Feeding a growing population is one of the majorchallenges of the twenty-first century. However,200 years ago, it was this very same challengethat initiated the foundation of the Universityof Hohenheim in 1818. Three years earlier, in1815, the volcano Tambora erupted in Indonesia.This local geological event had tremendousimpact on the global climate. The eruptionejected huge quantities of ash into the atmo-sphere, causing two ‘summers without sun’.In Europe, lower temperatures led to poor cropgrowth, resulting in famine and riots. On20 November 1818, King Wilhelm I ofWürttemberg founded an agricultural educationand research station at Hohenheim, with the aimof contributing to regional food security byeducating farmers and developing better agricultural production methods.
The US pork industry has long believed in “continuous process improvement” for all aspects of pork production, and the search for better nutrition, genetics, facilities, welfare, and health has driven the evolution of the industry over the decades. As a result, today’s US pork industry is a world leader in production efficiency, product quality, and competitiveness. However, recent events have exposed two threats to this leadership position:
pathogens endemic to the US that resist traditional control strategies and
pathogens (trade impacting diseases) whose detection within our borders would immediately cause a ban of US pork from global markets and result in a seismic shift and economic hardship across the entire US pork industry.
Benjamin Franklin’s words seem written for these circumstances: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” That is, it is our responsibility to prepare for the risks that threaten our future. But how should the industry move forward? Initiated in 1935, the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) is a poultry industry-driven entity designed to promote health and control targeted diseases among participating US poultry producers and slaughter facilities, and presents a possible model for the pork industry to learn from and consider. A study was commissioned by the Swine Health Information Center in 2018 with the aim of understanding the NPIP and assessing the potential for an NPIP like program to support the US pork industry. While there are many species- and industry-specific considerations, in the opinion of these authors, the findings of this study suggest that a “US Swine Health Improvement Plan,” modeled after the NPIP, could provide an effective platform for addressing the major swine health related challenges, opportunities, and risks confronting the 21st century US pork industry.
There is a growing awareness to the role that natural resources, such as water, land, forests and environmental amenities, play in our lives. There are many competing uses for natural resources, and society is challenged to manage them for improving social well-being. Furthermore, there may be dire consequences to natural resources mismanagement. Renewable resources, such as water, land and the environment are linked, and decisions made with regard to one may affect the others. Policy and management of natural resources now require interdisciplinary approaches including natural and social sciences to correctly address our society preferences.This series provides a collection of works containing most recent findings on economics, management and policy of renewable biological resources, such as water, land, crop protection, sustainable agriculture, technology, and environmental health. It incorporates modern thinking and techniques of economics and management. Books in this series will incorporate knowledge and models of natural phenomena with economics and managerial decision frameworks to assess alternative options for managing natural resources and environment.
The Second Edition of Economics of Food and Agricultural Markets (2019) is written for applied intermediate microeconomics courses. The book showcases the power of economic principles to explain and predict issues and current events in the food, agricultural, agribusiness, international trade, labor markets, and natural resource sectors. The field of agricultural economics is relevant, important and interesting. The study of market structures, also called industrial organization, provides powerful, timely, and useful tools for any individual or group making personal choices, business decisions, or public policies in food and agricultural industries.
Permaculture Design is a method of land planning that can be applied at scales from the home garden to city block to village to farm. It is an ethically based whole-systems design approach that uses concepts, principles, and methods derived from ecosystems, indigenous technologies, and other time-tested practices to create sustainable human settlements and institutions. Although rooted in horticulture and agriculture, Permaculture design is interdisciplinary, touching on a wide range of subjects including regional planning, ecology, animal husbandry, appropriate technology, architecture, social justice, and international development.
This open text book is derived from the content of the Massive Open Online Course “Intro to Permaculture”. The original course also included interactive mapping and design tools that accompanied this content. The course and book provide a general overview of the Permaculture design system. The book can be downloaded as a print version. However, there are many accompanying videos and content pages that are linked to throughout the text, so it is best viewed online where the links can be accessed.
Learning from agri-environment schemes in Australia is a book about the birds and the beef — more specifically it is about the billions of dollars that governments pay farmers around the world each year to protect and restore biodiversity. After more than two decades of these schemes in Australia, what have we learnt? Are we getting the most out of these investments, and how should we do things differently in the future? Involving contributions from ecologists, economists, social scientists, restoration practitioners and policymakers, this book provides short, engaging chapters that cover a wide spectrum of environmental, agricultural and social issues involved in agri-environment schemes.
This book is predominantly about climate, and the macro influences of climate and climate change on design. As we get through the topics of climate analogues and climate change forecasting, we will end up moving down this list to see the climate’s influence on specific design choices.
This module by Andrew Millison focusses on farm-scale water systems, and goes in depth into the Permaculture and Keyline strategies for managing water in the landscape for agricultural applications: ponds, roads, trees and soils. The module consists of a YouTube video playlist, a case study example and quiz, and a page of resources. The content has no deadline, and will remain up online indefinitely, so take your time browsing the 24 videos that make up the bulk of the teachings.
This book aims to open that discussion in the belief that we can obtain for food at least some of the (though partial) successes that we have been able to obtain with water.
Socioeconomics may be under greater pressure to define itself than the “classical”sciences. The latter have largely been defined by the conceptualization of real-worldphenomena: biology, for example, arose because of the willingness to better under-stand the phenomenon of life in its different specificities. Economics arose to studyand resolve the issue of scarcity. And sociology was created to analyze the dynamicsof societal groups.But socioeconomics? Its name pays tribute to the existence of sociology andeconomics, so one might either suspect that socioeconomics is merely is a combina-tion of both sciences (S + E = SE), or that there is an intersection of sociology andeconomics which is best termed as socioeconomics (S∩E = SE). Most past attemptsto define socioeconomics as a science in its own right may have been motivated tocounter such a simplistic understanding of socioeconomics.In this chapter, we review past attempts to define socioeconomics before theapproach is chosen that we applied in this book.
This book, by a leading expert in urban agriculture, offers a genuine solution to today’s global food crisis. By contributing more to feeding themselves, cities can allow breathing space for the rural sector to convert to more organic sustainable approaches. Biel’s approach connects with current debates about agroecology and food.