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Volume 92, Number 1 (Winter 2018)


Presidential Address: Get Your Farm in the Fight: Farm Masculinity in World War II KATHERINE JELLISON

[Read Presidential Address]

The Transformation of the Dutch Farm Horse into a Riding Horse: Livestock Breeding, Science, and “Modernization,” 1960s–1980s BERT THEUNISSEN

This article analyzes the postwar transformation of the Dutch Warmblood farm horse into a riding horse. It gives special attention to the farmers’ practical breeding methods and to the role that scientists and government policymakers played in the transformation process. Until the 1970s, Warmblood breeding methods were a continuation of pre-Mendelian methods that focused on qualitative assessment of a horse’s conformation, that is, its exterior characteristics. In 1980, the Dutch government undertook an effort to modernize Warmblood breeding by turning it into a collectively organized, scientific enterprise. These plans were largely subverted by the fierce opposition of breeders. Nevertheless, quantitative scientific methods, particularly quantitative genetics, started to make inroads into Warmblood breeding at the time. However, the breeders’ decision to switch to quantitative methods was a reaction to other pressures, economic and otherwise, rather than a response to the government’s call for science-based modernization. Moreover, qualitative assessment remained as important in the selection of breeding stock as before.

Genetics, Biotechnology, and Breeding: North American Shorthorn Production in the Twenty-First Century MARGARET DERRY

This article examines the controversy over the use of a DNA marker test for Tibial Hemimelia (TH) by North American Shorthorn breeders. The conflict illustrates, first, that tools available to remove defects are not necessarily used to eliminate them from the herds; and, second, that a centuries-old breeding method can adopt twenty-first-century biotechnology to support the historic structure of purebred breeding. Shorthorn breeders attempted to hold their slipping position within the purebred beef cattle world by utilizing biotechnology to re-enforce the nineteenth-century system with its emphasis on pedigree standards and the show system. The situation provides a venue for studying a larger question: How does developing science interface with industry structure and culture when it comes to animal breeding? The subservience of genetics and biotechnology to the dictates of purebred breeding in Shorthorn affairs shows how resilient older practices can be.

Keeping the Country Clean: Animal Diseases, Bacteriology, and the Foundations of Biosecurity in New Zealand, 1890–1910 KATRINA FORD

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, biosecurity measures were implemented by many governments to protect agricultural industries from disease. These measures were informed by developments in the understanding of disease, as the science of bacteriology began to influence both public health and agricultural policy. Localized understandings of outbreaks of disease began to be supplanted by global disease ecologies. This article examines these developments in the context of outbreaks of anthrax in New Zealand at the turn of the century. As an agricultural nation whose economic viability was dependent on international trade, New Zealand relied heavily on its reputation for pastoral purity. There was therefore a strong impetus for New Zealand agricultural officials to develop stringent biosecurity measures. However, increased state control often brought officials into conflict with farming communities. This article highlights the importance of historians developing more nuanced understandings of farmers’ responses to scientific agriculture.

Early Land-Grant Colleges and Students in the Northeastern United States: A History of Regional Access and Mobility Patterns in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York, 1862–1878 NATHAN M. SORBER

This article explores the social origins and mobility patterns of the first student cohorts at the land-grant colleges in Maine, Massachusetts, and New York. The author finds that the scientific curricula, advanced academic standards, and tuition costs at the early land-grant colleges in this region limited accessibility for students from poorer backgrounds. The students that did attend and graduate rarely returned to the farm, instead pursuing social mobility into new middle-class careers and professions. These findings counter previous arguments that early land-grant colleges democratized access to higher education, and suggest that in this region, the student profile mirrored traditional colleges.

In Memoriam: William Warren Rogers (August 18, 1929–October 7, 2017) DOUGLAS HELMS

Book Reviews

North America

Zilberstein, A Temperate Empire: Making Climate Change in Early America, by Thomas Apel

Levy, George Washington Written upon the Land: Nature, Memory, Myth, and Landscape, by Joshua Abram Kercsmar

Epps, Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in
the Antebellum and Civil War Eras, by J. Michael Crane

Clark-Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island, by Sharon Ann Murphy

Okie, The Georgia Peach: Culture, Agriculture, and Environment in the American South, by Christopher C. Myers

Gibson, Feral Animals in the American South: An Evolutionary History, by Luke Manget

Sultan-i-Rome, Land and Forest Governance in Swat: Transition
from Tribal System to State to Pakistan, by Matthew Baron Shutzer


Elkind, Aid under Fire: Nation Building and the Vietnam War, by Jessica M. Chapman

Kim, Borderland Capitalism: Turkestan Produce, Qing Silver, and the Birth of an Eastern Market, by Eric Schluessel

Van Bavel, Manors and Markets: Economy and Society in the Low Countries, 300–1600, by Constance Hoffman Berman


De Luna, Collecting Food, Cultivating People: Subsistence and
Society in Central Africa, by Osaak Olumwullah

Bolt, Zimbabwe’s Migrants and South Africa’s Border Farms: The Roots of Impermanence, by Francis Musoni