About Us

The Penn State Sustainable Ag Working Group (PSU-SAWG) is a multi-disciplinary initiative, begun in 2002, that brings together interested Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences faculty and staff, farmers, and representatives from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO), and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

PSU-SAWG promotes unbiased scientific inquiry, collaborative discussion, cooperative program development, and informed public engagement to support diverse pathways toward more sustainable agricultural and food systems.

What is Sustainable Agriculture?

Sustainable agriculture, as defined by Congress, is an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:

  • satisfy human food and fiber needs;
  • enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
  • make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
  • sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
  • enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.