Agriculture

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For of all gainful professions, nothing is better, nothing more pleasing, nothing more delightful, nothing better becomes a well-bred man than agriculture.
- Cicero, 44 BC

Agriculture, also called farming or husbandry, is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi, and other life forms for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinals and other products used to sustain and enhance human life.


CONTENT: A-B - C-D - E-F - G-H - I-J - K-L - M-N - O-P -Q-R - S-T - U-V - W-X - Y-Z - See also

Quotes[edit]

listed alphabetically by author

A-B[edit]

  • Ten acres and a mule.
    • American phrase indicating the expectations of emancipated slaves (1862): Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Three acres and a cow.
    • Jeremy Bentham, Works, Volume VIII, p. 448. Quoted from Bentham by Lord Rosebery. Monologue on Pitt, in Twelve English Statesmen. Referred to by Sir John Sinclair Code of Agriculture, Miscellaneous Essays, 1802. Same idea in Defoe's Tour through the whole Islands of Britain, 6th Ed. Phrase made familiar by Hon. Jesse Collings in the House of Commons, 1886, "Small Holdings amendment": Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19..
  • Follow, poet, follow right
    To the bottom of the night,
    With your unconstraining voice
    Still persuade us to rejoice;

    With the farming of a verse
    Make a vineyard of the curse,
    Sing of human unsuccess
    In a rapture of distress;

    In the deserts of the heart
    Let the healing fountains start,
    In the prison of his days
    Teach the free man how to praise.

    • W. H. Auden In Memory of W.B. Yeats (1939), Lines 66-77
  • Virginia was in fact a landowning aristocracy, without nobility or merchant class, or any considerable small peasant farming class; and the other Southern colonies, except North Carolina, were on the whole similar to Virginia in these respects.
  • Look up! the wide extended plain
    Is billowy with its ripened grain,
    And on the summer winds are rolled
    Its waves of emerald and gold.
    • William Henry Burleigh, The Harvest Call, Stanza 5: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.

C-D[edit]

  • When you have decided to purchase a farm, be careful not to buy rashly; do not spare your visits and be not content with a single tour of inspection. The more you go, the more will the place please you, if it be worth your attention. Give heed to the appearance of the neighbourhood, - a flourishing country should show its prosperity. "When you go in, look about, so that, when needs be, you can find your way out."
  • Arbores serit diligens agricola, quarum adspiciet baccam ipse numquam.
    • The diligent farmer plants trees, of which he himself will never see the fruit.
    • Cicero, Tusculanarum Disputationum, I, 14: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • For of all gainful professions, nothing is better, nothing more pleasing, nothing more delightful, nothing better becomes a well-bred man than agriculture.
    • Cicero, De Oficiis (44 BC), Book 1, section 42. Translation by Cyrus R. Edmonds (1873), p. 73.
  • Oculos et vestigia domini, res agro saluberrimas, facilius admittit.
    • He allows very readily, that the eyes and footsteps of the master are things most salutary to the land.
    • Columella, De Re Rustica, IV. 18: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • We must plant the sea and herd its animals … using the sea as farmers instead of hunters. That is what civilization is all about — farming replacing hunting.
    • Jacques-Yves Cousteau in Interview (17 July 1971); Cited in: Elizabeth Brubaker et al. (2008) Breath of Fresh Air, p. 180
  • Farming as we do it is hunting, and in the sea we act like barbarians.
    • Jacques-Yves Cousteau in Interview (17 July 1971): Cited in: Jane Goodall et al. (2005) Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating.

E-F[edit]

  • The first farmer was the first man, and all historic nobility rests on possession and use of land.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, Society and Solitude, Farming: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.

