Laura Jackson: The Farm as Natural Habitat

In 2005 Laura Jackson of University of Northern Iowa gave an outstanding and insightful presentation to the Leopold Center on the ecological ramifications of Iowa agriculture. It is no less timely today. Highly recommended. Download the pdf here.

The new agriculture

The following keynote speech was presented at The Agriculture Vision 2000 Conference--Sustaining the Agricultural Community in the New Millennium on January 11, 2000 in Great Bend, Kansas. Allan Savory is the founder of the Center for Holistic Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

Thank you for the opportunity to talk to you this evening about a matter of profound importance for the survival of humanity.

The farm that came to be

The story of "the farm the came to be" began as an idea; an idea that was both ahead of its time and in a very real sense an idea that was also behind the times; both progressive and traditional at the same time.

Monitoring farms for progress toward sustainability

Summary: Web graphs, a monitoring tool from Cuba, can track progress toward sustainability of a whole, not just its pieces. They can monitor concerns implicit or expressed in the Holistic Management testing questions, and much more.

No-till cropping in seasonally dry environments

Long-term success for no-till farming in dry-season (brittle) climates may require using livestock to speed nutrient recycling at the soil surface.

At the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association's January 2003 conference in Pasco, Washington, no-till farmers shared successes and challenges.

Dwayne Beck, one of the principal founders of the systemic approach to no-till cropping, said, "My goal is not to know anything about diseases, weeds, or insects."

Diversifying the family farm for profit, pleasure, and production

Joel Salatin is a highly successful family farmer. On his pasture/woodland farm in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, he produces beef, chicken, pork, eggs, rabbits, turkeys, firewood, lumber, and a great deal of real education for his patrons and their families, most of whom receive his newsletter (with order forms) and come directly to Polyface Farm to purchase meat and eggs.

Salatins won't even consider an enterprise that earns less than $30 per hour. They make excellent money, and their customers keep coming back for more.

Wilke team designs a no-till future

DAVENPORT, WASHINGTON--Just east of this wheat farming town sits a half section of gently rolling deep silt loam. Beulah Wilson Wilke (pronounced Will-key) donated this parcel to Washington State University for research purposes in 1987, and stipulated that the farm be operated at a profit.

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