Society’s Demands on Agriculture

Speaker: Dr. Katherine “Kitty” R. Smith - Served as Administrator of Economic Research Service, USDA

October 5, 2011 at 10:30 am. Agriculture and Life Sciences Building, Room #129

Co-sponsored by the Department of Agricultural Economics and the College Centennial Committee

Since the publication of Silent Spring in 1962, the American public has viewed agriculture as the source of affordable food and fiber, and as a source of environmental degradation. This belief has affected regulatory activity, the economic viability of farming, and farm and non-farm politics. Powerful interest groups represent an ever-increasing array of demands on agriculture. This presentation will document and review what the public says it wants from agriculture and what is actually done, examine the economic and social dimensions of perspectives on agriculture, and draw implications for the future, with special emphasis on agricultural research investment.

Dr. Smith oversees research and policy development and administers programs concerning farmland protection, agriculture and the environment, and a sustainable future for agriculture, for American Farmland Trust.

Dr. Smith received a Ph.D. and a M.S in agricultural and resource economics from the University of Maryland, where she also earned a B.S. with emphasis in the biological sciences.

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