Thanks for your comments. I think we share many beliefs and motivations,
just have different interpretations on how they sort out.
I have always felt the work I have done as a farmer, educator and scientist
has been in support of maintaining or improving the soil and other
resources, and agriculture as a business and as a way of life. It sounds
like you are on the same page. I do have direct daily contact with farmers
and those who support farmers and feel I have a pretty good understanding of
what their needs and goals are....and what problems they face in sustaining
I appreciate the open discussion on this topic the last 24 hours....and a
series of personal e-mails it has generated. My high school math teacher
used to say there are many ways to get to Cissna Park ( a nearby town).
Similarly there are many approaches to sustainability in agriculture. I
have always tried to be open minded to different opinions. In the late
1970s I was an active participant in a small farm project in Minnesota that
was a precursor to some of the sustainable ag movement of the 1980s and
1990s. It was great for the small farmers and worked for special market
needs. But the model broke down quickly when you tried to extend it to
broad-scale production and markets.
Let's not lose the open dialog. Let's continue to explore alternatives to
common practice. But also, let's be realistic about the claims for
alternative systems and the criticisms of current practice.
Dr. Harold F. Reetz, Jr.
Midwest Director, Potash & Phosphate Institute
Vice President, Foundation for Agronomic Research
111 East Washington Street
Monticello, Illinois 61856-1640
PPI Home Page: http://www.ppi-far.org
Site-Specific Project: http://www.farmresearch.com
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