Teaching Farmers to Be Men

It may be apocryphal, but Liberty Hyde Bailey (one of my heros) once explained that he did not teach “men to be farmers” in his horticulture courses at Michigan Agricultural College in the 1880s; he taught “farmers to be men.”

That quote came to mind when I read over this profile of Benjamin Cohen’s approach to teaching Engineering Studies at Lafayette: “Cohen sees a bright future for the engineering studies program. He and his colleagues are looking to enhance what he calls the ‘hard skills’ like political philosophy, historical context, cultural familiarity, communication, and environmental knowledge to help students become leaders of creative innovation and design. These skills can encourage a better awareness of what Byatt meant by a world ‘full of life and light.'”

Cohen recently published Notes from the Ground, on early American ag science and is now at work on a book recounting the history of food adulteration and purity.

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