Dr. Sterling Evans

Research Involves

Within the overall theme of agricultural and environmental history of a trans-national, interconnected North America (Mexico, the United States, Canada) studies ranging from agricultural dependencies and markets, environmental change, and conservation issues all within the Plains region.

Research Relevance

This research will lead to the better understanding of trade agreements, like NAFTA.

Bound in Twine

An international dependency developed between the grain-growing regions of the US and Canada (Great Plains and prairie provinces) and the sisal-growing region of Mexico (the Yucatan Peninsula) in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  The dependency was based on the invention and widespread use of binders to harvest wheat and other cereal crops.  The binder was a harvesting implement that required twine made of Mexican sisal to bind the stalks of grain before they were threshed.

The history, economics and ecology of the Yucatan plantation sisal industry and the history and use of twine production and use in the US and Canada had transnational connections never before addressed in the historiography.

Dr. Evans’ research examines North and Central American agricultural and environmental history and the important implication those histories have had on rural peoples and the interconnectivity between and among the countries.  His focus is on Mexico, United States, and Canada, and introduces a new transnational perspective to these studies.

The research is timely, since it will lead to a better understanding of the transnational dependencies and markets of Central and North America.  This knowledge is a particular significance to understanding and negotiating trade agreements such as NAFTA.