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Cultivating Science, Harvesting PowerScience and Industrial Agriculture in California$
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Christopher R. Henke

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262083737

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262083737.001.0001

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A New Agrarian Ideal: Foundations of Cooperative Extension

A New Agrarian Ideal: Foundations of Cooperative Extension

(p.21) 2 A New Agrarian Ideal: Foundations of Cooperative Extension
Cultivating Science, Harvesting Power

Christopher R. Henke

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on Cooperative Extension, an institution of repair created during the twentieth century to bring U.S. agriculture into industrial agriculture. Debates on whether U.S. agriculture should follow the industrialization of farming or the agrarian ideal of small independent farms are presented. Instead of resolving issues for U.S. agriculture, Cooperative Extension created an institutional identity crisis for farm advisors. The chapter discusses the introduction of the Cooperative Extension to California. Despite the introduction of Cooperative Extension, farm advisors were not able to solve the problems the growers were facing because they had little experience with niche crops. The role of farm advisors in promoting farming practices that helped to create industrial agricultural’s technological and economic infrastructure is presented.

Keywords:   Cooperative Extension, industrial agriculture, farm advisors, technological infrastructure, economic infrastructure

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