We think it's bad when the power suddenly goes out and internet availability is gone, but can you imagine living without electricity , running water or a vehicle to drive? Even with all the modern conveniences, I still need more hours in the day!
Science and modern technology have improved not only our lifestyle but efficiency in food production. It's a fact that today, a farmer supplies food for more than 150 people in the U.S and abroad, compared with just 25.8 people in 1960, and on less land every year.
I don't think the word sustainability was used by my mother-in-law as she worked the land with her father in the 1940's but I do know that every day, just like today, required efficiency and careful use of all resources.
In our modern farming world, Sustainable agriculture was actually defined by the U.S. government in the 1990 farm bill.
Here are the five elements of the USDA definition of sustainable agriculture:
- Satisfy human food and fiber needs
- Enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends
- Make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls
- Sustain the economic viability of farm operations
- Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole
Although the look of the family farm and the technologies have changed with each generation, we still have the same values of caring for the land and animals as we work to produce high-quality,nutritious milk.