Big Agriculture in Academic Institutions

The ‘Troubled Waters’ of Big Ag’s academic influence

by Paula Crossfield (Grist)

EXCERPT: “Controversies around agriculture at universities are not new, but it has become more frequent in recent years, as the public becomes more aware of food production methods and industrial agriculture groups feel threatened by the pressure to change. Just last fall Michael Pollan was scheduled to give a solo lecture at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo when Harris Ranch Beef Company Chairman David E. Wood threatened to cut off $500,000 in funding to the university if he was allowed to do so. In response, the university changed its program to a panel discussion, which included industrial agriculture-friendly professor Gary Smith of Colorado State University and large-scale organic farmer Myra Goodman of Earthbound Farm. Pollan’s book The Omnivore’s Dilemma was also the source of ire for industrial agriculture proponents when it was selected as “common reading” last summer for incoming freshmen at Washington State University.”

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