G-H[edit]

  • We are returned to mystery and the power of cooperating with life—rather than, as so often now, working against it.
  • I'm very familiar with the importance of dairy farming in Wisconsin. I've spent the night on a dairy farm here in Wisconsin. If I'm entrusted with the presidency, you'll have someone who is very familiar with what the Wisconsin dairy industry is all about.
    • Al Gore As quoted in "Chatter at 40,000 Feet" by Howard Kurtz in The Washington Post (14 June 2000)]
  • Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield:
    Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
    How jocund did they drive their team a-field!
    How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
    • Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 7: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • While early American society was an agrarian society, it was fast becoming more commercial, and commercial goals made their way among its agricultural classes almost as rapidly as elsewhere. The more commercial society became, however, the more reason it found to cling in imagination to the noncommercial agrarian values. The more farming as a self-sufficient way of life was abandoned for farming as a business, the more merit men found in what was being left behind. And the more rapidly the farmers' sons moved into the towns, the more nostalgic the whole culture became about its rural past. The American mind was raised upon a sentimental attachment to rural living and upon a series of notions about rural people and rural life that I have chosen to designate as the agrarian myth. The agrarian myth represents a kind of homage that Americans have paid to the fancied innocence of their origins.
    Like any complex of ideas, the agrarian myth cannot be defined in a phrase, but its component themes form a clear pattern. Its hero was the yeoman farmer, its central conception the notion that he is the ideal man and the ideal citizen.
    • Richard Hofstadter The Age of Reform: from Bryan to F.D.R. (1955) Chapter I, part I (p. 23)
  • Beatus ille qui procul negotiis,
    Ut prisca gens mortalium,
    Paterna rura bpbus exercet suis,
    Solutus omni fænore.
    • Happy he who far from business, like the primitive race of mortals, cultivates with his own oxen the fields of his fathers, free from all anxieties of gain.
    • Horace, Epodon, Book II. 1: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Ye rigid Ploughmen! bear in mind
    Your labor is for future hours.
    Advance! spare not! nor look behind!
    Plough deep and straight with all your powers!
    • Richard Henry Horne, The Plough: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.

I-J[edit]

  • Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independant, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s liberty and interests by the most lasting bands. As long therefore as they can find emploiment in this line, I would not convert them into mariners, artisans, or any thing else. But our citizens will find emploiment in this line till their numbers, and of course their productions, become too great for the demand both internal and foreign.
    • Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Jay (August 23, 1785); reported in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Julian P. Boyd (1953), vol. 8, p. 426.
  • Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.
    • Douglas Jerrold, A Land of Plenty (Australia): Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • The life of the husbandman,—a life fed by the bounty of earth and sweetened by the airs of heaven.
    • Douglas Jerrold, Jerrold's Wit, The Husbandman's Life: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • England is the only country in Europe that can boast of having improved its agriculture and the cultivation of its soil beyond that of any other European nation. The condition of English agriculture, compared with that of our own, is like light contrasted with shade.

K-L[edit]

  • In the early twenty-first century farming had all but died out here. We got our food from the supermarket, and not everybody cared where the supermarket got it as long as it was there on the shelves. A few elderly dairymen hung on. Many let their fields and pastures go to scrub. Some sold out to what used to be called developers, and they'd put in five or ten poorly build houses. Now, in the new times, there were far fewer people, and many houses outside town were being taken down for their materials. Farming was back. That was the only way we got food.
  • Bread and beauty grow best together. Their harmonious integration can make farming not only a business but an art; the land not only a food-factory but an instrument for self-expression, on which each can play music to his own choosing.
  • Your true modern is separated from the land by many middlemen, and by innumerable physical gadgets. He has no vital relation to it; to him it is the space between cities on which crops grow. Turn him loose for a day on the land, and if the spot does not happen to be a golf links or a ‘scenic’ area, he is bored stiff. If crops could be raised by hydroponics instead of farming, it would suit him very well. Synthetic substitutes for wood, leather, wool, and other natural land products suit him better than the originals. In short, land is something he has ‘outgrown.’
  • The status of women up to now has been compared to that of a slave; women have been tied to the home, and only socialism can save them from this. They will only be completely emancipated when we change from small-scale individual farming to collective farming and collective working of the land.
  • The proletarian state must effect the transition to collective farming with extreme caution and only very gradually, by the force of example, without any coercion of the middle peasant.

