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Corn capital. how corn shaped the landscape, industry, and culture of Olivia, MN
Corn capital. how corn shaped the landscape, industry, and culture of Olivia, MN
Olivia, MN, is a town of 2,500 inhabitants in the Northern Corn Belt, known as the “Corn Capital of the World.” The author provides an eco-biography of Olivia, MN by showing how corn shaped the landscape, industry, and culture of the “Corn Capital.” Olivia serves both a case study location to document the changes in Midwestern agriculture, as well as a unique global corn research and development hub and center for corn celebrations. Both Native Americans and European settlers used corn to actively shape the landscape of the area, turning prairie and marshlands into farmland. Olivia’s economy was and is also shaped by corn as the town has become one of the key research and production sites of seed corn, therefore tying it intimately into the global agro-business network. This dissertation traces the transformation of landscape around Olivia, the history of the industrialization and globalization of the seed industry, the environmental impacts caused through the creation of the Corn Belt, as well as the ways in which corn influenced local celebrations.
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Liepold, Ann-Katrin
2017
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Liepold, Ann-Katrin (2017): Corn capital: how corn shaped the landscape, industry, and culture of Olivia, MN. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty for Languages and Literatures
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Abstract

Olivia, MN, is a town of 2,500 inhabitants in the Northern Corn Belt, known as the “Corn Capital of the World.” The author provides an eco-biography of Olivia, MN by showing how corn shaped the landscape, industry, and culture of the “Corn Capital.” Olivia serves both a case study location to document the changes in Midwestern agriculture, as well as a unique global corn research and development hub and center for corn celebrations. Both Native Americans and European settlers used corn to actively shape the landscape of the area, turning prairie and marshlands into farmland. Olivia’s economy was and is also shaped by corn as the town has become one of the key research and production sites of seed corn, therefore tying it intimately into the global agro-business network. This dissertation traces the transformation of landscape around Olivia, the history of the industrialization and globalization of the seed industry, the environmental impacts caused through the creation of the Corn Belt, as well as the ways in which corn influenced local celebrations.