History of Ag--Lesson 1


Principles of Agriculture

Recognizing The Role Of Agriculture In Society


Determining The History Of Agriculture

Student Learning Objectives

 Define agriculture and the agriculture industry  Identify important historical developments in agriculture  Explain major technological developments in agriculture

 Agriculture industry  Agriculture  Agribusiness  Aquaculture  Biotechnology


 Domestication  Farming  Forestry  Inventions  Natural Resources

Terms (continued)

 Ornamental Horticulture  Suburban Farming  Technology

Objective One

Define Agriculture and The Agriculture Industry

What is Agriculture?


is the science of growing crops and raising animals to meet the needs of humans

What is the Ag Industry ?

 Involves all activities involved with providing people with food, clothing, and shelter  Includes farm operations, and  Nonfarm operations  Largest industry in America

What are Farming Operations?

 Uses land and other resources to grow crops and raise animals  Includes conventional farming, suburban farming, aquaculture, and forestry

Conventional Farming

 Larger acreage of land growing typical grains of corn, soybeans, wheat, and other similar crops  Producing larger numbers of animals like swine, beef and dairy cattle, and sheep

Suburban Farming

 Normally involves smaller areas of land  Normally found in residential or business locations  Typical products would include vegetable crops and small animals


 “Farming the Water”  Involves raising fish or similar aquatic animals  Also includes producing aquatic plants like water cress or water chestnuts


 Involves the production and use of trees

What are Nonfarm Operations?

 Normally referred to as Agribusiness  Agribusiness is nonfarm work in areas such as ag supplies, services, marketing, and product processing

Agriculture Also Makes the Lives of People Better

 Ornamental Horticulture produces flowers and plants for their beauty  Natural Resources involve working with things found in nature like soil, water, and air

Objective Two

Identify Important Historical Developments in Agriculture

Two Important Groups of People That Affected Early Agriculture

 Native Americans  Colonists

Native Americans

 Includes Indians, Hawaiians, and Eskimos  Hunting and gathering met their food and fiber needs  Indians first began simple farming  By 1000 AD, corn is being grown in large plots


 Learned many successful ag practices from Native Americans  Credited with early domestication animals, which is the taming, of confinement, and breeding of animals for human use

Objective Three

 Explain major technological developments in agriculture

What is Technology?

 Technology is the application of knowledge to practical use  Uses inventions (new devices, products, or ways of doing work) for easier work and better living

History of American Agriculture 1776-1990

Farm Machinery and Technology

18th Century

 Oxen and Horses used for power  Crude wooden plows  Sowing and cultivating by hand  Harvested grain with sickle  Threshing grain with flail

1776 To 1799

 Cradle and scythe introduced  1793--Cotton Gin invented  1794- Thomas Jefferson’s moldboard of least resistance tested  1797--Charles Newbold patented first cast iron plow  Charles Townsend develops crop rotation systems

1800 To 1830

 1819--Jethro Wood patented iron plow with interchangeable parts  US food canning industry was established  Gregor Mendel discovers basic principles of heredity


 250 hours needed to produce 100 bushels (five acres) of wheat  1834--McCormick Reaper patented  1837--John Deere began making steel plows  1837--Practical Threshing machine patented


 1841--Practical grain drill patented  1842--First grain elevator in Buffalo, New York  1844--Practical mower patented  1847--Irrigation begun in Utah  1849--Mixed chemical fertilizers sold commercially


 75 hours needed to produce 100 bushels (2.5 acres) of wheat  1854--Self-governing windmill perfected  1856--2 horse straddle-row cultivator patented


 Use of horses keys first American ag revolution  Gang and sulky plows came into use  1868--Steam tractors tried out  1869--Spring-tooth harrow appears  USDA established


 Silos came into use  Deep well drilling first widely used  1874--Joseph Glidden patents barbed wire. Era of open range grazing ends


 1880--William Deering put 3000 twine binders on the market  1884--Horse drawn combine used in Pacific Coast wheat areas


 1890--Cream separators came into wide use  50 labor hours required to produce 100 bushels (5 acres) wheat  40 labor hours required to produce 100 bushels (2.5 acres) corn

1900 To 1910

 Annual commercial fertilizer consumption 3.7 million tons  George Washington Carver finds new uses for peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans. Ag in southern United States diversifies  First successful gas tractor is built

1910 To 1920

 Annual commercial fertilizer consumption 6.1 million tons  Big open-geared gas tractors came into use  1919--Small prairie type combine with auxiliary engine introduced


 1926--Successful light tractor developed  1926--Cotton stripper developed  Increased ag production results from expanded use of mechanized power


 Annual commercial fertilizer consumption 6.5 million tons  Rubber tired tractor with complementary machinery came into use  20 labor hours required to produce 100 bushels (2.5 acres) corn


 One farmer supplies 10.7 other people  Change from horses to tractors leads to second American ag revolution  Frozen foods popularized  Annual commercial fertilizer consumption 13.6 million tons


 One farmer supplies 15.5 others  1954--Number of tractors on farms exceeds number of horses for first time  Anhydrous ammonia use increases, spurring higher yields


 One farmer supplies 25.8 others  Annual commercial fertilizer consumption 32.3 million tons  5 labor hours required to produce 100 bushels (3.3 acres) wheat using 14 ft. drill and 14 ft. self propelled combine


 No-till agriculture popularized  One farmer supplies 75.8 others  3 hours labor required to produce 100 bushels (1 1/8 acres) corn using tractor, 5 bottom plow, 20 ft. disk, 12 ft. self propelled combine


 More farmers using low-till methods to reduce erosion  Farmers using low-input sustainable agriculture (LISA) techniques to reduce chemical applications

Other 20th Century Advancements

 Improved varieties of crop seeds  Development of chemicals to control weeds, insects and other pests  Genetic engineering implemented to improve crops and livestock  Widespread application of computers

Other 20th Century Advancements

 Biotechnology --putting our scientific knowledge of biology (plants and animals) to practical use  BT corn and Roundup Ready Soybeans for example