The Early YearsFor
as long as agriculture has existed, mankind has desired to make improvements in producing plant and animals for food, fiber and other uses. Those persons that gained greater experience / knowledge of enhanced production practices were sought out for their advice. These advisors were generally termed 'consultant' - some gave advice freely, while some recognized a career could be built by consulting and charging for services/advice rendered. The term "consultant" is derived from the 16th century Latin term "consultum" meaning to take council together, deliberate, confer, consider, to plan, devise, contrive, to ask advice, seek counsel from, to have recourse for instruction or professional advice.
In the early 1960's a small group of individual independent agricultural consultants saw the need to form an organization focusing on professionalism of consulting in agriculture. Dr. Marion Eugene (M. E.) Ensminger, a world-renown animal scientist, Dr. James C. Nofziger, an expert animal nutritionist and other associates engaged in discussions centered on the problem of unqualified and / or unethical people posing as agricultural consultants. Within these discussions, the positive aspects of creating a professional organization with a formal definition of an agricultural consultant and a code of business ethics were raised. From this group's vision, The American Society of Agricultural Consultants was formed in 1963. ASAC began with consultants from across the U.S. They included animal and poultry nutritionists, veterinarians, poultry geneticists, agricultural engineers and microbiologists. Many of the original members have been written about in numerous publications and books; some can be found in the Agricultural Hall of Fame. Several have published books, founded schools and institutions bearing their names. They are a part of of agricultural history - today's ASAC members are proud and honored to wear the name of the organization they established.
For a more complete history-including biographies of some of the prominent organizers-follow the link below to a publication created for ASAC's 50th Anniversary in 2013 held in Washington D.C.ASAC's 50th Anniversary
As Dr. Ensminger, stated in a June 1, 1963 press release, “Agricultural Consultant Services will be as honorable as those of us in it make it. More and more agri-businesses, and farm and ranch owners, will need and seek the services of Consultants; just as has long been the practice in medicine and engineering, and in other fields.” Then, Dr. Ensminger well adds, “ Both agricultural clients and Consultants merit the protection of high standards and ethics, with which both will prosper; so let’s put our new house in order and keep it that way, rather than let it be tarnished from within. Consultants must be able, must on occasion have the moral courage to tell clients things that they may not wish to hear, and must be above reproach in the use and recommendation of products – they must be for those products and methods that will make clients money.”