Each year, the students in the Agronomy 550 course create a class project.
Last year's class created a research article (which they are still putting the
finishing touches on) that will be submitted for publication.
This year's class would like to develop a computer model for determining the
sustainability of a farm or farming practice. We plan to create the model
spreadsheet, see if the formula is workable, then create a web based system
which would query the users for input, and provide a calculated analysis.
We realize there is no magic formula, and that this task may be both ambitious
and naive, but we are excited in using this goal as a learning experience
research issues in sustainable agriculture. Some (perhaps many) may see this
as foolhardy, but we would like to explore many possibilities before we draw
the conclusion that this is an unattainable goal. We will probably limit our
selves to a Midwestern based farming system in an effort to narrow our focus.
I have two basic questions of the subscribers of this listserv.
First: Has someone else already done something similar on the web, thereby
reducing our contribution to the body of knowledge?
Iím relatively knowledgeable in utilizing search engines, plus have a fair
amount of intuition in searching related sites, and in several hours of
turned up absolutely nothing.
Secondly: On the advise of our professor (Dr. Ricardo Salvador), I began to
search for basic spreadsheet based tools, which we could utilize at the ground
level of our model building. Although this search was not as exhaustive as
first, I still was unable to find any resources, however I suspect there are
some in existence.
Could anyone point me (and our class) to any resources involving computer
modeling in sustainable agriculture?
I would not ask a question such as this without first doing some research,
have checked obvious sources like the WWW Virtual Library in Sustainable
Agriculture, the SARE.ORG site and the SA-NET archives. I did get a few
glimmers of hope in the SA-NET archives, but I have not been able to follow
them through to any productive information yet.
On behalf of the Agronomy 550 class (Advanced Issues in Sustainable
Agriculture) at Iowa State University, thank you for any help you can provide!
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