Serving as both a core textbook for students as well as a comprehensive reference for agricultural practitioners, The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: Principles, Processes, and Practices provides an in-depth analysis of the transition process for making farms more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. The authors explore the ways to lessen the dependency on fossil fuels and pesticides and examine each step in the conversion process. The book describes the process of monitoring change toward sustainable agriculture while integrating social and economic analysis within scientific practices. It also includes various international case studies and presents many practical applications.
Framed by an awareness of the long-term destructiveness of established food system trends, it remains a hopeful book, with a focus on emerging alternatives. Twenty-five contributors present broad overviews and critical case studies of burgeoning sustainable agriculture movements on five continents, but North America gets the most attention, with excellent chapters on Cuba; Mexico; Ontario, Canada; and three regions of the US. The fascinating history of organic agriculture is presented as a case of a socio-environmental movement that risks diverging from sustainability as it grows and industrializes. Nonetheless, "organic" serves as a convenient proxy for "sustainable" through much of the book. This is a readable and information-packed volume, accessible to undergraduate students but rewarding to advanced students and sustainable agriculture professionals. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections. --M. K. Bamford, Kentucky State University. CHOICE. JULY 2010, VOL 47, No 11 Refreshingly, the book acknowledges the difficulties of both researching and putting into practice changes at the whole system level as opposed to alterations in individual farming practices. Of particular value is the discussion of what motivates practitioners to alter their agricultural systems; this goes beyond the usual discussion of finance and markets to address issues such as family values and community development. ...This book will interest students and practitioners of organic agriculture but will also be of value to a much wider community concerned with reducing the dependence of agriculture on fossil fuels and the challenges of reconnecting agriculture and consumers. --Christine A. Watson, The Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 2010.
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