This past Wednesday was campus sustainability day. In light of that, we can see how the lessons we have learned about technological change economic growth apply to the sustainable use of resources.
One place to see this is on the family farm. We often get the idea from the media that our food industry has been taken over by industrial farms, but the numbers just don't support those notions. Family farms make up 98% of all farms in the U.S. and according to the USDA ERS (2007) non family corporations make up less than 1% of the total number of farms in the U.S. and have accounted for only 6-7% of farm product sales in every census since 1978.
See the following videos to learn more about the technology that is fueling the growth in sustainable agriculture today.
Structure and Finances of U.S. Farms: Family Farm Report, 2007 USDA ERS
GM crops: global socio-economic
and environmental impacts 1996-
2007 PG Economics (link)
The Environmental Safety and Benefits of Growth Enhancing Pharmaceutical Technologies in Beef Production
By Alex Avery and Dennis Avery, Hudson Institute, Centre for Global Food Issues.
Capper, J. L., Cady, R. A., Bauman, D. E. The environmental impact of dairy production: 1944 compared with 2007. Journal of Animal Science, 2009; 87 (6): 2160 DOI: 10.2527/jas.2009-1781
New York Times Don't Cry Over rBST Milk June 29, 2007
MSN Health and Fitness Bovine Growth Hormone
Dr. Harlan Ritchie, Michigan State University. How safe is our product Beef?
Doyle et al., Institute of Food Technologists, “Antimicrobial Resistance: Implications for the Food System” Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, Vol.5, Issue 3, 2006
Sandiego Center for Molecular Agriculture Foods from Genetically Modified Crops ( pdf)