Paul F. O'Connell

Leaders in Alternative and Sustainable Agriculture: Oral History Interview Series

Dr. Paul F. O'Connell
Deputy Administrator of the USDA's Cooperative State Research Service and Leadership for the Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture (LISA) Program
Washington, D.C.

Interview by Jane Gates with Paul F. O'Connell with an introduction by Jayne MacLean.
Beltsville, Md. : National Agricultural Library, 1990.


Formerly the Deputy Administrator of the USDA's Cooperative State Research Service, Dr. O'Connell has provided leadership for the administration of the Sustainable Agriculture (LISA) Program since its inception in 1988.

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. O'Connell 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 early career [9 minutes]

2. Special programs work- industrial uses, aquaculture and small farms [7 minutes]

3. History and structure of LISA [13 minutes]

4. LISA projects, immediate future and goals [11 minutes]

5. Historical low input farms, ecological impacts of monocropping and predictions for the future [8 minutes]

Watch All Five Parts In Succession


1. What is aquaculture? [4 minutes]

2. How did LISA get started? [3 minutes]

3. What is low input farming and how does it benefit farmers? [2 minutes]

4. What are the ecological and economic impacts of cop diversification? [3 minutes]

National Agricultural Library Cataloging Record:

Author: Jane Potter Gates; MacLean, Jayne T.; Paul F. O'Connell; National Agricultural Library (U.S.)
Title: Oral history interview with Paul F. O'Connell
Publisher: Beltsville, Md. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, 1990
Series: AFSIC oral history interview series
Subjects: O’Connell, Paul F.; Sustainable agriculture; Agriculture - United States - History
Description: 1 videocassette (47 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Note(s): VHS. Title from cassette label. Interview was conducted on May 2, 1990.
NAL Call Number: Videocassette no.732

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.