Campus Units


Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Version

Accepted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science




Agriculture is at the very center of the human enterprise; its trappings are in evidence all around, yet the agricultural past is an exceptionally distant place from modern America. While the majority of Americans once raised a significant portion of their own food, that ceased to be the case at the beginning of the 20th century. Only a very small portion of the American population today has a personal connection to agriculture. People still must eat, but the process by which food arrives on their plates is less evident than ever. The evolution of that process, with all of its many participants, is the stuff of agricultural history. The task of the agricultural historian is to make that past evident, and usable, for an audience that is divorced from the production of food. People need to know where their food comes from, past and present, and what has gone into the creation of the modern food system.


This accepted book chapter is published as Riney-Kehrberg, P., History of Agriculture in the United States in . This is a draft of a chapter that has been accepted for publication by Oxford University Press in the forthcoming book Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Environmental Science due for publication in 2018. Doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199389414.013.314. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Oxford University Press



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Published Version