Sustainability in Agriculture

Sustainability is an important part of our world and of the agricultural industry. I’m a huge fan of sustainability, eco-friendly living, and ethical farming and ranching. It will take many posts to cover all this can encompass, but I want to start with a brief overview and then in future posts I will dive deeper into specifics.

Currently, in our country and throughout the world there is a lot of talk about the sustainability of farming and ranching. It is a difficult time with many opposing views as in many, many ways agriculture has come under attack. Agricultural producers and consumers need perspective and hope for the future. I believe firmly that the greatest voice for agricultural we as producers have is the consumers voice. Our consumers supports us and greatly determine the direction of our industries. These are some simple tips on being a supporter of sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable eating is local first.

Your local farms and ranches need your support. When your food travels short distances to get to you it has less impact on the environment, greater the nutritional value.

Be willing to pay more for your food!

Yes! I actually said pay more.

Sustainable costs more because it is worth more.

You’ve heard the saying, “you get what you pay for” and it couldn’t be truer than with food. I can skimp on lots of things and pinch pennies but when it comes to quality food I go all out. I want the health benefits from quality food for my family. Supporting a movement that chooses to not buy cheap and foreign but instead to buy quality and local is a deep value I hold. If you see food super cheap ask yourself “why?”. There is always a reason and it usually isn’t a good one.

Plan ahead and eat seasonal.

This goes hand in hand with supporting local farmers and ranchers. Meat, vegetables, and fruit are not in supply year round. Agriculture is dependent on the earth and her natural rhythms and cycles. Educate yourselves about the seasons and cycles of farming and ranching and plan ahead to buy and support local. I will give you two examples of how I personally do this. In the summer, I purchase my fruit locally as close as possible to my home as the fruit comes in season. In our part of the world, grapefruit is never as local as say peaches. Peaches can be a few miles but I would have to drive a day to get grapefruit. I don’t have to not have grapefruit but I try to purchase and eat grapefruit from the closest location during its natural season which is usually December. I try to avoid buying it from a foreign location just any time of year.

Sustainability can be overwhelming if you’ve never given it much thought before. However, with a few simple changes the joys of eating sustainably are well worth the effort. We will dive deeper in the posts to follow.

The wonder of Spring and the coming of new life on our ranch.