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Agriculture

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Agriculture

Agriculture (also called farming or husbandry) is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. Agriculture is also observed in certain species of ant and termite, but generally speaking refers to human activities.

The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. However, all farming generally relies on techniques to expand and maintain the lands suitable for raising domesticated species. For plants, this usually requires some form of irrigation, although there are methods of dryland farming; pastoral herding on rangeland is still the most common means of raising livestock. In the developed world, industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has become the dominant system of modern farming, although there is growing support for sustainable agriculture (e.g. permaculture or organic agriculture).

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, pesticides and fertilizers, and technological improvements have sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects.Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry such as intensive pig farming have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal cruelty and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. In the 21st century, plants have been used to grow biofuels, biopharmaceuticals, bioplastics, and pharmaceuticals. Specific foods include cereals, vegetables, fruits, and meat. Fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo. Other useful materials are produced by plants, such as resins. Biofuels include methane from biomass, ethanol, and biodiesel. Cut flowers, nursery plants, tropical fish and birds for the pet trade are some of the ornamental products.

In 2007, one third of the world's workers were employed in agriculture. The services sector has overtaken agriculture as the economic sector employing the most people worldwide. Despite the size of its workforce, agricultural production accounts for less than five percent of the gross world product (an aggregate of all gross domestic products).

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Matching Agriculture Colleges

Name
California State University-Fresno
Four or more years; Public; $16,632 average out-state tuition; $5,472 average in-state tuition
Purdue University-Main Campus
Four or more years; Public; $27,061 average out-state tuition; $8,893 average in-state tuition
Western Illinois University
Four or more years; Public; $10,538 average out-state tuition; $7,026 average in-state tuition
Illinois State University
Four or more years; Public; $15,153 average out-state tuition; $8,711 average in-state tuition
Western Kentucky University
Four or more years; Public; $20,016 average out-state tuition; $8,084 average in-state tuition
Murray State University
Four or more years; Public; $16,968 average out-state tuition; $5,652 average in-state tuition
The University of Tennessee-Martin
Four or more years; Public; $18,050 average out-state tuition; $5,640 average in-state tuition

Agriculture Scholarships

Name Amount Deadline
Soy Scholarship $5,000 November 20, 2017
George and Harriett Cleveland Scholarship $2,500 March 01, 2018
Kenny Bryan Memorial President's Honor Scholarship $2,000 February 01, 2018
Throlson American Bison Foundation Scholarship Up to $2,000 October 01, 2017
Regeneron Science Talent Search Up to $250,000 November 15, 2017
Greater Horizon Scholarship $1,000 October 01, 2017
Future of Dairy Scholarship $1,000 October 08, 2017
Conservation Scholarship $1,000 February 02, 2018
Charles W. Shoff Scholarship $1,000 February 05, 2018
Gerald Hoefer Memorial Scholarship $800 December 31, 2017