PERSPECTIVE -- Civilization began with agriculture. When our nomadic ancestors began to settle and grow their own food, human society was forever changed. Not only did villages, towns and cities begin to flourish, but so did knowledge, the arts and the technological sciences.
And yet even though science is crucial to the prosperity of our country (the food industry is worth $230 billion after all), public funding for agricultural research has declined over the last three decades.
Agricultural science has focused on boosting production through the development of new this new technology called Biotechnology. It has achieved enormous yield gains as well as lower costs for large-scale farming. They have even started with Genetically modifying the crops. Efforts have been made to breed improved seeds, transform the cultivation system, and increase the fertility of land by using fertilizers. They have even started using fertilizers which are less toxic to animals and are easily bio-degradable.
Winners will be notified by Dec. 30, 2016. Scholarship is dependent upon acceptance into the University of Missouri fall semester 2017 with a declared major in Science and Agricultural Journalism.
Journal of Experimental Biology and Agricultural Sciences
Select the category you are most interested in (Science and Environment, Food, or Agriculture) and write an essay focused on the official topic for that category.
2017 Poster and Essay Contest: "Kentucky Farmers ..
The Science and Agricultural Journalism Program teaches students how to communicate (using traditional and new media) about issues that affect people's everyday lives. The degree is offered in partnership with the Missouri School of Journalism.
The above observations give hope for an almost complete recovery of abandoned land. But it is long-term ecological research projects (61, 62) (see also: National Science Foundation-Long Term Ecological Research programs – ; LTER) that have presented the scientific community with reliable data, allowing a far greater measure of insight into the process of recovery from encroachment. Twenty-seven countries are currently engaged in some form of long-term ecological research, while 19 LTER projects are conducted within the continental United States. One of the most intensively studied is Hubbard Brook in northern New Hampshire ( 63, 64, 65, 66). The area is a mixed boreal forest watershed that has been harvested at least three times in modern times (1700s-1967). The Hubbard Brook LTER lists its research objectives as: vegetation structure and production; dynamics of detritus in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; atmosphere-terrestrial-aquatic ecosystem linkages; heterotroph population dynamics; effects of human activities on ecosystems. Originally under the directorship of Gene Likens, a portion of watershed was cut and the wood left in place (66). Weirs were installed to collect and monitor the quality of the water draining into Hubbard Brook from the tributary in the altered portion. The study revealed a remarkable resiliency of that watershed. It took only three years for the water draining the damaged area to return to its original high quality (66). This came about largely because of the seeds of species of pioneer shade-intolerant plants that lay dormant until exposed to direct sunlight. Growth was rapid, and they served as a temporary soil conservation element in that environment until the trees (shade tolerant) once again grew to displace them. Ecologists from several collaborating institutions converge on the Hubbard Brook watershed each summer to monitor a wide variety of ecological processes (for a complete list see: ). Other LTER sites within the US study grasslands, estuaries, alpine forest, wetlands, semi-arid desert, lakes, rivers, and coastal savannas. All have a similar story to tell regarding the ability of the natural landscape to return to a functional state when allowed to re-establish ecological relationships fostering the uninterrupted flow of energy from one trophic level to the next. These data give credence to the hypothesis that if vertical farming could replace most of the world’s traditional food production schemes, then ecosystem services that reinforce a healthy life style (e.g., clean water, clean air) would be restored.
SHORT ESSAY ONDr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
"Applying science and knowledge to practical problems—such as food insecurity—has always been the ‘hook’ for us, landing me and four generations of my family in the midst of agriculture and other human development issues."