« Return to this article

Know the West

Talk about pejoratives

  Dear HCN,

A recent letter criticized Ed Marston's review of Rangeland Health (HCN, 4/4/94) in which he described range science as "a handmaiden of the livestock industry." Marston stands accused of political incorrectness for pejoratively using a female gendered word. At least he was civil.

Agriculture faculty in the West's land-grant universities are often accused of cheerleading for ranching and prostituting ourselves to the livestock industry. (More gender discrimination?) "Handmaiden" is tame compared to the "boot licker," "ass kisser" and worse that we get all the time. Sad to say, these epithets are not entirely undeserved. Nevertheless, the review provides evidence that agricultural science has produced some of the status quo's harshest critics: Note the distinguished range scientists among the authors of Rangeland Health.

And where to obtain a copy of the book? From the Society for Range Management!

Robin W. Groose

Laramie, Wyoming

The writer is professor of crop science at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.