Sustainable Agriculture

Under the 1990 Farm Bill, sustainable agriculture means “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.” The term is unregulated, however. In general, sustainable farming provides a secure, economically viable living for farm families; maintains the natural environment and resources through environmentally sound practices; supports the rural community; and offers respect and fair and humane treatment to all involved, from farm workers, to consumers, to the animals raised for food. (AWA)