Do parents know what they are feeding their kids? How difficult is it to eat healthy? Have you ever worked on a farm? People get to caught up in time, they want food fast and they want it now. To dream of the day when one will cook a hearty meal of mixed nutrition serving the ones that are loved sitting acrossed the table with a smile. Knowing that the food being served was grown in the backyard and the children helped water the garden daily.
Aldo Leopold said it best, “We abuse land because we see it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect,” imagine a world where we all understood how the food we ate got to our plates.
Agriculture has always been an important part of American culture. Then what is sustainable agriculture and what does it have to do with you? Sustainable agriculture was addressed and defined by congress in the 1990 farm bill as “an integrated system of plant and animal production practices with site-specific application that in the long term; satisfy human food and fiber needs, enhance environmental quality, sustain economic viability of farm operations, as well as enhance the quality of life for farmers and society.” Sustainable agriculture is a new practice in today’s culture; we must not forget where we have come from. We have always been farmers, but sustainable agriculture is a change in the farmer’s mind-set, a change in the farmers practice, and a change in the overall farmer’s outcome of today.
To be sustainable the farmer must manage his farmland with current practices that will allow his farmland to be manageable in the future. In essence the farmer understands that he has a direct relationship with the farmland and the food produced in order to satisfy basic human needs without compromising future generations. Sustainable agriculture has very meaningful and useful ideas as the world faces starvation. Foreign countries watch our American agricultural history as a guideline without understanding the control and influence the government has on our practice. Barriers to entry for farmers in foreign countries are almost non-existent as they surely face starvation issues; but will these farmers manage their farmland for short term profitable cost or long term habitat preservation?
Mexico experienced rapid growth in their agricultural advancements through the 1900’s. What was their motivation? We must not let the world remain disconnected with the food they eat. Starvation in foreign countries is a serious issue and so is obesity in the American culture, but we cannot let maximizing profitable gain take over. We must lay the groundwork and guidelines, teach it to our children so it can spread it like wildfires, and imagine a relationship with more places like the Wild Willow Farm in San Diego.
Sustainable agriculture has the potential to fundamentally influence today’s farmers as they grow to love and understand their farmland while producing healthy food and preserving the land. Influencing the farmers today is an important task, because the barriers of entry to become a farmer are greatly heightened in today’s American agriculture compared to foreign countries.
The government wants to produce food at a manageable price; therefore farmers are forced to grow crops that the government will support. In American agriculture, the majority of our crops consist mainly of corn. This crop is what we as American farmer’s have become good at growing, however this crop is not native and greatly contribute to global agricultural problems. With education, sustainable agriculture can be an effective method for foreign country population growth, and in the meantime can help get the American food structure back on track.