Education has long been hailed and supported as the major pathway of progress and the key to the solution of almost every human problem. Education in agronomy partakes of this heritage and applies it directly and indirectly to the problems of increasing the production of food and other materials needed for the rapidly expanding world population.
Increasing numbers of agronomists will be required for this effort and they will need better and more sophisticated education. Their responsibilities will include the preparation of both undergraduate and graduate students, to become the researchers, the extension and industrial agronomists, and the teachers of the future.
The conference reported in this book was focussed on the undergraduate student and his needs and problems. The Commission on Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources of the National Research Council and the Resident Education Division, representing the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America, have made a most valuable contribution toward increasing and improving education in agronomy by sponsoring this conference.
The aspects discussed, by highly specialized and competent speakers, were well chosen and pertinent to the basic objectives of the conference. The addresses and the subsequent queries of speakers introduced many important ideas and procedures developed by the participants.
Several hundred educators representing every section of the U. S. and visitors from other countries gave serious attention and discussion to the five principal topics around which the conference was assembled.
Sharing of these facts and suggestions should result in a reevaluation of agronomic teaching and improvement in the over-all quality of education in agronomy. This publication of the proceedings of the conference makes available to hundreds of other educators the ideas and suggestions presented at the meetings.
The three Societies express their gratitude to the CEANAR for the opportunity to join in promoting the conference. The officers and the members of the Societies are grateful to the Resident Education Division of the American Society of Agronomy for its effort in this undertaking. It is hoped that this publication will prove to be valuable and will attain wide circulation and use.
D. C. SMITH, President
American Society of Agronomy
F. L. PATTERSON, President
Crop Science Society of America
M. L. JACKSON, President
Soil Science Society of America