Sustainable agriculture is a way of raising food that is healthy for consumers and animals, does not harm the environment, is humane for workers, respects animals, provides a fair wage to the farmer, and supports and enhances rural communities.
Characteristics of this type of agriculture include:
Conservation and preservation.What we take out of the environment, we put back in, so that land and resources such as water, soil and air can be replenished and are available to future generations. Waste from sustainable farming stays within the farm?s ecosystem and cannot cause build-up or pollution. In addition, sustainable agriculture seeks to minimize transportation costs and fossil fuel use, and is as locally-based as possible.
Biodiversity. We raise different types of plants and animals, which are rotated around the fields to enrich the soil and help prevent disease and pest outbreaks. Chemical pesticides are used minimally and only when necessary; many sustainable farms do not use any form of chemicals.
Animal welfare. Our animals are treated humanely and with respect, and are well cared for. They are permitted to carry out their natural behaviors, such as grazing, rooting or pecking, and are fed a natural diet appropriate for their species.
Economic viability. Our farm workers are paid a fair wage and are not dependent on subsidies from the government. Sustainable farmers help strengthen rural communities.
Social ethics. Our workers are treated fairly and are paid competitive wages and benefits. They work in a safe environment and are offered proper living conditions and food.
This definition of sustainable farming comes from the GRACE factory farm project which is dedicated to educating people about the differences between food from factory farms and sustainable farms. As is true with all labels, especially those in food production, definitions and standards are changing all the time. Corporations lobby governments daily to mold regulations to enhance their bottom line. This makes it easy for consumers to end up confused and unsure of which label to trust. We believe that if you care about where your food comes from and how the animals were treated, you should develop a relationship with the farm and farmer who raised it. At Wyebrook Farm, we think that your senses should guide you to the best choices for your food by observing the conditions on our farm and talking with us about our practices.