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Welcome to the Arkansas SARE-PDP Blog!

April 14, 2011

The Arkansas Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education – Professional Development Program (SARE-PDP) state coordinators are Dr. Elena Garcia, University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Specialist for Fruit and Nuts and Dr. Leslie Glover, Associate Dean at University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff and the program assistant is Heather Friedrich. This program is an extension of the Southern SARE and national SARE programs and its purpose is to provide professional development opportunities for agriculture professionals in Arkansas.  We will will use this blog as a platform to let you know about these opportunities as well as funding opportunities, University of Arkansas sustainable agriculture projects and share some resources and newsworthy happenings.  Please check back often!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack C. Boles, Jr. permalink
    April 29, 2011 9:16 pm

    I just got back from a SARE sponsored program I attended in Florida. We spent a week touring sustainable farming operations from Orlando to Miami. Here is a summary of what we found:

    From the Field: Nine Principles of Sustainable Agriculture

    1. Change is an inherent feature of all social, economic and natural systems. Sustainable farmers anticipate change — recognize, accept, plan for and create change.

    2. Every farming operation faces a unique set of limitations and has a unique set of human, environmental and capital resources. Sustainable farmers recognize and identify limitations and resources and create a strategy to develop their resources and minimize and overcome limitations.

    3. Farming systems are not isolated from the non-agricultural components of the communities around them, rural or urban. Sustainable farmers build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with individuals, institutions and organizations based on a sense of responsibility to the community and the need to give back to the community.

    4. Employees are a critical asset and component of any farming system. Sustainable farms invest in their employees to create a loyal, dedicated, engaged workforce that shares responsibility for the success of the farming operation.

    5. Success in any profession requires that the profession be central to the individual’s life. Sustainable farmers have a passion for farming reflected in their dedication, integrity and honesty as professionals, but their passion is practical because they understand that the success of the business makes it possible to pursue their passion.

    6. Mediocre businesses are unlikely to prosper over the medium to long range. Sustainable farmers are not satisfied with average business practices or products – high quality characterizes every component of their business.

    7. Management is a critical key to success in the contemporary global social and business environments. Sustainable farming operations are management intensive, distribute responsibility and decision-making among all employees, draw upon diverse skill sets in management, and integrate management functions and decisions.

    8. Economic success and growth are pre-requisites for sustainability. Sustainable farms are businesses first and foremost, but profits are used to grow the business and to address broader social and environmental goals.

    9. Sustainability requires planning for the long term. Sustainable farmers focus on the medium to long term rather than the immediate future, and take appropriate risks, incur reasonable debt and make investments based on mid- to long-term challenges and opportunities.

  2. Jack C. Boles, Jr. permalink
    April 29, 2011 9:18 pm

    This trip was through the SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellowship Program. I became a Fellow this year. It’s a great program.

    • heatherfriedrich permalink
      April 29, 2011 9:23 pm

      Thank you for your insights Jack. I’m glad you got to take part in the program. Maybe we can get you to be our first guest contributor! Would you like to write about your tour for next week?

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