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Agribusiness Technicians

History

The marketing of agricultural products first concerned farmers in the early 20th century. Cooperative organizations were formed in the 1920s, allowing farmers to control the marketing of their commodities, but farmers still struggled to make profits. It was about this time that the field of agricultural economics evolved; the International Association of Agricultural Economics was established in 1929.

The Dust Bowl of the 1930s complicated farm economics further, leading to New Deal legislation. Under the New Deal, which enacted the first effective farm legislation in the United States, the secretary of agriculture could control crop production. In the following years, agriculture expanded as a result of scientific advances and better methods of planting and harvesting. By the 1960s, marketing had become much more complicated for farmers, leading to the development of agribusiness as a major career field. Today, agribusiness is much larger than the farming industry; two-thirds of each dollar spent on food goes toward processing, packaging, marketing, and retailing, with only one-third going to the farm.