Monday, June 04, 2012

Sustainability on our farm

What is Sustainability?

Merriam-Webster provides one definition of Sustainable as "of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged."

It seems that one of the hot topics in agriculture is Sustainability -

Do you practice sustainable farming on your farm?
Are non-Organic products sustainable?
Is production agriculture sustainable?
If your farm is sustainable, your animals must be 'free range'.

While these are questions I have received from consumers, it is important to understand that in order to be productive, agriculture Must be sustainable. If agriculture were not sustainable, then generations upon generations of farming families would not exist today.
On our farm, sustainability means maximizing our opportunity to recycle. From utilizing by-products from other parts of agriculture as bedding and feed sources, to recycling water used to clean the housing barns to composting the manure generated on the farm to be used to fertilize the fields where we grow our crops. We also use the crops left behind in the field, mainly stalks and stems, after harvest to help replenish the soil. By tilling them back into the field as organic matter, we can help protect the nutrient quality of the ground we use to grow the next season's crop.

Manure separator on our farm, that recycles the water back into
the cleaning system and composts the solid matter.
Farmers depend on fertile soil, clean water and clean air, to grow their crops and raise their livestock. Without these things, farmers would not be able to produce clean, wholesome food products. The crops would not be healthy or productive, the livestock would not be healthy or productive. No matter if the farm practices organic or conventional, free range or barn housed, all agriculture must be sustainable to survive.

Sustainability on our farm is part of our daily routine. We strive each day to ensure we leave things just a little better than they were the day before, with the hopes of passing our sustainable farm on to the next generation.

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