This article explores how Swiss agronomists and farmers experienced, perceived, and interpreted the modernization of North American agriculture from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries by examining a series of travel reports, correspondence, diaries, photographs, and film material that they produced about their study trips to the United States and Canada. These sources are an interesting point of departure for transnational perspectives in agricultural history; they reveal not only a great deal about the expectations, anxieties, perceptions, and prejudices that Swiss agriculturalists expressed in their encounter with agricultural institutions, economic mentalities, and farming practices on the other side of the Atlantic, but, in a much broader sense, also about the contested visions of agriculture in the age of industrial capitalism. The article examines how these visitors perceived and interpreted the patterns of agricultural modernization in the United States and Canada and how they comparatively embedded these observations in the epistemic paradigms shaped by their experiences at home. Furthermore, the article explores how the preoccupation with American agriculture and the transformation of knowledge, technology, and practices across the Atlantic shaped the patterns of change in agriculture in Switzerland.

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