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Saving American Agriculture

explanatory Essay
967 words
967 words
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Saving American Agriculture American agriculture has changed dramatically since the first days of mechanized equipment and large-scale crop production. “Many conceived of farming as a rewarding life . . . and a source of moral virtue” (Mariola, 2005). While presently, many view farming as purely economic in purpose. It has been stated that farming in America is decreasing more quickly than any other occupation. Yet, population increases steadily, making agriculture all the more essential. Many current issues are affecting agricultural progress in America; basic concerns over water, land, and climate only begin to describe the complex predicament. Economics, as well as public involvement and education are important tools, needed to save American agriculture. Water is the chief resource for agricultural production. One historical dilemma between farming and water occurs when misapplication of chemicals and nutrients leach into the ground water table, or run off to rivers and streams, polluting this vital resource. “Twenty-five years after the Clean Water Act (CWA) was passed . . . [it was reported] that nearly 40% of waters were too polluted for basic uses” (Secchi et al, 2005). Projects to rehabilitate and conserve water often prove complex and expensive. Comprehensive understanding of the opportunity costs involved in management projects is key to forming an efficient conservation strategy. Similarly, it will be imperative to transition out-dated agricultural attitudes and routines towards new sustainable practices. The greatest motivation for this shift may be in the form of government subsidies and rewards for progressive, sustainable water management practices on agricultural lands. Favorable climate is another key... ... middle of paper ... ...3. Secchi, S., Gassman, P.W., Jha, M., Kurkalova, L., Feng, H.H., Campbell, T., & Kling, C. (2005). The cost of clean water: Assessing agricultural pollution reduction at the watershed scale. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Retrieved March 26, 2007, from http://www.card.iastate.edu Lamptey, B.L., Barron, E.J., & Pollard, D. (2005). Impacts of agriculture and urbanization on the climate of the northeastern United States. Global and Planetary Change. 49, 203-221. Cox, L.A. Jr., Popken, D.A., VanSickle, J.J., & Sahu, R. (2005). Optimal Tracking and Testing of U.S. and Canadian Herds for BSE: A Value-of-Information (VOI) Approach. Risk Analysis, 25, 827-839. Hwang, Y., Roe, B., & Teisl, M. (2005). An Empirical Analysis of United States Consumers' Concerns About Eight Food Production and Processing Technologies. AgBioForum. 8(1), 40-49.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that agriculture has changed dramatically since the first days of mechanized equipment and large-scale crop production. while many view farming as purely economic in purpose, population increases steadily making agriculture all the more essential.
  • Explains that water is the chief resource for agricultural production. misapplication of chemicals and nutrients leach into the ground water table, or run off to rivers and streams, polluting this vital resource.
  • Opines that a balanced, long-term, low-impact urbanization program can be established to conserve land essential for agricultural practice.
  • Explains that urbanization and other economic factors have impeded on past agricultural successes. outbreaks of illness and disease negatively impacted many agricultural productions.
  • Opines that if quality crops can be produced, harvested, and sold efficiently to a local community of consumers, huge economic and environmental benefits will be apparent.
  • Explains that many americans do not realize the fairly universal presence of genetically modified organisms (gmos) or the many beneficial aspects of modern agricultural biotechnology.
  • Opines that agriculture will continue to be of paramount importance to our nation's success. it is important to consider realistic versus idealistic goals, and economic opportunity costs for conservation efforts.
  • Cites matthew j. mariola, s. secchi, p.w. gassman, m. kurkalova, h.h. feng, t. campbell, and c. kling.
  • Explains lamptey, barron, e.j., and pollard, d. impacts of agriculture and urbanization on the northeastern united states.
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