The WSU Food Systems Program is working to create a stable base of farmers who supply communities and regional food markets using sustainable production practices.
As agriculture production has increased with increasing human population many natural ecosystems have been harmed or completely destroyed. Agricultural practices have resulted in loss of habitat and natural ecosystem services, soil erosion, and pollution of water resources. Global food demand is expected to increase by as much as 110% by 2050 relative to 2005 levels. Meeting this demand will require either increased production from current agriculture land or clearing more natural lands for agriculture (Tilman et al., 2011). Sustainable farming practices are practices which meet production requirements, respect labor, and do not harm the surrounding environment. Our research and education activities engage and support farmers in adopting sustainable production practices through research and education. WSU production research and extension activities cover fruits and vegetables, soil management, cropping systems, grains, livestock, shellfish, fruit trees, ornamentals, school garden education, pollinators, and agricultural economics.
Tilman, D., C. Balzer, J. Hill, and B.L. Befort. 2011. Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 50: 20260-20264.
Ongoing sustainable farming projects:
Reduced Tillage in Organic Agriculture (Collins, Benedict, and Bary) [Link to new page]
WSU Organic Farm (Carpenter-Boggs and Jaekel)
Optimizing Nitrogen Management on Organic and Biologically Intensive Farms (Collins and Bary) [Link to new page]
Mob grazing and holistic management research (Hudson) [Link to new page]
Raspberries and soil health (Benedict) [Link to new page]