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Improve the efficiency, diversity, and sustainability of food production by evaluating and demonstrating new technologies.

Background

The U.S. Census Bureau expects world population to exceed 9 billion by 2043 — up from 6.9 billion in 2010. To feed this rapidly growing population, the United Nations forecasts that global food production must increase 70 percent by 2050. As growers increase their capacity, they need to do so in ways that are diverse and sustainable. The USDA defines sustainable agriculture as integrated systems of plant and animal production practices that have site-specific applications — so one size does not fit all.

Over the long term, sustainable practices must:

  1. Satisfy our food and fiber needs.
  2. Enhance the quality of both the environment and the natural resources the agricultural economy depend upon.
  3. Make efficient use of nonrenewable and on-farm resources.
  4. Integrate natural biological cycles and controls whenever possible.
  5. Sustain the economic viability of farm operations.
  6. Enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.

Meeting these ambitious goals will require improvements and innovation in the production, storage, processing, distribution, and marketing of food and food products. Our goal is to be a leader in transforming research into practical and sustainable solutions that will be used by food producers.

Who We’ll Engage

We will work with agricultural producers, emerging groups of agricultural entrepreneurs (including small-scale, organic, niche, and beginning farmers), and youth.

Intended Outcomes

Our efforts will increase the efficiency and productivity of food production and marketing systems in ways that are sustainable and diverse. We will help food producers adopt new technologies by conducting applied research, providing demonstrations, and delivering educational programs that focus on useful new technologies. Youth will learn the value of modern technology in a sustainable food and fiber production and marketing system.

Action Objectives

  • Conduct applied research on emerging technologies to identify best management practices and deliver educational programs that enhance adoption of these technologies.
  • Develop educational programs that help agricultural producers improve their skills in human resources, finance, risk management, and marketing of differentiated products.
  • Create partnerships with processors, wholesalers, and retailers and input suppliers to improve the adoption of best management practices.
  • Develop educational programs and materials targeted toward youth that illustrate how modern technology plays an integral role in a sustainable food production system.

Success Indicators

  • Farmers will adopt new technologies based on applied research results, demonstrations, and related educational programming.
  • Participating producers will adapt their production, conservation, and management practices in ways that lead to higher productivity and profitability.

Check this site regularly to check our progress.