In many ways, agriculture is what makes our society, and our world, therefore, can only be as healthy as the way that we are growing our food. From farm to belly, healthy food starts with healthy soil and equitable methods that honor the importance of all livings things involved (soil microbes, plants, livestock, farmers, etc. . ). The word “sustainable” has become an increasingly tricky one to gauge, and we feel confident that the organizations and people below are working to create a future for farming that will only improve the health of humanity and the planet from generation to generation.
SUSTAINABLE FARMING RESEARCH
From innovations in conservation agriculture, agroecology, water and soil quality to creating large-scale vermicomposting facilities, here are some of our favorite groups who work to ensure that we know everything we can know about sustainable farming.
The Cornucopia Institute, through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues, provides needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media. We support economic justice for the family-scale farming community – partnered with consumers – backing ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.
The Land Institute has worked for over 30 years on the problem of agriculture. Their purpose is to develop an agricultural system with the ecological stability of the prairie and a grain yield comparable to that from annual crops. They have researched, published in refereed scientific journals, given hundreds of public presentations here and abroad, and hosted countless intellectuals and scientists.
The Leopold Center is a research and education center on the campus of Iowa State University created to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources. The Center's work is focused in these initiatives - ecological systems research, marketing and food systems research, policy research and cross-cutting research that bridges all areas (water, energy, soil and alternative farming systems).
The Pew Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming is working to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by phasing out the overuse and misuse of the drugs in food animal production. We work with public health and food industry leaders, veterinarians, agricultural interests, academics, and citizen groups who share our objective of protecting human and animal health.
For more than sixty years, The Rodale Institute has been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet.
One of the lesser known arms of the USDA, SARE's mission is to advance—to the whole of American agriculture—innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. SARE's vision is an enduring American agriculture of the highest quality. This agriculture is profitable, protects the nation's land and water and is a force for a rewarding way of life for farmers and ranchers whose quality products and operations sustain their communities and society.
The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future. They work on some of the world's most complex and daunting problems: stemming the tide of global warming, finding sustainable ways to feed, power and transport ourselves, and reducing the threat of catastrophic war. Their achievements over the decades show that thoughtful action based on the best available science can help safeguard our future and the future of our planet.
SUSTAINABLE FARMING ADVOCACY
From promoting farm conservation, to rebuilding rural economies to uniting farmer communities and protecting their rights, this is a list of some of our favorite groups who work to educate and take action to ensure sustainable agriculture.
American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land.
ATTRA is a program developed and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The majority of funding for ATTRA is through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. We are also partially funded through sales and subscriptions of a portion of ATTRA materials and through contributions from friends and supporters. We are committed to providing high value information and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States.
There has been a movement afoot in recent years to make connections between what we eat, how we live and the planet. Modern Farmer exists for people who want to be a part of that movement—it is for window-herb growers, career farmers, people who have chickens, people who want to have chickens and anyone who wants to know more about how food reaches their plate.
The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA’s mission is to cultivate markets, policies, and communities that sustain thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. RAFI works nationally and internationally, focusing on North Carolina and the southeastern United States. RAFI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina and incorporated in 1990.
Southern SAWG's Mission is to empower and inspire farmers, individuals, and communities in the South to create an agricultural system that is ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, and humane. Because sustainable solutions depend on the involvement of the entire community, Southern SAWG is committed to including all persons in the South without bias.
Founded in 1997 by returned Peace Corps Volunteer Florence Reed, SHI l addresses the tropical deforestation crisis in Central America by providing farmers with sustainable alternatives to slash-and-burn agriculture. SHI’s mission is to provide farming families in Central America with the training and tools to preserve our planet's tropical forests while overcoming poverty.
Toxic Free NC’s one simple goal is to get rid of pesticide pollution, in our water, our food and our bodies. They work together with those who care about the environment and our health to educate people across North Carolina about pesticide hazards and common-sense alternatives, watchdog the government agencies that regulate pesticides, create a system that values people over corporate profits; and change the way our communities view and use toxic chemicals, especially where people are at greatest risk from pesticide contamination.
From the Farm Bill, to grain prices, to the Trans Pacific Partnership, this is a list of some of our favorite groups and people who are reporting on emerging political issues related to farming.
Written by Keith Good, FarmPolicy.com is a daily summary of news relating to U.S. farm policy. Updates highlight news items dealing with the U.S. and global agricultural economy, including the Farm Bill, production agriculture, trade, biofuels and crop insurance. Sign up for the daily newsletter and stay up to date from your inbox.
A well respected news service, lead by prize winning agricultural journalist and book author, Jerry Hagstrom providing original national and international agricultural news to our subscribers. We cover Congressional hearings, markups and press conferences in Washington D.C., and farm meetings throughout the United States. They cover The Farm Bill nutrition, conservation, food safety, renewable fuels, broadband regulation, and other rural issues.
With an excellent pertinent and up to date blog, NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.
Politico’s daily synopsis of all things related to agriculture. Daily information from a fabulously informed staff of excellent writers delivered to your inbox daily, this is one of the better ways to stay informed about agriculture policy in the U.S.
From herb spirals, to hugelkultur to building sustainable homes and communities, here is a list of some of our favorite groups who work towards promoting the principles of permaculture.
Home of one of the world’s largest professional permaculture conferences, this site, run by Diego Footer, provides weekly podcasts on issues related to permaculture, sustainable agriculture and building a sustainable and resilient future.