PLANTING THE FUTURE: Developing an Agriculture that Sustains Land
Edited by Elizabeth Ann R. Bird, Ph.D., Gordon L. Bultena, Ph.D.,
and John C. Gardner, Ph.D.
Research and publication underwritten by the Northwest Area
Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota.
Publication coordinated by the Center for Rural Affairs, Walthill,
Foreword by Karl N. Stauber, Deputy Undersecretary, Small
Community and Rural Development, USDA.
Is sustainable (alternative) agriculture a boon or a bane to the
future of farming? The question is heatedly debated.
_Planting the Future_ offers an informed answer. It synthesizes
results of the "Sustainable Agriculture Initiative," a study
sponsored by the Northwest Area Foundation. This "systematic
socioeconomic comparison of sustainable and conventional farming,"
was conducted through a "five-state multi-institutional cluster of
research grants" in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and
Oregon, with input from additional studies in Minnesota, Iowa, the
Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.
Specifically, _Planting the Future_ provides:
* Research-based analysis on the socioeconomic impacts of
* Agricultural research alternatives.
* Policy analysis.
* "New, high-quality information to inform the public dialogue
on future directions for agriculture and public policy."
CONTENTS (abridged): Foreword by Karl N. Stauber/ Executive
Summary/ Acknowledgements/ Contributors/ About the Northwest Area
Foundation (NWAF) and the Center for Rural Affairs (CRA)/ CRITICAL
CHOICES FOR THE FUTURE: The Promise of Sustainable Agriculture/ An
Agricultural Geography of the Northwest Area/ SUSTAINABLE FARMING,
SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES: Introduction/ What Is Sustainable
Agriculture?/ Impact of Sustainable Farming on the Structure of
American Agriculture/ Farm Labor and Management/ Economic Position
and Performance of Sustainable Farms/ Community Trade Patterns of
Conventional and Sustainable Farmers/ Sustainable Agriculture: A
Better Quality of Life?/ Adoption of Sustainable Agriculture/
LESSONS FROM ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES TO AGRICULTURAL
RESEARCH: Introduction/ Use of Participatory Research in
Agriculture/ Case Studies and Decision Cases/ Using Ecological
Methods in Agriculture/ Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/
Overcoming Barriers: Reflections on Cooperative Research/ FUTURE
RESEARCH NEEDS AND POLICY ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Future
Research Needs/ Policy Issues and Recommendations/ APPENDIXES:
Study Methods/ Organizations and Grants/ References
April 1995, 232 pp., 6 x 9, illus., paperback, 0-8138-2072-3,
$14.95. Iowa State University Press. Orders: 515-292-0155 or