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Sustainable Agriculture: Home

A guide to resources and information about sustainable agricultural practices.

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Welcome to the Sustainable Agriculture guide. If you have any questions or need help with your research, please contact us using the box below.

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Defining Sustainable Agriculture

"Sustainable agriculture" was addressed by Congress in the 1990 "Farm Bill" [Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (FACTA), Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603 (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1990) NAL Call # KF1692.A31 1990].

Under that law, "the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

  • satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole."

Available at GPO Access: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+7USC3103

"Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals--environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity. A variety of philosophies, policies and practices have contributed to these goals. People in many different capacities, from farmers to consumers, have shared this vision and contributed to it."

Read more at the Univeristy of Californina's Agriculture and Research Program page.

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From the Green-Collar Economy

At first glance, the food system -- how we fuel our bodies -- may seem less connected to climate change than how we fuel our cars or how we heat, light, and cool our homes. Yet consider just one random and bizarre fact that drives home the interconnectedness of our systems: as a result of the ten pounds that the average U.S. citizen gained in the 1990s, the airline industry has burned 350 million additional gallons of fuel per year.

Although that's among the more obscure correlations you can find, our food system is a major consumer of precious resources and has, between its production processes and global distribution, a significant carbon footprint.

Van Jones, The Green-Collar Economy

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