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Frequently referred to as sustainable agricultures because sustainability is dependent upon the ecological and infrastructural conditions of the particular area as well as the structural and individual capacities of the community, farmer(s) and others involved, the term captures three interrelated spheres of human activity. These are environmental stewardship, economic viability, and social justice.

To borrow from John Ikerd, if we pollute the air or water, or the soil loses fertility, it is not sustainable; if farmers cannot make a living, it is not sustainable. And LESSON adds, only when we respect each other and find common ground, is it sustainable.

Here you will find more information about sustainable agriculture(s): these are the resources LESSON turns to in structuring our programs and projects.


Rodale Institute

Rodale Institute

Through Organic leadership we improve the health and well being of people and the planet.
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For over sixty-years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.

Delaware Organic Food and Farming Association -- DOFFA

Supporting Sustainable Agriculture In Delaware DOFFA is dedicated to providing education and awareness of sustainable agriculture production to growers, consumers and retailers. This includes the promotion of ecologically responsible farming practices and marketing opportunities for farmers and growers, regardless of size, who are interested in the production of organically produced agricultural products.

Virginia Association for Biological Farming -- VABF

The Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) is the primary organization in the state of Virginia concerned with organic and biological farming and gardening. Our membership includes: Certified organic farmers and market gardeners Practitioners of organic farming / gardening who have chosen not to be certified Sustainable, ecological and low-input producers Biodynamic gardeners and farmers Producers of pastured beef, poultry, eggs, dairy cows or goats, etc. Home gardeners and homesteaders Researchers and other agricultural professionals interested in organic or sustainable agriculture Others who want to support ecological agriculture or sustainable food systems, or who simply want safe, nutritious, fresh, locally-grown food.

National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Are you looking for the latest in sustainable agriculture and organic farming news, events and funding opportunities? The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service covers these topics, plus offers in-depth publications on production practices, alternative crop and livestock enterprises, innovative marketing, organic certification, and highlights of local, regional, USDA and other federal sustainable agriculture activities.

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education -- SARE

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USDA
Since 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has helped advance farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program.

USDA Economic Research Service, Publications

Amber Waves, ERS’s magazine, is a window into the agency’s broad research program, covering production agriculture, food safety and nutrition, the food industry, rural economies, agricultural trade, and farm-related environmental issues. Published five times a year in web and print editions, Amber Waves contains in-depth feature articles, research findings, previews of research in the works, and statistics.

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Iowa State University
The Leopold Center is a research and education center with statewide programs to develop sustainable agricultural practices that are both profitable and conserve natural resources. . . . In general, sustainable agriculture addresses the ecological, economic and social aspects of agriculture. To be sustainable, agriculture can operate only when the environment, its caretakers and surrounding communities are healthy. Sustainable agriculture, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1990 Farm Bill: "...over the long term, satisfy human needs, enhance environmental quality and natural resource base, make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and integrate natural biological processes, sustain economic viability, and enhance quality of life."

Center for Rural Affairs

The Center for Rural Affairs was established in 1973 as a 501(c)3 nonprofit by rural Nebraskans and has since grown to a nationally recognized policy analysis and advocacy organization focused on the upper Midwest and Great Plains. In recent years our national grassroots base has grown to nearly 30,000 individuals including people in all 50 states. Our mission is to establish strong rural communities, social and economic justice, environmental stewardship, and genuine opportunity for all while engaging people in decisions that affect the quality of their lives and the future of their communities. Visit the Center for Rural Affairs.

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center

The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) specializes in identifying resources about sustainable food systems and practices in support of USDA's effort to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and farmers worldwide. Check out the USDA's AFSIC!

Permaculture Institute

Located near Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Permaculture Institute was founded in 1997 as the sister organization to the Permaculture Institute of Australia. It came on the footsteps of the Permaculture Drylands Institute, formerly the leading permaculture educational institution in the US. Our mission is to promote sustainable living skills through education, networking and demonstration projects. We facilitate networking among permaculture groups and projects in NM/Southwestern region and beyond. Joining FarmLINK is easy!

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