M-N[edit]

  • Cujus est solum, ejus est usque ad cœlum.
    • He who owns the soil, owns up to the sky.
    • Law Maxim: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Without competition we would be clinging to the clumsy antiquated processes of farming and manufacture and the methods of business of long ago, and the twentieth would be no further advanced than the eighteenth century.
    • William McKinley Speech delivered at the Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, New York (September 5, 1901)
  • When the land is cultivated entirely by the spade, and no horses are kept, a cow is kept for every three acres of land.
    • John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy, Book II, Chapter VI, Section V. (Quoting from a treatise on Flemish husbandry): Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Adam, well may we labour, still to dress
    This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower.

O-P[edit]

  • Continua messe senescit ager.
    • A field becomes exhausted by constant tillage.
    • Ovid, Ars Amatoria, III. 82: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Majores fertilissium in agro oculum domini esse dixerunt.
    • Our fathers used to say that the master's eye was the best fertilizer.
    • Pliny the Elder, Historia Naturalis, XVIII. 84: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
    Patient of labour when the end was rest,
    Indulg'd the day that hous'd their annual grain,
    With feasts, and off'rings, and a thankful strain.
    • Alexander Pope, Second Book of Horace, Epistle I, line 241: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), "Lemma Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Where grows?—where grows it not? If vain our toil,
    We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
  • Here Ceres' gifts in waving prospect stand,
    And nodding tempt the joyful reaper's hand.

Q-R[edit]

S-T[edit]

  • The adverse economic events following the First World War turned me toward economics... I learned during my youth how hard it was for farm families to stay solvent. Farm product prices fell abruptly by more than half. Banks went bankrupt and many farmers suffered foreclosures. Was politics or economics to blame? I opted for economics.
  • Most people in the world are poor. If we knew the economy of being poor, we would know much of the economics that really matter. Most of the world's poor people earn their living in agriculture. If we knew the economics of agriculture, we would know much of the economic of being poor.
  • And he gave it for his opinion, that whosoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.
  • In ancient times, the sacred Plough employ'd
    The Kings and awful Fathers of mankind:
    And some, with whom compared your insect-tribes
    Are but the beings of a summer's day,
    Have held the Scale of Empire, ruled the Storm
    Of mighty War; then, with victorious hand,
    Disdaining little delicacies, seized
    The Plough, and, greatly independent, scorned
    All the vile stores corruption can bestow.
  • Ill husbandry braggeth
    To go with the best:
    Good husbandry baggeth
    Up gold in his chest.
    • Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, Chapter LII. Comparing Good Husbandry: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Ill husbandry lieth
    In prison for debt:
    Good husbandry spieth
    Where profit to get.
    • Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, Chapter LII. Comparing Good Husbandry: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • He was a very inferior farmer when he first begun,… and he is now fast rising from affluence to poverty.
    • Mark Twain, Rev. Henry Ward Beecher's Farm: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.

U-V[edit]

  • E'en in mid-harvest, while the jocund swain
    Pluck'd from the brittle stalk the golden grain,
    Oft have I seen the war of winds contend,
    And prone on earth th' infuriate storm descend,
    Waste far and wide, and by the roots uptorn,
    The heavy harvest sweep through ether borne,
    As the light straw and rapid stubble fly
    In dark'ning whirlwinds round the wintry sky.
    • Virgil, Georgics (c. 29 BC), I, line 351. Sotheby's translation.
  • Laudato ingenua rura,
    Exiguum colito.
    • Praise a large domain, cultivate a small state.
    • Virgil, Georgics (c. 29 BC), II. 412.

W-X[edit]

  • Blessed be agriculture! if one does not have too much of it.
    • Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, preliminary: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization.
    • Daniel Webster, Remarks on Agriculture, Jan. 13, 1840, p. 457: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • But let the good old corn adorn
    The hills our fathers trod;
    Still let us, for his golden corn,
    Send up our thanks to God!
    • John Greenleaf Whittier, The Corn-Song: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • Heap high the farmer's wintry hoard!
    Heap high the golden corn!
    No richer gift has Autumn poured
    From out her lavish horn!
    • John Greenleaf Whittier, The Corn-Song: Quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), Lemma "Agriculture" p. 18-19.
  • I think the initial reason why I became interested in farming is that I wanted to be outdoors. I've always enjoyed being outdoors. And so, I looked around and when I was at high school, probably 14 or so, my parents through friends arranged for me to be able to go work on farms on the weekend.

Y-Z[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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