Farm Director and Professor of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Berea College, Dr. Clark will discuss the importance of sustainable agriculture and its role in a liberal arts education.
We pay less for food in the United States than ever before – a real testament to the success of industrialized farming. The dramatic improvements to land productivity and labor efficiency have come with less obvious costs, however, like pollution of waterways with agrichemicals and nutrients, struggling farms and the decay of rural communities, and livestock production systems that compromise animal and human welfare in pursuit of the cheapest products. Is there a better way to balance these benefits and costs to provide nourishing and healthful foods, encourage rural economies, and provide opportunities for family farms to operate without sacrificing human health, animal welfare, or environmental integrity? Berea College maintains the oldest continuously-operating educational student farm in the United States, producing vegetables, fruits, grains, hay, pork, beef, chicken, turkey and more for the campus and local community. Recent initiatives aimed at improving the farm’s sustainability have yielded benefits as well as insights into the often unseen trade-offs between our values, decisions and actions. This presentation will share the lessons learned in the farm’s pursuit of a better food system.
This event is sponsored by the Center for Environment & Society at Washington College and is free and open to the public and will take place in Hynson Lounge at 4:30 pm.