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Dig deep into the field of agriculture, which is the science, art, or practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock. Agriculture may also involve the readying and marketing of produce and livestock for market.

While many people equate agriculture with farming, the term tends to refer more to the business of farming on a larger scale for the purposes of selling produce and livestock to others; the larger scale of agriculture vs. a small family farm involves far more people and other businesses, including scientists who study the physical, biological, and chemical makeup of food and seeds to improve harvest yields and food processing; businesses that sell large-scale farm machinery, such as tractors, irrigation systems, and harvesters; and the farmers and ranchers themselves.

The 20th century saw a rapid consolidation of farms as agriculture came to be dominated by large companies such as Monsanto. Technological and scientific advancements, such as the development of pesticides, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs, industrial-sized livestock operations), led to a remarkable increase in crop and livestock yields. At the same time, critics expressed concerns that these developments were a major contributor to environmental pollution as well as inhumanity to the animals. These concerns led to the growth of organic farming, in which chemicals aren’t used.

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Agriculture Resources

Gale provides scholarly resources to advance researchers’ study, including agriculture databasesprimary source archives, and eBooks.


Ideal for school, academic, and public libraries, Gale databases offer researchers access to credible, up-to-date content from agriculture publications, including full-text articles from agriculture journals and peer-reviewed journals. 

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources offers agriculture archives and collections that provide researchers with firsthand content.

Gale eBooks

Gale offers a variety of eBooks covering a wide range of agriculture topics, including growing, engineering, plants, and more. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Agriculture in History, 1st Edition

    Agriculture in History, 1st Edition

    Salem Press | 2009 | ISBN-13: 9781587655555

    The coverage of Agriculture in History is both geographically and chronologically immense. The set opens with a series of articles on the rise of agriculture in northern Africa and Asia as far back as 9000 B.C.E. As the articles move forward in time, they cover the emergence of agriculture in all the world’s populated regions and account for major advances in technology and the spread of crops through different parts of the world. Agriculture in History takes a broad view of its subject to encompass all aspects of human cultivation of food and fiber crops and the raising of poultry and livestock for human use. Essay topics include the building of dams and canals for irrigation; the development of chemical pesticides to combat threats to plant life; horticultural research; the invention of tools used for planting, harvesting, and processing agricultural products; the evolution of farm-labor systems; government efforts to foster agricultural production, manage land use, and oversee marketing; and the devastating impact of natural disasters on agricultural systems. The categories included in this set are agricultural origins; animal husbandry; conflicts; environmental issues; famines, floods, and other disasters; farm labor; government actions; international issues; marketing; technological change; and water and irrigation.

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  • Careers in Focus: Agriculture, 2nd Edition

    Careers in Focus: Agriculture, 2nd Edition

    Facts on File | 2006 | ISBN-13: 9781438110929

    Careers in Focus: Agriculture, Second Edition covers 20 jobs in the agricultural industry. Job profiles include: Agribusiness Technicians; Agricultural Consultants; Agricultural Equipment Technicians; Agricultural Pilots; Agricultural Scientists; Animal Breeders and Technicians; Aquaculturists; Beekeepers; Commodities Brokers; Dairy Products Manufacturing Workers; Farm Crop Production Technicians; Farm Equipment Mechanics; Farmers; Food Technologists; Grain Merchants; Health and Regulatory Inspectors; Horticultural Technicians; Range Managers; Soil Conservationists and Technicians; Soil Scientists

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  • Cutting-Edge Science and Technology: Sustainable Agriculture, 1st Edition

    Cutting-Edge Science and Technology: Sustainable Agriculture, 1st Edition

    Essential Library | 2016 | ISBN-13: 9781680770964

    This title covers a broad spectrum of issues related to advances in farming technology, such as sustainable soil, sustainable water, sustainable energy, and biotechnology. High-impact photos and explanatory graphics and charts bring scientific concepts to life. Features include essential facts, a glossary, selected bibliography, websites, source notes, and an index. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards.

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  • Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 1st Edition

    Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, 1st Edition

    Academic Press | 2014 | ISBN-13: 9780080931395

    Encyclopedia of Agriculture and Food Systems, First Edition addresses important issues by examining topics of global agriculture and food systems that are key to understanding the challenges we face. Questions it addresses include: Will we be able to produce enough food to meet the increasing dietary needs and wants of the additional 2 billion people expected to inhabit our planet by 2050? Will we be able to meet the need for so much more food while simultaneously reducing adverse environmental effects of today’s agriculture practices? Will we be able to produce the additional food using less land and water than we use now?


    These are among the most important challenges that face our planet in the coming decades. The broad themes of food systems and people, agriculture, and the environment; the science of agriculture; agricultural products and agricultural production systems are covered in more than 200 separate chapters of this work. The book provides information that serves as the foundation for discussion of the food and environment challenges of the world. An international group of highly respected authors addresses these issues from a global perspective and provides the background, references, and linkages for further exploration of each of the topics in this comprehensive work.

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  • The History of Agriculture, 1st Edition

    The History of Agriculture, 1st Edition

    Britannica Digital Learning | 2013 | ISBN-13: 9781615309214

    Agriculture—that is, using and managing natural resources—has a long and complex history. For thousands of years, societies have relied on plants and animals for food and other items, making agriculture as vital to their survival as it is to ours. The cultivation of various crops and livestock over time and throughout the world are examined, revealing the history behind and importance of much of the food we eat today. Also covered are the techniques and equipment that have been developed over time to facilitate agricultural production.

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  • Principles of Modern Agriculture, 1st Edition

    Principles of Modern Agriculture, 1st Edition

    Salem Press | 2019 | ISBN-13: 9781642652642

    This title explores a wide variety of topics in modern agriculture. From the use of big data and new technologies for monitoring water levels and weather to the use of biotechnology in seed production and new nonchemical ways to control pests and weeds, this volume provides students and researchers with new and interesting ways to look at agricultural production in modern society. Will our farmers be able to produce enough food to support the growing population? What’s the future of our water supply and our soil health? How will climate change affect agricultural production? How do sustainable practices affect prices and growth rates? Topics addressed include soil science, climate change, pesticides, organic farming, animal husbandry, dairy farming, genetically modified organisms, organic labeling standards, and import/export of agricultural products. This volume provides new ways to think about and study issues, policies, and practices in today’s agricultural production.

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