Type: Book

Key issues in agricultural ethics


Dr Robert L. Zimdahl is Professor Emeritus at Colorado State University, USA. He is a Fellow of the Weed Science Society of America, Western Society of Weed Science, American Society of Agronomy, and former Editor of Weed Science. He has published on weed science, including the standard text Fundamentals of Weed Science, currently in its fifth edition. The sixth edition will be available in 2023. Dr Zimdahl is also editor of Integrated weed management for sustainable agriculture, published by Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing in 2017.



Publication date:

13 June 2023

Length of book:

294 pages

ISBN-13: 9781801463133

Request Permissions


Agriculture is facing unprecedented scrutiny for its social and environmental impacts. Many of the key choices it must make are fundamentally about ethics.

Key issues in agricultural ethics explores key ethical debates surrounding agriculture and agri-food supply chains. These include issues such as animal welfare, use of labour, the effects of new technologies and the overall impact of agriculture on the environment. It considers the ways these ethical dilemmas may be better understood and potentially resolved.

Edited by a leading researcher in the field, Key issues in agricultural ethics will be a standard reference for researchers in agriculture and environmental science, government and other private sector agencies responsible for monitoring good agricultural practice, as well as researchers involved in the social sciences with a focus on ethics.

What others are saying...

“A highly-respected editor – Emeritus Professor Robert L. Zimdahl – has ventured to lead this compilation on Key issues in agricultural ethics, which is timely and relevant to modern-day food production. Zimdahl’s collaboration with a group of distinguished scholars makes this a landmark volume, laying a firm foundation for ethical considerations in all forms of agriculture, as well as the associated technologies and their effects on the environment, plants, animals and human societies.” (Dr Nimal Chandrasena, former Associate Professor of Weed Science, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Editor-in-Chief – Weeds - Journal of the Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society)

“This latest publication has collated an excellent series of ethical concerns related to agriculture into one place for the first time. The book considers the need for agriculture to be grounded within a core of ethical principles if it is to be sustainable in the long term. Can this core of ethical principles resonate with producers and society as a strategic value system that will incite positive change? This new book opens the door to this very debate!” (Dr Clarence J. Swanton, University Professor Emeritus, University of Guelph, Canada)

“Professor Zimdahl has historically addressed the poorly “hidden” issue of ethics in agriculture and food production. In this publication, he and other distinguished scientists illustrate the importance of the ethical development of food substances in agriculture. I am pleased that Bob continues his good fight and am confident this will become a standard reference work for those working and studying in this field and beyond it.” (Emeritus Professor Micheal D. K. Owen, Iowa State University, USA)

Table of contents

Part 1 General

  • 1.What is agricultural ethics and why does it matter?: Paul B. Thompson, Michigan State University, USA;
  • 2.Approaches to ethics: Katie McShane, Colorado State University, USA;
  • 3.Institutionalizing agricultural ethics in US land-grant universities: Robert L. Zimdahl, Colorado State University, USA;
  • 4.Gender dimensions of agricultural ethics: Samantha Noll, Washington State University, USA;
  • 5.Agricultural ethics – the farmer’s perspective: Robert L. Zimdahl, Colorado State University, USA;
  • 6.Virtue ethics, Wendell Berry and agriculture: Wade Casey, Loyola University Chicago, USA;

Part 2 Ethical issues

  • 7.Agriculture and the environment: ethical issues: Richard Bawden and Roger Packham, Western Sydney University, Australia;
  • 8.Migrant labour in agriculture: ethical issues and challenges: Francesca Giarè, Patrizia Borsotto and Gabriella Ricciardi, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA), Italy;
  • 9.Intensification in agriculture: ethical issues: Alesandros Glaros, Philip Quarshie, Emily Duncan and Evan Fraser, University of Guelph, Canada;
  • 10.Key ethical issues in livestock farming: Natalie Thomas, University of Guelph, Canada; and Adam B. D. Langridge, Nipissing University, Canada;
  • 11.Ethical issues of developing new technologies in agriculture: Bart Gremmen, Wageningen University, The Netherlands;
  • 12.Intellectual property rights in agriculture: ethical issues: Leland L. Glenna, The Pennsylvania State University, USA;
  • 13.Ethics of agricultural research: N. Yasemin Yalım, Ankara University, Turkey; Burçin Çokuysal, Ege University, Turkey; and Cemal Taluğ, Ankara University, Turkey;