lunes, julio 14, 2014

Scientists Call for more support for agroecology

Now What? Scientists Call for a Better Way to Invest in the Future of Agriculture

Iowa State University, April 2005. I stood at the front of the classroom, a veteran of 25 years of teaching at one of the nation’s front-line agricultural institutions, and I was trying hard not to show my disbelief. The young man who had just spoken was a superstar student and, like most agriculture students in Iowa, came from a farm. He’d just heard a team of fellow students report on the grass-fed beef system of the Argentine pampas, and his first reaction was to ask: “Cattle can really eat grass?” I had to simultaneously process how to handle the educational situation while absorbing the fact that this college senior was weeks from graduating with a degree in agronomy and our curriculum had clearly failed him.


Nearly a decade later, I’m in Washington, DC, where I lead the food and agriculture team at the Union of Concerned Scientists. We’re working to raise awareness—at agricultural universities, among farmers, and in the halls of Congress—that there is abetter model for the future of American farming. It’s based on the emerging science of “agroecology,” and cutting edge research is showing that it can be just as productive as the dominant industrial model while avoiding a lot of the problems that come with it.And today, UCS is launching a statement from leading experts calling for greater public investments to refine agroecological systems and practices and to help farmers adopt them.

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