searches out explanations for both the remarkable progress and the persistent social problems that have marked the history of American agriculture.
Gardner documents both the economic difficulties that have confronted farmers and the technological and economic transformations that have lifted them from relative poverty to economic parity with the nonfarm population. He provides a detailed analysis of the causes of these trends, with emphasis on the role of government action. He reviews how commodity support programs, driven by interest-group politics, have spent hundreds of billions of dollars to little purpose. Nonetheless, Gardner concludes that by reconciling competing economic interests while fostering productivity growth and economic integration of the farm and nonfarm economies, the overall twentieth-century role of government in American agriculture is fairly viewed as a triumph of democracy.
Nearly 430 million acres of forests in the United States are privately owned, but the viability, and indeed the very existence, of these forests is increasingly threatened by population growth, sprawling urbanization, and patchwork development. Scientists, policymakers, and community leaders have begun to recognize the vital role of private forests in providing society with essential goods and services, from sustainable timber supplies to clean water. Yet despite the tremendous economic and ecological importance of private forests, information about their status and strategies for their protection have been in short supply.
America's Private Forests addresses that shortcoming, presenting extensive data gathered from diverse sources and offering a concise overview of the current status of privately owned forests in the United States. As well as describing the state of private forests, the book sets forth detailed information on a wide range of approaches to conservation along with an action agenda for implementing those strategies likely to be most effective. The book:
identifies the major threats to private forests in the United States
considers barriers to conservation
outlines the available tools and programs for promoting conservation
presents a "road map" to guide collective efforts for the conservation of private forests and their native biodiversity
Based on extensive research of existing literature as well as interviews and consultation with leading forestry and conservation experts, America's Private Forests is a unique sourcebook that offers a solid basis for discussion of threats to private forests along with an invaluable compendium of potential solutions. It will serve as an invaluable reference for all those working to conserve and steward forest resources, including forest owners and their consultants, conservation organizations, and agency personnel, as well as researchers and students involved with issues of forestry, biodiversity, land use, and conservation.
Ancient Forests of the Pacific Northwest provides a global context for what is happening in the Pacific Northwest, analyzing the remaining ancient forest and the threats to it from atmospheric changes and logging. It shows how human tampering affects an ecosystem, and how the Pacific Northwest could become a model for sustainable forestry worldwide.
Human activity during centuries of occupation significantly altered the landscape inhabited by the ancient Maya of northwestern Belize. In response, the Maya developed new techniques to harvest the natural resources of their surroundings, investing increased labor and raw materials into maintaining and even improving their ways of life. In this lively story of life in the wetlands on the outskirts of the major site of La Milpa, Julie Kunen documents a hitherto unrecognized form of intensive agriculture in the Maya lowlands—one that relied on the construction of terraces and berms to trap soil and moisture around the margins of low-lying depressions called bajos. She traces the intertwined histories of residential settlements on nearby hills and ridges and agricultural terraces and other farming-related features around the margins of the bajo as they developed from the Late Preclassic perios (400 BC-AD 250) until the area's abandonment in the Terminal Classic period (about AD 850). Kunen examines the organization of three bajo communities with respect to the use and management of resources critical to agricultural production. She argues that differences in access to spatially variable natural resources resulted in highly patterned settlement remains and that community founders and their descendents who had acquired the best quality and most diverse set of resources maintained an elevated status in the society. The thorough integration of three lines of evidence—the settlement system, the agricultural system, and the ancient environment—breaks new ground in landscape research and in the study of Maya non-elite domestic organization. Kunen reports on the history of settlement and farming in a small corner of the Maya world but demonstrates that for any study of human-environment interactions, landscape history consists equally of ecological and cultural strands of influence.
Every day, millions of people around the world sit down to a meal that includes meat. This book explores several questions as it examines the use of animals as food: How did the domestication and production of livestock animals emerge and why? How did current modes of raising and slaughtering animals for human consumption develop, and what are their consequences? What can be done to mitigate and even reverse the impacts of animal production? With insight into the historical, cultural, political, legal, and economic processes that shape our use of animals as food, Fitzgerald provides a holistic picture and explicates the connections in the supply chain that are obscured in the current mode of food production. Bridging the distance in animal agriculture between production, processing, consumption, and their associated impacts, this analysis envisions ways of redressing the negative effects of the use of animals as food. It details how consumption levels and practices have changed as the relationship between production, processing, and consumption has shifted. Due to the wide-ranging questions addressed in this book, the author draws on many fields of inquiry, including sociology, (critical) animal studies, history, economics, law, political science, anthropology, criminology, environmental science, geography, philosophy, and animal science.