sustainability is based on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the future.
Stewardship is at the core of our approach. We believe that farmland must be preserved and that farming practices should
embody a holistic approach when evaluating the environmental impact of a particular agricultural practice.
support implementing programs and technologies that provide safe working and living conditions for laborers.
These actions should always look towards improving the economic condition of rural communities, protectiong
consumer safety, and supplying enough food to feed a growing world population.
A systems approach is vital
in view of sustainability. This approach, in its broadest sense, encompasses the individual farm, the
local ecosystem, and communities affected by a particular farming system. It allows for a more comprehensive view
of the effect that a given farming practice may have on both the community and the environment.
This systems viewpoint
also implies interdisciplinary efforts in research and education, and public policy. This means that researchers, farmers,
farm workers, consumers, and policymakers must to work together to develop solutions.
We believe that the transition
to practical sustainable agriculture is already in process. Farmers generally have been taking steps to minimize
the impact of their operations on the environment. They already employ many methods which are "sustainable"
such as: Integrated Pest Management (IPM), reducing fertilizer rates, more judicious use of water, and conservation tillage
to prevent erosion. There are still important issues that need to be addressed such as minimizing the number of
equipment trips over the field to minimize emissions and the carbon footprint of agricultural practices but much progress
has already been made.
Economics and personal goals influence how fast or how far participants can go in the transition.
It is important to realize that each small decision does make a difference in advancing the entire system. The key to
moving forward is the will to take the next step. One of the keys to ultimate success will be developing and implementing
practical sustainable practices throughout the world. We must find solutions that work, to provide more food to
in certain areas of the world without creating environmental chaos.
Finally, it is important to point out that moving
to practical sustainable agriculture will require a new way of thinking about the topic. There is no "one
size fits all" approach that will work for all production systems, crops, or agricultural areas of the world. Our
focus is on finding, developing and implementing the most practical solutions to problems that exist today, these solutions
must fit the culture and conditions of the local community and provide a safe sustainable food supply for the population.
Feeding people is the primary purpose of agriculture.