Monday, March 15, 2010

Sustainable Farming: Optimism Mixed with Hard-Bitten Realism

On March 9th, 2010, ACES (for more information about this organization, see below) posted an article to its communications blog, Sustainability Plus/Greener & Healthier Living, about Dr. Charles Mitchell, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System agronomist and a professor in Auburn University’s Department of Agronomy and Soils. Mitchell considers himself an optimist when it comes to sustainable agriculture and is encouraged by the great strides made by aspiring organic farmers who have been developing specialized markets for their products in recent years.

However, even though Mitchell agrees that sustainability practices will continue to grow, he remains entirely unconvinced that large-scale farming practices will ever be 100% environmentally sustainable because as the world population approaches 9 billion people, there are “simply too many mouths to feed.” He does point out that sustainable practices have made up a significant portion of large-scale farming in the 21st Century, he just does not believe that is realistic for a global economy and population. He sees the future of organic farming as being very successful on a small local scale.

For examples of sustainable farming practices cited by Mitchell or to read the full article, visit: Sustainability Plus Posts.
ACES, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, is the primary outreach organization for the land-grant mission of Alabama A&M University and Auburn University. ACES has chosen to highlight a movement called, “sustainability plus,” because they believe that their audience, “Alabamians,” need to be equipped with a broader view of sustainability. ACES recognizes that many people associate sustainability solely with the environment and the term "sustainability plus" was developed to underscore the fact that sustainability extends well beyond the environment. ACES claims that we live in an era when many vital resources, not just natural resources, are being strained to their limit. However, research-based science conducted within a variety of disciplines has shown us how to act individually and collectively to preserve these social, economic and cultural resources and to secure a safer, more livable community.
For examples of “sustainability plus” and for information why the Alabama Extension Office is equipped to educate about this need, visit the following website: Sustainbability Plus Overview.

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April 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM  

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