Read e-book online Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power: Science and PDF

By Christopher R. Henke

Just south of San Francisco lies California's Salinas Valley, the guts of a multi-billion buck agricultural that dominates U. S. vegetable construction. How did the sleepy valley defined within the tales of John Steinbeck turn into the nation's "salad bowl"? In Cultivating technology, Harvesting strength, Christopher R. Henke explores the ways in which technology helped construct the Salinas Valley and California's broader farm undefined. Henke makes a speciality of the case of collage of California "farm advisors," scientists stationed in counties during the country who've progressed to aid growers care for crises starting from hard work shortages to plagues of bugs. those disruptions in what Henke phrases commercial agriculture's "ecology of power" offer a window onto how agricultural scientists and growers have collaborated--and struggled---in shaping this undefined. via those interventions, Henke argues, technology has served as a mechanism of fix for commercial agriculture. Basing his research on exact ethnographic and historic learn, Henke examines the background of state-sponsored farm advising--in specific, its roots in innovative period politics--and appears to be like at either earlier and current practices by means of farm advisors within the Salinas Valley. He is going directly to study particular examples, together with the answer of a farm exertions concern in the course of international conflict II on the Spreckels Sugar corporation, using box trials for selling new farming practices, and farm advisors' and growers' responses to environmental concerns. past this, Henke argues that the concept that of fix is extensively acceptable to different circumstances and that services should be deployed extra normally to motivate swap for the way forward for American agriculture.

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Additional resources for Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power: Science and Industrial Agriculture in California (Inside Technology)

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The trouble with farming is that it hasn’t enough of them. ” (April 1931, 3–5) This quotation makes the moralistic character of Crocheron’s Progressivism quite clear. Growers who did not have the brains and ability to increase the efficiency of their land were not only doomed, they were actually responsible for the poor market conditions. This argument also further naturalized the failure of certain growers; those who could not plan and adjust properly for hard times were ignorant and would be the losers in a struggle for survival.

The Morrill Act granted states 30,000 acres of land per member of Congress, and the land was to be sold in order to fund universities that would train the rural populace in agriculture and other practical vocations. Many states readily established universities under the land-grant system, including the University of California campus at Berkeley, founded in 1868. In fact, today, when someone refers to a state university in the United States, they are likely referring to a university that was founded under the Morrill Act.

They are the men on the best land who are getting high yields by means of their land and good methods. Furthermore, they have enough land so that if the profit per acre is smaller A New Agrarian Ideal 39 than formerly, there is still enough margin to support the family. These fortunate farmers are more numerous than most people realize. They usually keep quiet so [they] are not easily manifest. The records in our office show, however, that they are not as infrequent as some people suppose. Many of them are willing to give large credit to the farm advisors whose advice they have taken and whose work has resulted in the maintenance of many a farm family which would otherwise have failed.

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