William J. Spillman and the Birth of Agricultural Economics

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$40.92
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $34.95
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 30%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $34.95   
  • New (2) from $41.99   
  • Used (4) from $34.95   

Overview

William J. Spillman (1863–1931), considered the founder of agricultural economics, was a scientist and popular agricultural educator for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). As the author of more than three hundred articles and four books, Spillman left a lasting mark on American agriculture during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries with his pioneering solutions for the problems of overproduction and low prices.

Spillman grew up in Lawrence County, Missouri, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri in Columbia. In this biography, Laurie Winn Carlson looks at Spillman’s career as he moved from Missouri to Washington, D.C., where his concepts shaped what became the agricultural New Deal and, eventually, the current farm allotment programs. By placing Spillman’s story within the larger context of American agricultural history, Carlson takes readers inside the USDA during the years our nation’s agricultural policy took shape. She studies the development of the field of genetics, the conflicts regarding agricultural education and the creation of the Cooperative Extension Service, the overproduction crisis after World War I and Spillman’s ideas for allotment, and the commercial fertilizer industry and the Law of Diminishing Returns. She also looks at efforts to restrict research, the censorship of publications directed toward farmers, and personal rivalries within the USDA.

This examination of agriculture through Spillman’s eyes reveals that industrialized agriculture was not inevitable but a carefully crafted ideology that farmers were pushed to embrace. Although highly contested by farmers as well as employees within the USDA, industry, government, politics, and technology, industrialized agriculture moved people off the land, replacing them with large-scale mechanized production.

An iconoclast within the USDA bureaucracy, Spillman was a “farm evangelist,” taking his message of diversified farming across the country. He believed that farmers should integrate livestock and rotate crops, rather than continue the monoculture production that was evolving due to the increasing industrialization of farming. Those issues, as well as the Law of Diminishing Returns, sustainability, and popular education, all matters to which Spillman devoted his career, are more important today than ever.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826215819
  • Publisher: University of Missouri Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2005
  • Series: MISSOURI BIOGRAPHY SERIES Series
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie Winn Carlson is the author of numerous books, including Seduced by the West: Jefferson’s America and the Lure of the Land beyond the Mississippi and Cattle: An Informal Social History. Carlson lives in Cheney, Washington.

The Missouri Biography Series, edited by William E. Foley

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)