Last week, we talked about some of the famous individuals who have had an impact on agriculture.
I would like to continue that discussion this week and start by discussing how individuals of Asian/Pacific heritage can be celebrated in May.
May is National Asian/Pacific Heritage month. Many of the individuals who were involved with the harvesting of grapes, canning of goods, and fishing along the west coast are of Asian/Pacific heritage.
Those individuals, like many who immigrated to the United States, felt hardships and preserved. They are credited with the creation of unions to help those working in the fields attain better working conditions.
September has been declared National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Cesar Chavez is one of the familiar Hispanic individuals who have had an impact on agriculture. However, Dolores Huerta has also impacted agriculture.
Huerta was born in 1930 in a small New Mexico mining town. Her family lost their farm during the Great Depression.
After that, she moved to California with her mother and became a teacher. While teaching, she became interested in advocating for farmers because she could not stand seeing kids come to class hungry and needing shoes. Ultimately, that is what led her down the path to become one of the co-founders of the United Farmers Working Union with Chavez.
Understanding how individuals of different cultural descent have impacted agriculture could not be complete without including those involved with National American Indiana Heritage month in November. The most symbolic impact that American Indians have had on agriculture that I can think of is through the "Three Sisters."
For centuries, Native American tribes have planted corn, beans and squash (the three sisters) together. This form of companion planting is what has helped countless residents of the United States survive. It is the Native Americans that knew that when these three crops are grown together, they are often high yielding, are of high quality and have little impact on the environment.
Not only did the American Indians introduce the world to the "Three Sisters," they also introduced the colonist to the idea of fertilizing. Specifically, they would place a fish head alongside each crop row as it was planted. That fish head then would act as a natural fertilizer.
Throughout history books, it is very clear that the American Indians placed a great deal of emphasis on preparing space (the environment) for the next generation.
Many individuals have impacted agriculture throughout history.
To this day, there are advances going on in agriculture that focus around providing for consumers while being safer and easier for the producers.
Additionally, there are others out there working toward creating new inventions that will help conserve our resources, like with the studies being done on wind energy and biodiesel.
All of the past, present and future advances could not be made a reality without the help of someone thinking outside the box and taking a risk.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns about agriculture, horticulture, or natural resources, please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay County or 812-829-5020 in Owen County, or reach me directly via e-mail at email@example.com.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
* Feb. 15 -- Winter Cropping Systems Breakfast and PARP, 8-11:30 a.m., Chambers Restaurant. Call 812-829-2605 to register. Cost is $10 for PARP credit,
* Feb. 18 -- Estate and Family Business Transfer Planning, 8:30 a.m.-3:15 p.m., Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall,
* Feb. 19 -- Clay County 4-H Expo and Open House, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Clay County 4-H Exhibit Hall, and
* Feb. 25 -- Owen County 4-H Recruitment Night at YMCA, 4-6 p.m., Owen County YMCA.