Cesar Chavez - Laurie Lee - Alice Roberts & Horizon TV - Tony Robinson TV - Seven Samurai 1954 - Bettany Hughes TV - Mark Williams TV - The Catherine Tate Show TV - A P Herbert - Virgil - W D Ehrhart - Jane Margaret - Horace - David Hume - Dwight D Eisenhower - Tristram Stuart - Fay Godwin - Howlin’ Wolf - Noam Chomsky - Andrew Marr TV - Daily Mail - Panorama TV - Mark Thomas TV - Down and Out in America TV - Fighting for Our Lives 1975 - The Future of Food 2004 - Panorama TV - esias - Secret History of Humans TV - Battle in Seattle 2007 - John Pilger - Adam Curtis - Ken Burns TV - Simon Reeve TV -
It’s usually called the agricultural revolution. But I think it’s something much wider – the biological revolution. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 2/13: The Harvest of the Seasons, BBC 1973
It became necessary for man to settle. ibid.
Agriculture creates a technology from which all physics, all science, takes off. ibid.
The most powerful invention in all agriculture is of course the plough. ibid.
At the heart of the terraced culture is the system of irrigation. ibid.
What is a city? It is a community which lives on a base of agriculture. ibid.
We seek the support of all political groups and protection of the government, which is also our government, in our struggle. For too many years we have been treated like the lowest of the low. Our wages and working conditions have been determined from above, because irresponsible legislators who could have helped us, have supported the rancher’s argument that the plight of the Farm Worker was a ‘special case’. They saw the obvious effects of an unjust system, starvation wages, contractors, day hauls, forced migration, sickness, illiteracy, camps and sub-human living conditions, and acted as if they were irremediable causes. The farm worker has been abandoned to his own fate – without representation, without power – subject to mercy and caprice of the rancher. We are tired of words, of betrayals, of indifference. To the politicians we say that the years are gone when the farm worker said nothing and did nothing to help himself. From this movement shall spring leaders who shall understand us, lead us, be faithful to us, and we shall elect them to represent us. We shall be heard. Cesar Chavez, The Plan of Delano, 1965
The prospect Smiler was a manic farmer. Few men I think can have been as unfortunate as he; for on the one hand he was a melancholic with a loathing for mankind, on the other, some paralysis had twisted his mouth into a permanent and radiant smile. So everyone he met, being warmed by his smile, would shout him a happy greeting. And beaming upon them with his sunny face he would curse them all to hell. Laurie Lee, Cider with Rosie
My name is Jimmy Doherty and this is my farm. A hundred and twenty acres of rural Suffolk where we raise our livestock the old fashioned way. Horizon: Jimmy’s GM Food Fight, BBC 2008
A dozen years ago Argentina grew virtually no soya. This year over half their arable land, an area the size of Britain, will be planted with genetically modified soya beans. ibid.
Whether we like it or not GM crops are part of what we eat. ibid.
Elsewhere in Europe the protest movement is alive and well. ibid.
None of the crops or vegetables we grow are truly natural. ibid.
In America genetically modified crops have been widely planted for more than ten years. ibid.
There are few more pivotal moments in our past than when we started farming some ten thousand years ago. It was to be a defining point in our history. It would transform our diet, our cultures, and provide the foundations of our civilisations. But did its impact run even deeper than that? Dr Alice Roberts, Horizon: Are We Still Evolving? BBC 2011
The idea of farming – the so-called Neolithic revolution – started in the Middle East and swept north and east across Europe ... 6,000 years ago Britain joined the revolution: the first Britons wholeheartedly signed up for farming. Horizon: First Britons, BBC 2015
Global warming triggered a revolutionary way of living: farming. Man on Earth with Tony Robinson II: Birth of Civilisation, Channel 4 2009
There’s no creature on earth as wily as a farmer. Seven Samurai 1954 starring Tikashi Shimura & Isao Kimura & Yoshio Inaba & Daisuke Kato & Minoru Chiaki & Seiji Miyaguchi & Toshiro Mifune & Bokuzen Hidari & Kamatari Fujiwara & Keiko Tsushima & Yoshio Tsuchiya et al, director Akira Kurosawa, mad Samurai
The First Age of Britain: it tells of a struggle between man and the environment. Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain: 6000 B.C. – 2000 B.C. Channel 4 2009
The island of Britain exists because of global warming. ibid.
