Industry and Academia in Ag

Dave Mavonado came to speak to the class about Industry and Academia in Agriculture and how much it has evolved since it all started. The main thing that he talked about was how much the agricultural business has changed and developed over the last century. The reason why it has changed so drastically was because of the four topics Dave spoke about: labor, mechanics, chemical usage, and biotechnology. Back in the day, it was all hands on deck. Farmers mainly relied on the use of animals for labor. Such as pulling plows. There would also be groups of people in the fields harvesting the produce by hand because they didn’t have combines or tractors like we do today. It wasn’t up until steel came about that helped the agricultural industry evolve the way it did. Tractors slowly started making its way into the business and helped the farmers produce a higher yield of crops because they were able to get through everything much faster. Next was the use of chemicals. This allowed protection of the plants to repel itself from pests that might damage or kill the crop. Finally, biotechnology. With biotechnology we are able to produce a much higher yield in a shorter time frame without harming the produce like GMO’s. There’s also CRISPR which allows scientists to take a certain gene out of the plants DNA and make it better so the farmer can produce more.

Dave also talked about the different grants that were and still are available today. The Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 established the raising of funds to create land-grant colleges. The Morrill Acts mission was to take kids who did not know a thing about agriculture and teach them about practical agriculture, science, and engineering. But in order for kids to learn about agriculture they needed the land. Hatch Act of 1887 lead to the creation of agriculture experiment stations to be affiliated with the land grants. If it wasn’t for these grants who knows what the agricultural industry would be like today.

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