Amish farming holds lessons for sustainable agriculture, USU sociologist says

LOGAN—Pennsylvania could be an agricultural hub in America worth taking a look at when it comes to analyzing sustainable farming techniques such as the ones described in a recently published Science magazine article on “Transforming U.S. Agriculture,” coauthored by USU sociology professor Douglas Jackson-Smith.Some connections can be made between what Jackson-Smith and his colleagues studied and what the Pennsylvania Amish do, he says, such as the once common practice of integrated crop and livestock operations.”Although the Amish case is rather unique,” Jackson-Smith said, “and not always a great example of sustainability that would be replicable on most U.S. farms.”He said he would speculate that Amish farmers are probably discouraged from continuing in their traditional farming practices due to current governmental policies. He added that one of the purposes of the Science magazine article is to influence the upcoming renewal of the U.S. Farm Bill in a way that would encourage more sustainable farming methods.

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