What is Agriculture?

Legal Definition
Agriculture is the cultivation and breeding of animals, plants and fungi for food, fiber, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science. The history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates, cultures, and technologies. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture farming has become the dominant agricultural methodology.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have in many cases sharply increased yields from cultivation, but at the same time have caused widespread ecological damage and negative human health effects. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and the health effects of the antibiotics, growth hormones, and other chemicals commonly used in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are an increasing component of agriculture, although they are banned in several countries. Agricultural food production and water management are increasingly becoming global issues that are fostering debate on a number of fronts. Significant degradation of land and water resources, including the depletion of aquifers, has been observed in recent decades, and the effects of global warming on agriculture and of agriculture on global warming are still not fully understood.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels, and raw materials. Specific foods include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meats and spices. Fibers include cotton, wool, hemp, silk and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo. Other useful materials are also produced by plants, such as resins, dyes, drugs, perfumes, biofuels and ornamental products such as cut flowers and nursery plants. Over one third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the percentages of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the past several centuries.
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Agriculture includes soil preparation, seed planting, crop harvesting, gardening, horticulture, viticulture, apiculture (bee-raising), dairying, poultry, and ranching. Generally, laws grouped under the heading "agricultural law" relate to the production of the fruits of these activities as they are carried out in a commercial setting.

There are numerous federal statutes that subsidize, regulate or otherwise directly affect agricultural activity. Several focus on agricultural workers: The Federal Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act provides protection for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers (29 U.S.C. §§ 1802 et seq.). 42 U.S.C. §§ 1471 et seq. provides for financial assistance to farmers and others for the construction or improvement of farm housing and other agriculturally related purposes.

Some states have also passed statutes relating to agriculture production and labor. For example, Arizona has enacted legislation granting agricultural workers the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining activities.
Legal Definition
The art of cultivating the earth in order to obtain from it the divers things it can produce; and particularly what is useful to man, as grain, fruit's, cotton, flax, and other things. Domat, Dr. Pub. liv. tit. 14, s. 1, n. 1.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The science or art of cultivating the ground, especially in fields or large areas, including the tlllage of the soil, the planting of seeds, the raising and harvesting of crops, and the rearing of live stock. Dillard v. Webb, 55 Ala. 474. And see Bin-zel v. Grogan, 67 Wis. 147, 29 N. W. 895 ; Simons v. Lovell, 7 Heisk. (Tenn.) 510; Springer v. Lewis, 22 Pa. 191.

A person actually engaged in the "science of agriculture" (within the meaning of a statute giving him special exemptions) is one who derives the support of himself and his family, in whole or in part, from the tillage and cultivation of fields. He must cultivate something more than a garden, although it may be much less than a farm. If the area cultivated can be called a field, it is agriculture, as well in contemplation of law as in the etymology of the word. And if this condition be fulfilled, the uniting of any other business, not inconsistent with the pursuit of agriculture, does not take away the protection of the statute. Springer v. Lewis. 22 Pa. 193.
-- Black's Law Dictionary