Comparative Farming Systems

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Billie Lee Turner, Stephen B. Brush
Guilford Press, 1987 - Science - 428 pages
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Through a series of 12 original case studies, prepared by 19 international, multidisciplinary experts, this volume offers a comprehensive comparative examination of world agriculture. The 12 farming systems explored here encompass the broad array of environmental, demographic, and socioeconomic conditions in which agriculture exists--from Amazonian swidden to Hungarian cooperative farms. B.L. Turner II and Stephen B. Brush have provided a three-part classification of the systems based on output intensity, technology employed, and production goals. The contributors bring to their case studies the perspectives of anthropology, economics, geography, and rural sociology. Farming Systems will be a valuable reference work on individual farming systems, a rich source of comparative data for researchers, and a text for advanced courses in farming systems and world agriculture.

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About the author (1987)

B.L. (Lee) Turner graduated from San Jose Bible College with a Bachelor of Theology Degree in 1947. In 1956, after having served nine-and-one-half years in evangelistic Christian ministry at Vancouver, Washington, he entered the graduate school of the University of Pennsylvania, where in 1959 he completed his M.A. Degree in South Asia Regional Studies. His thesis was "A Contribution to the English Historical Cartography of Iran in the Early Islamic Period".

Following the completion of his studies at the University of Pennsylvania, he and his family sailed to Pakistan in August 1960 where they spent the next fifteen years in Christian evangelism, both urban and rural. During the early part of his stay in Pakistan, Lee also studied history and political science at the University of the Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan.

While living in Pakistan, Lee made several study and preaching trips to various sites throughout much of India. Also, due to a war between India and Pakistan in 1971, he and his family spent six months in Afghanistan during which he became acquainted with further aspects of that country's history and geography. As a board member of a U.S. Christian relief organization, in Africa he visited Sudan and Egypt several times, and in India he traveled to war-torn Imphal to help implement relief projects.

Toward the end of 1975, the Turners were no longer allowed to renew their visas and consequently had to terminate their residential mission work in Pakistan. On their way back to America, Lee and his youngest son, traveling by Jeep, pursued a six-month study-tour of the Middle East which included Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Jordan and Syria. During that tour Lee sent a series of letters home entitled "Travel Letters From The Center Arena of History". Since 1975, Lee has made 22 trips back to Pakistan and several additional trips to India.

In 1971, as part of the Turners' mission outreach to the Urdu-speaking part of the Muslim world, they began shortwave Gospel broadcasts over the facilities of Far East Broadcasting Association, then situated in the Seychelles Islands. Those broadcasts have continued uninterruptedly and go out under the name of Awaz-e-Haqq (The Voice of Truth). That broadcast work has been expanded and is now carried on under the name of Key Communications, directed by Lee Turner. For additional information, visit

Stephen B. Brush is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Human and Community Development, University of California, Davis.

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