1. Sustag ed at Cornell? Certainly, there is a large dichotomy in
the personal values/perceptions underlying the research/teaching of
academics in virtually every ag department at every
college/university I am aware of. Cornell has a very strong
reputation in support of confinement dairying and rBST in particular,
because of some particularly vocal and powerful (e.g. well funded)
individual researchers. Probably more to it than that, but enough
said for now.
However, other researchers/teachers are also making a strong effort
to look at more sustainable approaches. I'm thinking of Jane Mt.
Pleasant among others. It is very (VERY) hard to do something that
is seen as challenging the status quo, when you are isolated and
alone, and when all your mainstream colleagues continue to support
mainstream, resource-intensive agriculture.
The picture you would get of the texture of ag instruction at Cornell
would very much be influenced by which seminar you went to, which
instructors you learned from, and which department you were in.
2. And yes, certainly, any hope for a more sustainable production
system in the future will rest upon a stronger foundation than we are
now giving most ag students. How many crop or livestock production
majors include even one course in ecology, I wonder? Without a firm
grounding in ecology, how can one expect students to grasp the
notions of holism and sustainability? But as I've said before, we
should not single out farmers for this kind of profile - the same
could be said of each of us, in all aspects of life. Ann
Dr. E. Ann Clark
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX: 519 763-8933
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