What is Sustainable Agriculture?
Sustainable agriculture refers to an agricultural production and distribution system that:
- Achieves the integration of natural biological cycles and controls,
- Protects and renews soil fertility and the natural resource base,
- Optimizes the management and use of on-farm resources,
- Reduces the use of nonrenewable resources and purchased production inputs,
- Provides an adequate and dependable farm income,
- Promotes opportunity in family farming and farm communities, and
- Minimizes adverse impacts on health, safety, wildlife, water quality, and the envrionment.
Following are some publications that get into some of the technical details of this system, as well as help you get started into a truly sustainable operation:
Building a Sustainable Business
A definitive business planning workbook for farm extrepreneurs wanting to incorporate a new enterprise into both the farm business and their lifestyle.
Making the Transition to Sustainable Farming
How to move from a conventional system of farm management.
What is Community Supported Agriculture and How Does it Work?
An innovative and resourceful strategy of connecting local farmers with local consumers.
A decision-making framework on managing the entire farm instead of enterprises in isolation from each other.
SARE - Sustainable Agriculture Network
ATTRA - Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
Any discussion of sustainable agriculture would not be complete without looking at alternative enterprises. The following sites will help you find information on virtually any enterprise that you could imagine:
John Ikerd, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri, has provided national leadership for research and educational programs related to sustainable agriculture. Since retiring, he spends most of his time writing and speaking out on issues related to sustainable agriculture with an emphasis on the economics of sustainability. A large collection of his articles are on the web at: