First Look Book Review

Book Celebrates Ag Research Accomplishments

(Courtesy of the publisher)

Just two years after the first issue of Progressive Farmer was published, Congress passed the Hatch Act in 1887. It provided funding to support agricultural experiment stations in each state in conjunction with the land-grant universities. Since then, bright minds have taken their ideas to the field, helping to fuel a revolution across America's farms and ranches that dramatically increased productivity.

Public funding for ag research and development (R&D) has steadily declined over the years, raising concerns for the country's future agricultural growth and competitiveness. Between 1970 and 2008 the public sector financed 50% of total food and ag research conducted in the U.S. By 2013, it had fallen to 30%, with the private sector making considerable investments in R&D.

Gale Buchanan says to ensure adequate public support, research leaders need to do a better job communicating to the general public and policymakers the role research has played in the country's agriculture success story and the overall well-being of society. Buchanan is a former chief scientist and undersecretary for research, education and economics. He also served as dean and director of the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station at Auburn University, and dean and director emeritus of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at the University of Georgia.

He has written several books on ag research. His latest, "Agricultural Research: What Has It Done For You?" provides some of the historic accomplishments in agricultural research and is a good read for those who enjoy learning facts surrounding the country's efforts in ag R&D. Did you ever wonder what experiment station developed the slow-moving vehicle emblem or contributed to the concept of converting ag biomass into ethanol? You'll find answers to these questions and many other ag innovations in Buchanan's book.

To order, go to Amazon and search for agricultural research book by Gale Buchanan, and it will show this book and others he has authored.


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