Charles A. Francis

Leaders in Alternative and Sustainable Agriculture: Oral History Interview Series

Dr. Charles A. Francis
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska

Interview by Jane Gates with Charles A. Francis with an introduction by Jayne MacLean.
Beltsville, Md. : National Agricultural Library, 1990.


Dr. Charles A. Francis served as Director of the Center for Sustainable Agricultural Systems at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Francis's research has focused on the areas of long-term and flexible crop rotations, on-farm research design and interpretation, and the interface between urban and rural areas. As an author, speaker, and professor, Dr. Francis is an influential spokesperson on behalf of sustainable agriculture.

Access the video in segments from the video menu below or you may watch each segment consecutively to view the full interview. The title for each segment provides a brief description of the topics discussed.

The segments in the Questions section are drawn from the full interview. They duplicate video segments from the menu. These are not verbatim questions asked by the interviewer, but rather topics addressed by Dr. Francis during the course of his interview. We hope that this will be an informative and interesting way to view the conversation.

Video lengths in minutes are approximate.

Video Menu

1. Introduction, early life, education and international work and work with Rodale [14 minutes]

2. Work at the University of Nebraska and defining sustainable agriculture [10 minutes]

3. Center of Sustainable Agriculture Systems, crop trials and participatory research [11 minutes]

4. Ongoing research and the need for collaboration [8 minutes]

5. National Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Conference and predictions for the future [8 minutes]

Watch All Five Parts In Succession


1. What is your experience and philosophy on implementing agricultural programs overseas? [2 minutes]

2. Why do you define sustainable agriculture as a philosophy? [3 minutes]

3. How do you view the relationship between farmers and researchers? [4 minutes]

4. How do you see the future use of technology and measures in agriculture? [4 minutes]

National Agricultural Library Cataloging Record:

Author: Jane Potter Gates; Charles A. Francis; National Agricultural Library (U.S.)
Title: Oral history interview with Charles A. Francis
Publisher: Beltsville, Md. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, 1990
Series: AFSIC oral history interview series
Subjects: Francis, Charles A.; Sustainable agriculture; Alternative agriculture; Agricultural ecology
Description: Original format: 1 videocassette (52 min., 20 sec.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Note(s): VHS. Title from cassette label. "Oral history interview with Charles A. Francis. 8-15-90."
NAL Call Number: Videocassette no.876

The National Agricultural Library does not verify the accuracy of the accounts described herein by participants in an Oral History Project. These oral histories are expressions of the views, memories and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views or official history of the United States Department of Agriculture or the National Agricultural Library.