ABSTRACT

What have we done? What have we found? Such questions are usually addressed in the conclusion of a scholarly study. Yet our answers—that we have constructed a detailed map of three major outlooks in contemporary agricultural controversy and that we have found it possible in a variety of ways to narrow the disjunctures between these views and thus help to bring them into fuller conversations with each other—will leave many traditional expectations unsatisfied. Where in each view should proponents be ready to give ground? Where should they reach out to forge alliances? Which presumptions must be abandoned? Which images are compatible, which might be synthesized? What policy recommendations are warranted? And above all, in what direction should agriculture go in the future? We have left all of these questions unanswered; we have interpreted the views but have offered no assessment or critique of them; we have discussed a wide range of policy issues but have offered no substantive policy recommendations; we have probed the different visions of the future of US. agriculture but have offered no vision of our own.