Arguments of Agriculture
A Casebook in Contemporary Agricultural Controversy
Purdue University Press
OverviewThe Arguments of Agriculture presents the major issues, questions, and conflicting opinions of influential policymakers and critics concerning the role and future of modern agriculture. Today, while modern farm tools and chemicals take huge and unprecedented yields from those fields, they often cause an equally unprecedented loss of topsoil. Increased productivity has reduced the farming population drastically, and economic realities force many small farms out of business. A growing international market for food and fiber puts mounting pressure on farmers all over the world, even in traditional cultures, to use ever more sophisticated techniques to push their productivity higher – with new risks. Under this kind of pressure, the basic question about farming splits into several ones. There is a multitude of contradictory answers. The author urges the reader to weigh and consider all positions and supplies a primer in the basic arguments of agriculture. Each chapter begins with a series of hypothetical cases that illustrate the range of theoretical issues discussed in the chapter. The next section analyzes the basic issues, and the section entitled "Review" summarizes and contrasts the opinions of a number of prominent critics. Each chapter concludes with a list of recommended readings.
“. . . a well-written and well-informed introduction to the major issues and points of view currently under discussion throughout agriculture and agriculture research, both in the U.S and around the world . . . . Particularly noteworthy are the “cases’ which Wojcik discovered or constructed to lead off his chapters: they highlighted clearly the fact that 'the arguments of agriculture’ press in on real-world problems and decisions.”