Agroecology creates sustainable, healthy farms that benefit both farmers and the environment

June 1, 2015

"In pursuit of productivity, industrial agriculture degrades the air, water, and soil; damages fisheries and wildlife habitats; harms rural communities; poisons farmworkers; and undermines the natural resources on which future farmers depend. The good news is that the science of living systems has not stood still, and we have learned that there are alternatives to industrial agriculture that—by recycling resources and working with, rather than against, biological systems—can be just as productive, while sustaining that productivity far into the future. Agricultural scientists call this sophisticated strategy agro-ecological agriculture. Farms that employ it can be thought of more simply as “healthy farms,” because they contribute to the health and well-being of people, economies, and the land and natural resources on which we all depend. A growing body of evidence indicates that re-inventing agriculture as a network of healthy farms within functioning ecosystems would offer significant benefits to farmers, rural communities, consumers, and the environment. Indeed, it is vital to the future of farming."

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists, “The Healthy Farm: A Vision for U.S. Agriculture,” Policy Brief, April 2013, 1, accessed May 14, 2014, http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/The-Healthy-...

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