Layers, Pullets, and the Egg Production Sector

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1991-04-26
Authors
Ginder, Roger
Owings, William
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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The egg production sector has undergone radical change during the past 25 years. Iowa egg production prior to the 1960s was conducted through relatively small extensively managed flocks dispersed on diversified farming operations. Since that time new technologies have resulted in the industry moving rapidly to specialized intensively managed facilities in fewer locations. This trend can be seen in figure 1 showing the number of Iowa layer and 'pullet producers in 1964,1978 and 1987. The total number of producers in 1964 was about 72,000. By 1978 that total, had declined by more than 80% to about 11,000. Between 1978 and 1987 it fell by another 50% to less than 5,000.

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