The Environmental Challenge in Rural America

Anne Kanten

Article Type: Article

Publication Date: 4/1/1991

Issue: The Environment (Vol. 11, No 2, Spring, 1991)

I believe that our analysis and understanding of environmental issues is beginning to shift. Sustainable agriculture has become a key concept in the United States debate over farm policy. Environmentalists, politicians, and academics are all getting involved. Technological and scientific emphasis has begun to move away from the ideology of “more production, no matter what the cost” towards a more comprehensive cost/benefit analysis which includes total social and environmental cost. However, government policy has not been reformed to provide economic support for the transition to these more environmentally-safe farming practices. Economic pressures to produce more for less continue and often make environmental choices difficult for a farm family.

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