Possibly the most revolutionary innovation was farming. ibid.
Most people lived and died farming the land. Bettany Hughes, Seven Ages of Britain: The Seventh Age: 1530 A.D. - 1700 A.D.
Steam-engines: the horse’s nemesis. They’d existed for decades before anyone tried to put them to work on the farm. Most farming jobs required them to be taken out into the fields. These were the earliest agricultural steam-engines: portable engines. Mark Williams, Industrial Revelations s2e1: Bread and Beer, Discovery 2005
Are you a northerner, miss? You’re from the north innit. Are you a northerner though? ’Cause you speak funny issit. I’m only asking a question. Can’t I ask a question? ... Are you a farmer, Miss? ... You do smell like a farmer ... Am I bovvered? ... Miss, have you got to go and milk the cows, miss? The Catherine Tate show s2e5, Paul to Sam & Paul Whitehouse et al, Lauren, BBC 2005
The Farmer will never be happy again;
He carries his heart in his boots;
For either the rain is destroying his grain
Or the drought is destroying his roots. A P Herbert, The Farmer, 1922
O farmers excessively fortunate if only they recognised their blessings. Virgil, Georgics
Each day I go into the fields to see what is growing
and what remains to be done.
It is always the same thing: nothing. W D Ehrhart, The Farmer
We plow the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land. Jane Margaret Campbell
Happy the man who, far away from business, like the race of men of old, tills his ancestral fields with his own oxen, unbound by any interest to pay. Horace, Epistles
Your corn is ripe today; mine will be so tomorrow. ’Tis profitable for us both, that I should labour with you today, and that you should aid me tomorrow. I have no kindness for you, and know you have as little for me. I will not, therefore, take any pains upon your account; and should I labour with you upon my own account, in expectation of a return, I know I should be disappointed, and that I should in vain depend upon your gratitude. Here then I leave you to labour alone; You treat me in the same manner. The seasons change; and both of us lose our harvests for want of mutual confidence and security. David Hume
Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field. Dwight D Einsenhower
The purpose of farming is to deprive other species of the land and sequester it for our own use. But by perfecting the art of monoculture, it has become too easy for us to exterminate everything else, leaving no wild plants, no food for insects, and a barren land for birds. Tristram Stuart
Of course, I prefer organic farming to chemical-dependent farming, but sometimes absolutist organic prescriptions go too far. I don’t even rule out the possibility of genetic modification generating some benign ideas, as long as we can keep them away from monopolists such as Monsanto. Tristram Stuart
What I loathe is the multinational conglomerates who must take responsibility for the degradation and pollution of so much of our landscape with their factory farming and greed. Fay Godwin
Farming’s always been my business. Howlin’ Wolf
In the late 19th century there was a major union organization, Knights of Labor, and also a radical populist movement based on farmers. It’s hard to believe, but it was based in Texas, and it was quite radical. They wanted their own banks, their own cooperatives, their own control over sales and commerce. Noam Chomsky
Farming was the great leap forward. Andrew Marr’s History of the World I, BBC 2012
Cloned Meat Betrayal: Unlabelled diary and beef products to go on sale here after OUR minister sabotages Europe’s call for a ban. Daily Mail headline 30th March 2011
Is farming fuelling one of the biggest health threats facing humanity? We meet the people for whom the drugs have stopped working. Superbugs are on the rise … Panorama: Antibiotic Crisis, BBC 2016
Organophosphates: ‘The farm workers were pretty alarmed.’ Mark Thomas Comedy Product s6e1, worker, Channel 4 2002