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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Sustainable Agriculture Information

New Hampshire’s GreenStart Sees Sustainable Agriculture Practices as Key to Food and Fuel Security

September 28, 2011 |

It can be difficult to break down a system and thoroughly examine its component parts without losing sight of the whole picture. Dorn Cox can do just that. As executive director of New Hampshire-based nonprofit GreenStart, he’s working to develop biologically based local food and energy systems designed to return carbon to the soil. To do this, he looks at where and when carbon is entering and leaving the soil – and how to keep it there with as few inputs as possible. Read More

Seedstock Digest: Sustainable Hog Farming, Hydroponic Window Farms, Farmer John and Biodynamics, and Natural Systems Agriculture

August 5, 2011 |

Happy Friday! To get you through the hopefully beautiful weekend weather and lazy Saturday and Sunday that you have ahead of you, Seedstock is highlighting some our latest and greatest stories. These stories feature a sustainably creative Indiana hog farmer, an innovative farm that you can grow in your bedroom, bathroom, and living room windows, a truly trailblazing biodynamic farmer from Illinois and a Kansas visionary seeking to use a prairie model in agriculture to farm crops more sustainably and in line with nature’s intentions.  Enjoy your weekend reads! Read More

Online Tool Gives Sustainable Farmers Competitive Advantage

July 27, 2011 |

WesMar Farms is one of two licensed goat dairies in Louisiana. Marketing their fresh goat milk, cheese and seasonal produce can be an obstacle for this sustainable family farm, Marguerite Constantine said.

“I am not a large company. I don’t have a big advertising budget. I can’t afford an ad agency or a PR person,” she explained. “My resources are limited not only by time, but money.”

When MarketMaker, a free online tool designed to link agricultural supply chain players, came to Louisiana in 2010, Constantine was quick to create an account. She said that it was “tailor-made” for her small farm’s market research and advertising needs. Read More

A Perennial Vision to Reduce Fossil Fuel Usage, Save Soil and Feed the World

July 22, 2011 |

If it were up to The Land Institute, instead of miles upon miles of amber waves of grain the American heartland would look a lot more diverse. The Salina, Kansas research institution promotes agricultural systems that are more in line with the state’s prairies—where different varieties of plants thrive side by side—than with its celebrated monochromatic wheat fields.

The Land Institute was founded in 1976 when Wes Jackson quit his job as chair of California State University-Sacramento’s environmental studies program to return to his native Kansas in order to do practical research on his ideas about alternative, sustainable agricultural methods. Jackson, who has a B.A. in biology, an M.A. in botany and a Ph.D. in genetics is widely considered a visionary in sustainable agriculture circles. He argues that because of the way we have been farming for centuries there is now a “problem of agriculture” meaning that the very way we farm is in question. Read More

A Meaty Resource for Sustainable Processors

June 30, 2011 |

Sustainable meat production and processing informationImagine that you’re a small rancher in a state, let’s say California, where sustainable meat products are in high demand. You’ve got a high-quality, grass-fed product that your neighbors and their friends would snap up in an instant if you could get it to them regularly, at a reasonable price. However, there isn’t a local meat processing plant that’s willing or able to handle your business and sending your cattle long distances undermines your customers’ commitment to eating local as well as elevates costs. Should you do your own processing? Read More