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A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929
At a time when food is becoming increasingly scarce in many parts of the world and food prices are skyrocketing, no industry is more important than agriculture. Humans have been farming for thousands of years, and yet agriculture has undergone more fundamental changes in the past 80 years than in the previous several centuries. In 1900, 30 million American farmers tilled the soil or tended livestock; today there are fewer than 4.5 million farmers who feed a population four times larger than it was at the beginning of the century. Fifty years ago, the planet could not have sustained a population of 6.5 billion; now, commercial and industrial agriculture ensure that millions will not die from starvation. Farmers are able to feed an exponentially growing planet because the greatest industrial revolution in history has occurred in agriculture since 1929, with U.S. farmers leading the way. Productivity on American farms has increased tenfold, even as most small farmers and tenants have been forced to find other work. Today, only 300,000 farms produce approximately ninety percent of the total output, and overproduction, largely subsidized by government programs and policies, has become the hallmark of modern agriculture. A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture since 1929 charts the profound changes in farming that have occurred during author Paul K. Conkin's lifetime. His personal experiences growing up on a small Tennessee farm complement compelling statistical data as he explores America's vast agricultural transformation and considers its social, political, and economic consequences. He examines the history of American agriculture, showing how New Deal innovations evolved into convoluted commodity programs following World War II. Conkin assesses the skills, new technologies, and government policies that helped transform farming in America and suggests how new legislation might affect farming in decades to come. Although the increased production and mechanization of farming has been an economic success story for Americans, the costs are becoming increasingly apparent. Small farmers are put out of business when they cannot compete with giant, non-diversified corporate farms. Caged chickens and hogs in factory-like facilities or confined dairy cattle require massive amounts of chemicals and hormones ultimately ingested by consumers. Fertilizers, new organic chemicals, manure disposal, and genetically modified seeds have introduced environmental problems that are still being discovered. A Revolution Down on the Farm concludes with an evaluation of farming in the twenty-first century and a distinctive meditation on alternatives to our present large scale, mechanized, subsidized, and fossil fuel and chemically dependent system.87% (12)
Agriculture Minister and MLAs visit 4H auction
Agriculture Minister Don McRae, Surrey-Tynehead MLA Dave Hayer, and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett at the annual 4H show and sale in Williams Lake. Aug. 23, 2011Agriculture Minister visits with cattlemen at family farm
Agriculture Minister Don McRae with Chilcotin farmers and Cattlemen at the Madley family farm in the Kamloops area.
Rudolf Steiner, the often undervalued, multifaceted genius of modern times, contributed much to the regeneration of culture. In addition to his philosophical teachings, he provided ideas for the development of many practical activities including education—both general and special—agriculture, medicine, economics, architecture, science, religion, and the arts. Today there are thousands of schools, clinics, farms, and many other organizations based on his ideas.See also:
Steiner's original contribution to human knowledge was based on his ability to conduct spiritual research, the investigation of metaphysical dimensions of existence. With his scientific and philosophical training, he brought a new systematic discipline to the field, allowing for conscious methods and comprehensive results. A natural seer from childhood, he cultivated his spiritual vision to a high degree, enabling him to speak with authority on previously veiled mysteries of life.
Topics include: the evolving human being; cosmos as the source of life; plants and the living earth; farms and the realms of nature; bringing the chemical elements to life; soil and the world of spirit; supporting and regulating life processes; spirits of the elements; nutrition and vitality; responsibility for the future.
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