Throughout its modern history, agriculture in the United States has been characterized by two competing visions grounded in the ‘agrarian ethic’ and the ‘industrial ethic.’ The current manifestation of these competing visions is the ‘sustainable intensification’ versus ‘agroecology’ discourse to feed the world in the face of climate change and population growth. The term sustainable intensification was first used in the 1990s in reference to modernizing agriculture in developing countries to generate local and regional foods to meet growing population pressures. At that time the discourse and practice on sustainable intensification was informed by agroecology; it was to be based on appropriate technologies and sensitive to cultural norms. In 2006 the UNFAO announced that sustainable intensification was the new paradigm that would feed the earth’s population of nine billion in 2050. It was defined as growing more food on the same amount of land with fewer environmental externalities. The FAO called on governments and NGOs to implement the paradigm, marshalling all available technologies. Sustainable intensification is also criticized, labeled as an oxymoron with numerous ethical concerns. This chapter traces the archaeology of the competing discourses, with attention to the topic of sustainable intensification and agrifood transition futures.