Agronomists in most parts of the world are already, and will be increasingly in the next couple of decades, solicited to resolve pressing issues associated with global climate change and food security. For a number of reasons, it is most likely that in both of these areas, their research will be very tightly linked to what happens in Brazil. In that context, this chapter attempts to offer as complete a picture as possible of the events and influences that have shaped historically both Brazilian agriculture and its agricultural research efforts, as well as their relationships with other sectors of Brazilian society. An account is provided of the history of Brazilian agriculture and of the initially slow, then extremely rapid development of the agricultural research sector. This chapter also analyzes in detail the present contributions of agriculture to the economic and social consolidation of Brazil, describes the main actors of research and technological development, discusses the effect of agricultural production and expansion on the environment, tries to identify the various forces that are influencing Brazilian agriculture in the future, and lists the main challenges that will have to be faced in the future of Brazilian and world agriculture. Throughout the chapter, we try to make clear how Brazilians interpret as half-truths a number of statements commonly made about Brazilian agriculture, and how they see their agriculture evolve in the foreseeable future, with a discourse that often differs substantially from the one commonly put forth by the media or even scientists elsewhere in the world. This analysis results in the description of a proposed national agricultural policy that attempts to move Brazilian agriculture in the right direction within the context of the nation's economy.