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What is Sustainable Agriculture?

3 major components of Sustainable Agriculture:

  • Ecologically sound
    Food is not only part of our everyday life, but it's production and consumption also influence our local ecology - agricultural systems are ecological systems within larger ecosystems. By incorporating natural principles and sound production practices, we can be more responsible in the ways we produce food and interact with our local ecosystems
  • Economically viable
    Food security is rooted in economically sustainable food systems. A healthy food system requires many hands working to support production, processing and distribution. Producers and others must be fairly compensated and the markets around sustainably produced foods must contribute to a robust, diverse local economy.
  • Socially just
    Food can be a core of a community - strengthening relationships and providing meaningful work. Production and consumption should be designed to recognize the right of every person to healthy food, environments and livelihoods. This can be done through building connection between producers and communities as well as supporting production systems that provide good, rewarding jobs and food that is accessible and affordable for all members of that community

We seek to support these three pillars of sustainable agricultural food systems through research, community building and education. A variety of production, distribution and marketing methods have been investigated, tested and implemented all over the world. We will explore agricultural methods that advance sustainability in our region.

For an introduction to the contemporary issues facing agriculture and the imperative of sustainable agriculture, see this inspiring video by KPU's Dr. Kent Mullinix, director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

"What is Sustainable Agriculture?" Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE), Cornell University

Leopold Centre for Sustainable Agriculture

"What is Sustainable Agriculture?" Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), UC Davis