What is Sustainable Agriculture? is a 12-page booklet produced by the USDA'S Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program that talks about the variety of methods that farmers and ranchers can use to attain the 3 Pillars of Sustainability.

  • Profit over the long term
  • Stewardship of our nation’s land, air and water
  • Quality of life for farmers, ranchers and their communities
The booklet is a sampling, not a complete textbook, on how to farm or ranch sustainably. Strategies like ecological insect and pest management or crop livestock and landscape diversity are discussed briefly.

The booklet also contains success stories of farmers that have used methods such as cover crops and no-till (the farmer saw an increase profit of $14 an acre), raising organic crops and using local processors, composting, and water conservation.

It’s an interesting, short read. As a consumer, I’m encouraged by the success stories and feel I understand a little more about sustainable agriculture now.

The booklet can be downloaded as a pdf from SARE or ordered to be sent as a paper booklet to you at no charge. SARE offers a variety of other publications that are worth a look into. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Free sustainable agriculture booklet from USDA
Booklet offers basics for producers wanting to be sustainable and consumers wanting to understand more.