Agriculture began around 12,000 years ago in South-East Asia. It went on to trigger a huge change in society and the way in which people lived. Traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles were swept aside in favor of permanent settlements and a food supply that was seen as ‘reliable’. Cities and civilizations grew as a result and because animals and crops could now be farmed to meet demand, the global population has grown from around five million people 10,000 years ago, to more than seven billion to this day.
Cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs all originate as farmed animals. Genetic studies show that goats and other livestock accompanied the westward spread of agriculture into Europe, which helped to revolutionize the Stone Age Society. While the extent to which farmers themselves migrated west is still a debate to this day, the dramatic impact of dairy farming on Europeans is all too clear. Before the arrival of domestic cattle in Europe, prehistoric populations were unable to stomach raw cow milk. However, at some point during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe, a mutation occurred for lactose tolerance that increased in frequency through natural selection. This was all thanks to the nourishing benefits of milk.
In today’s society, the biggest challenge that farmers face is the task of providing consumers with the highest quality food possible. Growing wholesome, safe food is their number one priority. The government is responsible for safeguarding the food supply but farmers themselves are responsible for growing food safely. They must ensure that they use crop protectants effectively and safely, at just the right amount to combat pests and diseases. The basic products farmers produce are not usually the source of bacterial diseases. After the products leave the farm, however, meat, milk and other high- protein foods, on occasion, can be subject to contamination during processing, handling, storing and the actual preparation of the food. However, these days, food safety standards are in place to ensure the food we eat is safe. Farmers work hard to gain the knowledge, training and skill to use chemicals correctly. A lot of farms are family businesses and many farmers are taught by their parents. However, there are also various training and college courses that people can go on in order to increase their knowledge of the field.