Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 1999


Published in Great Plains Research 9: (Fall 1999). Copyright © 1999 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


A two-volume encyclopedia obviously cannot cover either the breadth or depth of topics available in much larger works. The more than 250 entries here range from "addiction" to "workers' compensation." All relate to rural America, though some fail to provide distinctly rural views because of the narrowing of the nation's rural and urban cultures.

The entries can be categorized as agricultural, human, socioeconomic, resource, technological, and institutional. Some fit more than one category. Examples of agricultural entries include "hydroponics," "apiculture," "dairy farming," "dryland farming," and "livestock production." "Ethnicity," "African Americans," "health care," "literacy," and "values of residents" represent human entries. Socioeconomic topics include "culture," "entrepreneurship," "family," "inequality," and "religion." The many resource entries cover such areas as "conservation, soil"; "conservation, water"; "drought"; "labor force"; "parks"; "trees"; and "wildlife." "Computers," "agrochemical use," "irrigation," and "mechanization" represent technological entries. And among the institutional topics are "churches," "community," "cooperatives," "educational curriculum," ':homelessness," "labor unions," "markets," and "organic farming."