A Grammar of American Politics: The National Government

By Wilfred E. Binkley; Malcolm C. Moos | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXI
AGRICULTURE AND CONSERVATION

by WALTER W. WILCOX


EARLY GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES

Government Serves Agriculture in Four Fields

THE activities of the national government in the field of agriculture may be grouped under four general headings: (1) research and education, (2) regulation, (3) service, and (4) economic aids. The United States Department of Agriculture has over 50,000 full-time employees and in the early postwar years had an annual budget of almost one billion dollars with which to carry on these activities. This great development of governmental activity in the interests of farmers began in the first years of our national life. Governmental activities in relation to agriculture have continued to expand primarily because of our national interest in the social and economic welfare of farm people. Society also has been concerned with the conservation of our soil and forestry resources, and a number of governmental activities, beginning as early as 1891, are directed primarily toward these ends. It was primarily our interest in the welfare of consumers, however, which led to pure-food laws and much of the other regulatory work in the field of marketing.


Continental Congress Concerned with Agriculture

The importance of the development of agriculture to the welfare of this new nation, the United States of America, was recognized by the members of the Continental Congress. Congressional action dealing with agriculture

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