Sustainable cropping systems research and extension has gained momentum at Penn State with the ‘Triad’ projects collaborating to host the 2nd Annual Sustainable Cropping Systems Triad Symposium and the Strategies for Soil Health and Nutrient Conservation Research Tour in recent months.
Local polenta, wheat, berries, pasta, and flour? Thor Oechsner explained at the recent Penn State Extension Organic Crop Production Tour in the Finger Lakes Region, New York, how he grows a wide variety of crops, not only for feed, but flour, bread, pasta and pastries.
Agriculture as we know it consists of acres upon acres of plentiful fields and perfectly aligned cash crops. But what if we reintroduced something a little more native to the land and soil of North America? By allowing trees and crops to grow together we combine agriculture and forestry to work as a team to provide new benefits. Penn State Extension, in partnership with the US Forest Service, Chesapeake Bay Program, PA Bureau of Forestry, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, and Village Acres and Blue Rooster Farms, hosted two full-day workshops on Agroforestry practices in May.
Sustainable agriculture has grown beyond a fringe movement to a concept that is embraced by an increasingly diverse group of stakeholders. Although there are many positive aspects to this growth, the sustainable agriculture message has become somewhat diluted, in part through appropriation of the term by a broad array of special interest groups. The goal of the “Building Capacity and the Voice for a Stronger Sustainable Agriculture Movement” workshop at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s 21st Annual Farming for the Future Conference was to examine the current situation and craft an inclusive message to promote agriculture that is environmentally sound, profitable, and supports communities.
One of the major topics of debate in today’s agriculture and food system is the use of crops for food versus fuel. Susquehanna Mills in Montoursville, PA is pioneering a middle-road in this debate, using canola to create a full-circle food and fuel crop.
At a recent Women's Agricultural Network workshop at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA, Penn State Extension's Maryann Frazier, provided an update on research into the mysterious complex affecting honey bee populations known as Colony Collapse Disorder.
Check out the wide variety of sustainable agriculture events organized by Penn State Extension.