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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.

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

Read about the issues, controversies and progress in defining "sustainable agriculture;" review practices and systems associated with sustainability; and find articles and authors.

Kansas State University.

An overview of sustainable agriculture, this publication compares various definitions and dispels some myths. Issues related to implementing sustainable agriculture are discussed.

National Research Council. Board on Agriculture; National Academy Press.

Findings and recommendation from the National Research Council's Committee on the "Role of Alternative Farming Methods in Modern Production Agriculture." (Open Book format)

Leonardo Academy, Inc.

Formal proceedings to establish the first national standard for sustainable agriculture were launched in October 2007. This draft standard for trial use is presented by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).

University of California, Santa Cruz. Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Agroecology Research Group.

Access on-line publications that focus on definitions and applications of agroecology and sustainability.