Agriculture is the cultivation of land and breeding of animals and plants to provide food, fiber, medicinal plants and other products to sustain and enhance life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years; people gathered wild grains at least 105,000 years ago, and began to plant them around 11,500 years ago, before they became domesticated. Pigs, sheep, and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Crops originate from at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture has in the past century become the dominant agricultural method.
Beatus ille qui procul negotiis,
Ut prisca gens mortalium,
Paterna rura bobus exercet suis,
Solutus omni fænore.
Happy he who far from business, like the primitive race of mortals, cultivates with his own oxen the fields of his fathers, free from all anxieties of gain.
I think the initial reason why I became interested in farming is that I wanted to be outdoors. I've always enjoyed being outdoors. And so, I looked around and when I was at high school, probably 14 or so, my parents through friends arranged for me to be able to go work on farms on the weekend.
Ian Wilmut Interview at the Academy of Acheivement (23 May 1998).
Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;
With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;
In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountains start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.
W. H. Auden In Memory of W.B. Yeats (1939), Lines 66-77.