Yesterday's Research for Tomorrow's Needs

1997 Annual Report for LNC97-123

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 1997: $63,500.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2003
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $29,228.00
Region: North Central
State: Kansas
Project Coordinator:
Dr. Rhonda Janke
Kansas State University

Yesterday's Research for Tomorrow's Needs


The objective of this project is to systematically collect, select and compile the early literature on farming systems for sustainable agriculture, for easy access by farmers, extension specialists, and scientists, both in paper copy and electronically, in a searchable database.

Nine subject matter specialists were chosen to review the titles from the Publications of the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station 1888-1950 to pre-select the publications pertaining to sustainable agriculture. A master copy and copies were made of the “pre-selections” for the subject matter specialists and were distributed to them along with evaluation forms for final selection and rationale for selection/non-selection. All copied publications (master copies) were assigned IDs for cataloging purposes. The results were compiled in a database using Microsoft Access.

A total of 2,324 publications were reviewed, 447 were pre-selected, 317 have been evaluated, and 177 were found to pertain to sustainable agriculture. Of these 68 that had information pertaining to tomorrow’s needs, 54 were recommended for digitizing, 18 required rewriting, 17 for pursuing further research.

A web site has been created ( At this website the scanned full-text historical publications pertaining to sustainable agriculture are being posted.

Our project can serve as a prototype for other states who want to survey their own historical literature and create a database. A significant outcome from this work will be to contribute to the objectives of the Sustainable and Organic Cropping Systems Task Force at KSU. This group has the objective of compiling existing research pertaining to sustainable cropping systems, identifying gaps in our knowledge, and developing original research. This project will provide this task force with the needed historical perspective.

Once complete, our website, CD ROM, and distribution of paper copies of reprinted bulletins will be monitored to determine the demand and interest in these products.

North Central Region SARE 1998 Annual Report