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Alternative Farming Systems Information Center

USDA to Invest $1 Billion to Purchase Healthy Food for Food Insecure Americans and Build Food Bank Capacity, First Investment of the New ‘Build Back Better’ Initiative Will Serve as a Bridge from Pandemic Assistance to Food System Transformation (2021-06-04)

USDA Announces Grants for Urban Agriculture and Innovative Production (2021-05-21)

The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) specializes in identifying resources for food systems and management practices that support the United States Department of Agriculture's effort to ensure a sustainable future and economic viablity for agriculture and farmers worldwide.

Baskets of greens and purple cabbage. Hayward, CA farmers market.

Marketing Options

Find marketing strategies, direct marketing ideas, and expertise to successfully move your products from farm to table.

Organic Roots Collection. NAL

Organic Roots Collection

Search our online collection of historic documents published before 1942 – a time before synthetic chemicals became widely used.

Raisins, lettuce, and yellow bell pepper.

Local and Regional Food Systems

Learn about local foods, community gardening, urban agriculture and more. Find food and farms near you.

Cacao pods. ARS K4636-12 Keith Weller

Growing Specialty Crops and Plants

Learn about floral, forest, heirloom, herb, nursery, nut, and other specialty crops or products.

Lady Justice on Silhouette of Trees. DOJ

Environmental Justice and Quality of Life

Agriculture can be integrated in to all aspects of life including who we are and how we live. Learn more about a variety of people and practices in agriculture.

Sustainable Agriculture Education Directory

Sustainable Agriculture Education Directory

Find academic and training programs in organic, sustainable, or alternative agriculture.

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Find published information originating from a dynamic search on general topics in plant and animal farming, research, specialty crops, production management, and conservation practices.

PubAg:  Articles



Automated (dynamic) searches are run in the NAL's AGRICOLA, Navigator, PubAg, and Scopus databases to generate the lists of publications. This list is a bibliography.  The term "dynamic" refers to the fact that a new bibliography is generated each time you use the link, so the bibliography's citations are always up-to-date. There are benefits and limitations to receiving information this way. For more information please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

We feature current and historical videos from the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center and others that explore sustainable, organic, natural, or alternative agricultural production.

Videos also highlight agricultural funding sources, aquaculture, and beekeeping.   Select a video here...

AFSIC History Timeline

AFSIC, founded in 1985, is an integral part of the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland. The Center was one of the first USDA programs to focus on sustainable and organic agriculture and produced many groundbreaking publications that enabled researchers, educators and producers to access previously difficult-to-find research, literature and expertise.  More...

History of Organic Agriculture
Trace the origins of the organic agriculture movement through historic publications and reports, oral histories, video archives, USDA legislation and regulations, and other published resources.  More...

Organic Roots Collection
AFSIC's Organic Roots Digital Collection is an electronic collection of historic USDA documents published before 1942 (before synthetic chemicals became widely used) that contain information and data that is still pertinent for today's agriculture.  More...

Definitions and History of Sustainable Agriculture
The USDA has defined sustainable agriculture - but underlying the definition are diverse and sometimes controversial views of sustainability. Explore a variety of approaches and practices, current and past, to appreciate where agriculture is going in the future.  More...

Tracing the Evolution of Organic / Sustainable Agriculture
Discover the philosophical and scientific roots of sustainable, regenerative agriculture through readings dating from the 1500s.  More...

Mailboxes, Mom and Pop Stands, and Markets
View the National Agricultural Library's "Local Foods Then and Now Digital Exhibit."  More...

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