On Wed, 26 Aug 1998, Peggy Adams wrote:
> Yes, there are some good extension programs and admirable extension agents
> which deal with sustainable and organic agriculture and with small scale
> farmers although those that I've talked to feel they get little support
> from the universities to which they are attached. From what I've seen and
> heard the undergraduate and graduate programs at those universities are
> not supportive of sustainable ag in the least. UC Santa Cruz's
> Agroecology program is great, but it's not a degree program and UC Davis
> has SAREP but, again, there's no degree program in Sust. Ag there.
Two resources that might be of interest with respect to small farms and
sustainable agriculture programs:
1) Small Farm Resource Guide. July, 1998. This is a 192-page listing
of programs and resources for small farms.
Available on the web at http://www.reeusda.gov/agsys/smallfarm/guide.htm
To order a copy:
The Small Farm Program
USDA-Cooperative State Research, Education and
Plant and Animal Systems
Stop 2220, 1400 Independence Ave, S.W.
Washington, DC 20250-2220
Phone: 202-401-4385; Fax: (202) 401-5179
2) Educational and Training Opportunities in
Lists university programs and internship opportunities in SA.
Available on the web at http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/AFSIC_pubs/edtr10.htm
Orders for publications may be made by:
or by Surface mail:
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center
National Agricultural Library, Room 304
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville MD 20705-2351
AFSIC's World Wide Website: http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic
Andy Clark, Ph.D.
c/o AFSIC, Room 304
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
> My own experience as an undergraduate in Ag Econ at the University of
> Idaho was, like a cup of espresso, dark, bitter, and motivating.
> Throughout my time there (I graduated a year ago) I felt I was being
> subjected to an indoctrination rather than an education. Organic farms
> were termed a "fringe group of hobby farmers", one economics professor
> (admittedly not ag econ) told his class that "sustainble agriculture is a
> government plot to take more of your land away," the word
> "environmentalist" was frequently used as a perjorative, and the class
> "Land Resource Economics" was based entirely on the idea that the nearly
> 2000% increase in the use of chemicals and the 95% decrease in labor costs
> on farms since WWII was the best thing to ever have happened in
> agriculture. Within the curriculum there were no required classes in
> environmental ethics, rural community development, or environmental
> economics. One last thing, I cannot recall one female faculty member
> (outside Extension) in the entire College of Agriculture.
> It was clear that this program was designed to channel students into work
> with the large Ag Chemical companies. Most graduates did find work in
> those industries. I'm certain that the University feels justified in
> serving that constituency. I feel just as certain that public money
> does not need to be spent creating people who do not question those
> company's role in our economy or in the destruction of our environment.
> So, what are other Land Grant University's doing? I know Washington State
> University, just 8 miles from here, isn't much different. The Center for
> Sustaining Ag and Natural Resources at WSU was mandated into existence but
> was never provided with funds and remains today an empty shell. Recent
> articles in the Washington Tilth newletter describe a funding intiative
> process at WSU in which the interests of small-scale and organic growers
> were ignored in favor of commodity interests. How about the Land Grant
> University near you?
> Let's talk about this.
> "How we eat determines to a considerable extent how the world is used."
> Wendell Berry
> On Sun, 23 Aug 1998, Cecile Mills wrote:
> > Peggy Adams <email@example.com> wrote:
> > >How 'bout discussing land grant university's lack of responiveness to
> > >small scale and organic farmers.
> > Good topic, Peggy. I'd just spoken of it to someone at the Farmer's Market
> > and I said the only program I knew of was the Agro-ecology program at UCSC
> > (not a regular part of a degree) but they felt many more were in
> > place--couldn't name any places tho. So, I'd love to hear what universities
> > (many were land-grant colleges once) and colleges do offer courses and
> > programs for *small scale and organic farmers*. The college I taught at,
> > Hartnell College in Salinas CA, a huge ag center, certainly did not.
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