No we’re not talking about your favourite secret agent Austin Powers. The term “agent” here means anything natural or human that changes the environment for better or worse. An example of a natural agent of change would be wind. Strong winds can blow the soil right off the surface. An example of a human agent of change would be a farmer who works the land. He or she is obviously changing the land by ploughing it and growing crops on it.
Agents of change on farm lands are from both natural and human sources. The natural sources are soil and climate (for example erosion, moisture availability, soil fertility). Human-caused pressures on agricultural lands and surrounding environments, typically stem from farm management practices related to crop and grazing land use. Natural agents of change and farm management practices are interconnected, and sometimes difficult to distinguish.