The word agriculture means “taking care of the fields”-in other words, what we are used to thinking of as farming. And, in fact, agriculture and farming mean just about the same thing. But usually we would say “agriculture” when we mean the entire work and science of using the earth to produce food and other plants that are valuable to us; and we would use the word “farming” to mean some particular branch of this, for example dairy farming, or chicken farming. You will note that the word “science” was used in the paragraph above.
Agriculture is as much of a science as engineering, medicine, or any other scientific fields to which men and women turn for their life’s work. Many different sciences go to make up the whole work of agriculture. Many different sciences have helped in making agriculture the respected and profitable work it is today. This has not always been so. Farming used to be laborious, poorly paid work. A farmer had to work hard in his fields all day long, just to raise enough food for his own family. Usually his wife had to help, and had no time for comfortable living; his children had to help, and had no time to get good educations.
Today the young man or woman of a family in the field of agriculture will go to one of the hundreds of agricultural colleges and universities in the United States and will learn to make the family’s farm even better in the future. In this encyclopedia there are separate articles on dairy farming and cattle farming and farm machinery and other branches of agriculture. In this article we will tell about what agriculture used to be, how it has changed, and what it is today. how agriculture has changed There have been farmers as long as there has been history and for tens of thousands of years before that.