How Did We Get Here? Examining the Past to Understand the Intersection of Agriculture, Scientific Knowledge and Societal Needs

Agricultural practices today are the product of generations of experimentation. When considering the future of agriculture, both in-lab and on-the-farm science play a role in changing practices in pursuit of more economically and environmentally sustainable production. However, these scientific relationships, and the science itself, have a history that illustrate how societal needs framed (and constrained) their foundations. Understanding this history can help us better understand our current and future research in agriculture, and how we might address new adoptions and changes across farming industries.”

Our2022 webinar series will explore the history of science and its relationship to changes in agricultural production. The discussion will be facilitated by Nicole Welk-Joerger. Nicole is a trained agricultural historian, currently a professional specialist at Princeton University who has taught at Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, and North Carolina State University. Her current book project is titled Rumen Nation: Consuming Sustainability in the United States, which explores the history of ruminant nutrition science and its impact on popular definitions of sustainability today.

Nicole will provide historical context and facilitate discussions among NYFVI project leaders to help us all understand and appreciate how much the industry has changed. Through the lens of their careers, we hope to learn more about how scientific knowledge and societal needs come together to drive change, the challenges they’ve needed to overcome throughout the process, and their hopes for the future.

The webinars will be held from 12:30 to 2:30 pm on Thursday February 10th and Friday, February 11th. Registration is available here.

Thursday February 10th: Dairy and Field Crops

Facilitator: Nicole Welk-Joerger

Panel:

  • Quirine Ketterings, Professor of Animal Science, Director Nutrient Management Spear Program, Cornell University
  • Thomas Frances Kilcer, Independent Agronomist
  • Tom Overton, Department Chair, Professor of Animal Science, Director of ProDairy, Cornell University

Friday February 11th: Evolution of Pest Management Practices

Facilitator: Nicole Welk-Joerger

Panel:

  • Elson Shields, Professor of Entomology, Cornell University
  • Brian Nault, Professor of Entomology, Cornell University
  • Gary Bergstrom, Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Section, Cornell University