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Iowa State University Agronomy

Agronomy is the integration of many areas of science to manage plant resources and the environment they grow in. Specifically, agronomists take an integrated approach to genetics, crop management practices, soil quality and properties, and weather to produce usable plant material for society. Only through the integrated view of this system can we maintain the sustainable, renewable nature of plants as a natural resource. Because plants are the only way to convert the energy of the sun to energy our bodies can use, they are the foundation of all successful societies. As Nobel Peace Laureate, John Boyd Orr, said "You cannot build peace on empty stomachs". While food is the highest priority, many of the things we use every day come from this renewable resource. Plants are commonly used as material for clothing and plastics. They can also be renewable sources of portable fuel. And there is great potential for more. The important challenge lying ahead for agronomists is to meet the needs of our global society while conserving our environment for use by future generations.