This paper offers a preliminary assessment of the reactions of public agricultural researchers to three terms used currently in the debate surrounding reduced input farming systems: organic, alternative, and sustainable agriculture. It is argued that these terms have been appropriated by the land grant system and their critical content removed to make them palatable to more mainstream agricultural researchers. A national sample of agricultural production researchers is explored, and disciplinary differences in attitudes toward the three terms are assessed. We conclude that sustainable and alternative agriculture do appear acceptable to the mainstream of production researchers, consistent with the hypothesis that they have been appropriated by the land grant system. Moreover, reasons why organic agriculture remains unacceptable are suggested.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science