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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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New Study Explores Innovation and Opportunities for Diverse Local Food Distributors

March 16, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleNews Release – WASHINGTON, March 16, 2012 – Today, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan released a new report on the distribution practices of eight producer networks and their partners distributing locally or regionally-grown food to retail and foodservice customers. The report, entitled Moving Food Along the Value Chain: Innovations in Regional Food Distribution, shows how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.

“The Obama Administration is committed to putting Americans back to work and to revitalizing our rural agricultural communities, and one way to do that is through the expanding local foods movement which provides new economic opportunities for farmers and producers across the country,” said Merrigan. Read More

In the Classroom and on Local Farms, UW-Madison Molds Future of Sustainable Agriculture

March 7, 2012 |

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is busy when it comes to helping mold the future of sustainable agriculture. Officials at the university’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences say thinking about how farming can be done in a more environmentally and socially sustainable is just part of the natural flow of what the college does.

“Nobody talks about crop or animal production without thinking about sustainability and without incorporating it into their research,” said Bill Tracy, UW-Madison’s agronomy department chair and professor who recently stepped down from his post as the college’s interim dean. Read More

Iowa State, Nation’s First Land-grant University Makes Strides in Sustainable Agriculture

February 29, 2012 |

The following story marks the start of a new article series in which Seedstock will profile land-grant universities across the United States with a specific focus on the role that sustainable agriculture plays in their curriculums, research projects, student initiatives and more.


In the world of agricultural education, Iowa State University has historical bragging rights.

The university calls itself the nation’s first land-grant university, which refers to the Morrill Act of 1862. The law allowed federal land to be donated to states so the states could sell it and use the proceeds to establish public colleges that focused on agriculture and mechanical arts. Read More

Survey Results Reveal Global Hunger May Be Double Previous Estimates, Says Ohio State Researcher

February 23, 2012 |

New Release – (COLUMBUS, OH, Feb 23) – A household food and nutrition survey developed in part by an Ohio State University researcher is uncovering a clearer picture of hunger and malnutrition throughout the world.

Although the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has in the past estimated that 1 billion people in the world go hungry or are malnourished, the surveys being used now, said Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez, indicate the number may be double that. Read More

Out of Ostrich Boom Comes Advanced Livestock Monitoring Technology to Improve Feed Efficiency and Reduce Waste

February 17, 2012 |

Alison Sunstrum already had her own business when she first met the three engineers behind Alberta, Canada-based GrowSafe Systems. They had hit a wall in their research and could not see their way to a commercial product. She offered solutions as a consultant. They ignored all of them, but still Sunstrum says that she was so impressed by what they were doing, she sold her company and bought into theirs.

What captured her attention was the concept of using advanced technology to monitor livestock, improve feed efficiency, and reduce animal waste and emissions, all without disrupting the natural behavior patterns of the animals. “It was a completely paradigm shifting idea and I thought that what they were doing was amazing.”  Read More