A Hot Issue: Agriculture

Surprise, surprise: I grew up on a dairy farm in Maine.  But, go figure, we sold our cows because profitably was no longer in the equation.

However, recent consumer interest in food production spurred by concerns with health, environmental degradation, and sustainable economies is an exciting and a potentially mutually beneficial relationship for New England family farms and regional consumers.

An important part of this movement is education, and the Agriculture Law and Policy Conference, Pollinate and Cultivate: Seeding the Future of Our Food, organized by a many  student groups, is an exciting step forward. It is also the perfect time to highlight books in the Environmental Collection which complement the upcoming conference.

Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century by the National Research Council is a comprehensive book exploring sustainability through multiple perspectives including the biological, social and economic factors. The book also highlights case studies related to IPM, Labor Management, Marketing, and Government Programs, among others.  Env Coll. S441 .T68 2010

Bruce L. Gardner, offers a historical perspective in American Agriculture in the Twentieth Century: How it Flourished and What it Cost. In the book, he explores the explosion of growth and technology in the agricultural sector, and the downsides and costs of such expansion. Env Coll HD1716 .G2447 2002

Water and Agricultural Sustainability Strategies, edited by Manji S. Kang, is a collection of articles, with special attention to developing nations.  Env Coll S494.5.W3 W348 2010

The Impact of Genetically Engineered Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States by the National Research Council chronicles the impact of genetic engineering at farm level, and from the social and legal perspectives. Env Coll SB123.57 .N375 2010

Forty-Six Years of Pretty Straight Going: The Life of a Family Dairy Farm is by George Bellerose and is published by the Vermont Folklife Center. The book documents life on a Vermont dairy farm, without the glitz and glamour, no theories or case studies in this book: it is the real deal. Env SF229.7 .W96 2010

my chickens: some are better then none!

I have chickens now, no cows or pigs or turkeys, but some chickens are better than none. And fortunately, I have lots of generous farm neighbors who are more than willing to use my free labor, whenever I feel like I need to get my hands dirty.

Written by HEC