‘Agronomy Feeds the World’ Videos Created

Published online: Apr 11, 2017
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Agronomy is the study of crop and soil science—important in delivering food from farm to table. But most people don’t know the word. And most agronomists—the scientists working in the field of agronomy—find their complicated jobs hard to explain. That means there is a communication gap, and Nels Hansen, a professor in the Department of Plant Science at Brigham Young University-Idaho, wants to help solve it.

Along with communications professor Christian Mawlam, Hansen made a set of videos about agronomy. The series of four videos, “Agronomy Feeds the World,” is now available on YouTube. Each short video was produced and funded by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). The four videos are all themed to demonstrate different aspects of agronomy.

“Most people understand food has its beginnings on farms,” says Hansen. “But they remain unaware of the science of agronomy and how those engaged in it have worked to align food production with population growth. We wanted to use video to show how agronomists work for a healthy and sustainable standard of food production.”

Hansen is an ASA member.

“We knew that the public was very interested about food and gardening topics based on research,” says Susan Fisk, director of science communications for ASA. “They were eager for ASA to provide information about certain topics like water management and soil compaction. I’m glad Nels was interested in doing the project, and he and Christian did a great job.”

The videos are available for viewing on ASA’s YouTube channel. Each video starts with families and individuals in familiar places: in their kitchens preparing food, at the grocery store and farmers’ market buying food, and working in their home gardens. Then the videos show agronomists and growers in the fields managing their production techniques. Each video also includes, on screen, a short definition of agronomists: “Experts in soil and crop management.”

“It’s our hope that the videos will pique interest and guide people to ask more questions of agronomists,” says Hansen.

The videos can be viewed on ASA’s YouTube site, under the “Agronomy Feeds the World” playlist. All the videos are available in closed caption formatting.