Winter 2014 Depth of Field

Artichoke perspective

Where does food come from? That’s a prickly question we’ve asked ourselves for millennia. The answer has varied through time: food has come from the forest, from the field, from the farmers’ market, and most recently, from the big box store.

But the question is bigger than where to find food, and agricultural science holds the bigger answer.

Food production begins with access to natural resources and requires an understanding of how plants and animals interact with nutrients and pathogens in a complex, shifting environment. Essential to human health, food must be produced so it is safe and nutritious. And to be sustainable, food must be produced so that future generations have access to the resources and knowledge they will need to prosper.

Agricultural science does that. It’s where food begins, at the intersection of environmental health, human health, and economic health.

Perhaps we can compare agricultural science to an artichoke, with multiple leaves arranged around a central heart. Agricultural science integrates research from many disciplines to reveal unexpected discoveries essential to life. That’s where food begins.

-- Peg Herring

Stephen Ward