- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
A blog titled "The World's Fair: All Manner of Human Creativity on Display" posted a question-and-answer session with Keith Warner, the author of Agroecology in Action - Extending Alternative Agriculture Through Social Networks. Warner, who studied at UC Santa Cruz, is a Franciscan Friar and a lecturer at Santa Clara University.
The social networks Warner refers to in his book are the precursors to what is now generally thought of as social networking, Web sites like Facebook and My Space.
Warner believes networks of farmers, scientists, and other stakeholders must work together and share knowledge among themselves. This sort of partnership, he says, is the primary strategy for finding alternatives to conventional agrochemical use.
Warner's blog comments, which read like a college textbook, touch on the part of his new publication in which he reviews the land grant university research-extension technology transfer system. The blog post even includes a technology transfer graph from a UC Cooperative Extension training manual.
His take on land grant technology transfer isn't wholly complimentary. For example, he wrote:
"I discovered that underneath the discourses of omniscience on the part land grant universities and the farm bureau, a significant portion of the farming community questioned the inevitability of contemporary, polluting practices." (Omniscience is college textbook way to say "know-it-all.")
It appears to me that Warner's book most certainly has interesting ideas and advice for UC Cooperative Extension, but judging from the writing style on the blog, it might be a challenge to read. Warner said he wrote the book hoping it would "mobilize the public to pressure decision-makers to create an agricultural science system that serves the common good." I wonder how many members of the public would be willing to slog through this book.