Activity: Sustainable, Sustainable Development and Sustainable Agriculture
Instructions: Please read the definitions of sustainability, sustainable development, and sustainable agriculture below. Then, with a partner, think of farming activities / practices (as you know and understand them) and discuss their sustainability. Try to identify at least ONE activity that is definitely sustainable, ONE activity that is definitely unsustainable, and ONE activity for which the sustainability may be up for debate (6 minutes). Be prepared to share briefly your discussion with the rest of the class (8 minutes).
Sustainable: Latin - sustinere, where "sus" means "from below" and "tenere" means "to hold". The word sustainable means to keep in existence or maintain, and thus it implies support and permanence over a (long) period of time (see Wikipedia for more).
Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs (see Wikipedia for more).
Sustainable Agriculture: Under U.S. law (1990 Farm Bill), the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:
- 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, and
- enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.