Ontario's Cattle Kingdom: Purebred Breeders and Their World, 1870-1920
Published: April 2001© 2001
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 280 Pages
Dimensions: 6.27 x 9.28
280 Pages, 6.27 x 9.28 x 1.00 in
Based on abundant original research linking science, agriculture, business and the state, Ontario's Cattle Kingdom explores the significance of beef cattle and livestock farming in Ontario during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Margaret Derry concentrates much of her research on the herds themselves (purebred and otherwise), using them as cultural texts to explain patterns of innovation adoption and the problems with strategies to control market share.
The result is a fascinating and lively work, illustrating the complexity of agricultural history and offering an entirely new perspective on the social history of post-Confederation Ontario. The story of the purebred cattle breeders' world, for example, also describes the medical opinions of the nineteenth century, as well as disease control and the relationship between human and animal illness. And the stories are many: the evolution of cattle associations and organizations, the impact of technological progress on purebred herds, attempts to control disease and state regulation, and the relationship between the producers and consumers. Drawing from a wealth of historical case studies, Derry also presents the purebred breeders' theories and practices, their views on genetics and eugenics, as well as the implications of these practices on national and international patterns of beef economy.