ERIC Number: ED455985
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Jan-29
Reference Count: N/A
Sustaining Rural Communities through Sustainable Agriculture.
A 5-year collaborative project between Missouri, Michigan State, and Nebraska Universities to provide new opportunities for rural community self-development through sustainable agriculture had mixed results. This happened because community members did not understand the principles of sustainability, and because the extension education system was unwilling to jeopardize its close ties with existing community and agricultural leaders by working with "fringe" groups such as organic farmers, small farmers, and opponents of factory hog farms. Future efforts to promote sustainable agriculture should be funded through existing rural advocacy groups already committed to change, and should focus on teaching the principles of sustainable agriculture and development to people of rural communities. Society is in the midst of a great transition. Terms such as the "information age" and the "new economy" mistakenly attribute this transition to changes in technology, when actually, changes in thinking created these changes in technologies. This new way of thinking reflects a holistic worldview that is fundamentally different from the reductionist worldview of the industrial era, and that has its roots in quantum physics and chaos theory rather than mechanical physics and statistics. This new way of thinking is fundamentally transforming society, as people realize that sustainability is not about sacrifice, but about a quality of life that values social and ecological objectives as well as economic ones. (TD)
Descriptors: Adoption (Ideas), Agriculture, Community Development, Empowerment, Futures (of Society), Holistic Approach, Quality of Life, Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Extension, Sustainable Development, World Views
For full text: http://www.ag.auburn.edu/srs/ikerd.htm.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A