The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) is a cooperative effort
of university, government, business and non-profit organizations
dedicated to the exchange of scientific and practical information
on sustainable agricultural systems. It is a network in the
broadest sense of the word, supporting the exchange of information
with a variety of users. The networking takes many forms: print,
meetings, as well as electronic networks. This document explains
how to use the Internet portion of SAN.
SAN is encouraging the distribution of information via the existing
network of computer networks commonly called "the Internet".
Originally developed in the United States to rapidly share research
results, the Internet currently connects over 10,000,000 computers
throughout the world with "gateways" that exchange messages.
Because it is a decentralized system of existing networks,
instructions for using the Internet vary from site to site. The
intention of this overview is to help you access agricultural
information once you get connected to and familiar with your
GATEWAYS VS. FULL INTERNET SERVICE
If you are at a university or government facility, your computer
may be fully connected to the Internet. Alternatively, you may
have an account on a system with a "gateway" to the Internet, such
as FTS2000, CompuSrve, America On-Line, or many others. A full
Internet connection includes four functions: electronic mail, FTP,
gopher and Telnet. Your local system operator should be able to
give you as much detail as you request.
Once you are familiar with your system, join the SAN discussion
group and explore the SAN databases or calendar.
SARE/ACE Research Reports, summaries of the projects funded by the
USDA/CSRS Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program
and the EPA/USDA Agriculture in Concert with the Environment
The Sustainable Agriculture Directory of Expertise, a detailed
listing of individuals and organizations willing to share their
expertise in sustainable agriculture;
The Showcase of Sustainable Agriculture Information & Educational
Materials, an annotated bibliography of educational and
informational materials, emphasizing information readily useful to
Managing Cover Crops Profitably , a guide for farmers looking for
alternatives to chemical fertility and weed control.
To search them interactively, through gopher, point to:
gopher.ces.ncsu.edu. At the opening menu select the menu item,
NATIONAL CES INFORMATION, to access SAN publications.
SAN has an email group "sanet-mg" with over 700 individuals
interested in, and knowledgeable about, sustainable agriculture.
Members of the group share sources of information and help answer
each others' questions. To join "sanet-mg" send the following
in the body of an email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org
After you have subscribed, anything that anyone sends to
email@example.com will automatically be sent to you and
everyone else on the list. Notice that the address that handles
subscribe/ unsubscribe requests is different from the address
that handles mail to the group. When you send mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org you will probably get a few "bounced-back"
messages; don't be concerned , your posting was delivered to all
valid and active addresses on the list.
MORE INTERNET RESOURCES
In addition to these specialized information sources,
the Internet has quite a few other databases and mail lists on
agriculture and other topics relevant to sustainable agriculture.
Deborah Shaffer's publication, "Exploring Internet: An Introduction
to Networking..." provides more detailed explanations of Almanac,
Listserve, GOPHER and WAIS. She also lists dozens of Internet
locations where different topics of interest are addressed.
"Exploring Internet" is available by sending the email message:
send internet exploring-internet
to the address: email@example.com
From Utah State University, SAN hypertext databases are available
for downloading from their gopher site, extsparc.agsci.usu.edu.
Once you acquire them, their information can be browsed, printed,
cut or pasted from your computer. Among these databases is the
1990 Farm Bill. (See SAN Overview for details)
An excellent general guide to the Internet (more than agriculture)
is Brendan Kehoe's "Zen and the Art of the Internet." The first
edition is available via FTP from many sites, including
ftp.cs.widener.edu. (If you are not familiar with how to use FTP,
ask your computer support personnel).
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information or help accessing SAN, contact: Andy Clark,
c/o AFSIC, Room 304
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Boulevard
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351