In the early years of the twentieth century, Australia's leading economists were well versed in the nature of Australian agriculture but it was not until the 1930s and 1940s that scientists and economists alike realised there was an obvious need for trained agricultural economists. In this paper it is argued that the foundations of Australian agricultural economics were laid in the period immediately following the economic upheaval of the Great Depression and the Second World War. The formalisation of the discipline was completed in the 1950s with the appointment of professors and the expansion of courses in the universities, and the creation of the professional society.


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