Evolution of the Alabama Agroecosystem: Always Keeping Up, but Never Catching Up

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NewSouth Books, Jan 1, 2013 - Science - 900 pages
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 Evolution of the Alabama Agroecosystem describes aspects of food and fiber production from prehistoric to modern times. Using information and perspectives from both the "hard" sciences (geology, biology) and the "soft" science (sociology, history, economics, politics), it traces agriculture's evolution from its appearance in the Old World to its establishment in the New World. It discusses how agricultural practices originating in Europe, Asia and Africa determined the path agriculture followed as it developed in the Americas. The book focuses on changes in US and Alabama agriculture since the early nineteenth century and the effects that increased government involvement have had on the country's agricultural development. 

Material presented explains why agriculture in Alabama and much of the South remains only marginally competitive compared to many other states, the role that limited agricultural competitiveness played in the slower rate of economic development in the South in general, and how those limiting factors ensure that agricultural development in Alabama and the South will continue to keep up but never catch up.


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About the author (2013)

EDDIE WAYNE SHELL (1931-2021) grew up in Butler County, Alabama, where agriculture and forestry were the backbone of the local economy and where he saw firsthand the difficulties of trying to make a living off Alabama land. In 1948, when Shell set off for college at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), he planned to pursue a degree in forestry, but within a year he switched to fish management, later earning both his bachelor's (1952) and master's (1954) degrees in the discipline. Following an overseas stint in the military, Shell earned a PhD in fisheries biology from Cornell University, then returned to Auburn in 1959 to begin what would become a 35-year academic career, including 21 years as head of the Department of Fisheries and Allied Aquacultures. For much of this period, he also served as director of the International Center for Aquaculture. He retired in 1994.

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