Courtwright receives prestigious award at agricultural history conference


"Dr. Julie Courtwright attended the Agricultural History Society Conference in New York City this summer and came home with a tremendous honor. She was chosen as the winner of the 2016 Vernon Carstensen Award for the Best Article Published in Agricultural History. ‘On the Edge of Possible: Artificial Rainmaking and the Extension of Hope on the Great Plains’ was published in the Fall 2015 issue.

Jenny Barker-Devine, a PhD graduate from ISU was chair of the awards committee and had this to say when she presented the certificate:

"Courtwright examined the art and science of rainmaking throughout the 1890s, arguing that the practice ‘reflected larger insecurities about the advisibility of practicing agriculture in a marginal environment.’ Challenging narratives that emphasize the dryness of the Plains, Courtwright made a compelling case that we have much to learn about the region’s moisture. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, the committee further concluded that Courtwright’s essay was – in the words of one committee member – "So much fun."

"The committee had no small task this year, as the 89th volume of Agricultural History was especially strong. One member even asked if we could announce runners up, but I had to say no. There can be only one."