Sustaining People Through Agriculture

Sustainable Agriculture?
What do you mean? I donít understand.
Sustain what?
For Whom? For how long? Whatís it all about?
Sustain Agriculture ó
Food and fiber. Sustain the family farm.
Sustain Communities.
For people; forever. Thatís what itís all about.
Leave enough so our kids and theirs
Can have as much and as good as we.
While finding ways to take enough
For a good, good life for you and for me.
Things that use up or degrade
Land, water, living things of nature that catch the sun;
Things that cannot turn a profit,
That will not let good stewards farm the land.
Things that will not feed the people ó rich and poor,
Or offer work with dignity for human minds and hands,
Such things are not sustained by God,
Thus, cannot be sustained by man.
The body, the mind, the soul
We are not one, not two, but three.
The physical, the mental, the spiritual
A quality life all three must be.
Itís common sense ó we must live this way.
Why should we not farm and work this way as well?
Personal, interpersonal, harmony with an Unseen Order;
Economic, social, ecological, in harmony, in work and life as well.
Sustaining agriculture, for people, forever.
Thatís what itís all about.
Sustaining a quality of life for people.
Thatís what itís all about.
Sustaining people through agriculture ó now and forever.
Thatís what itís all about.

John Ikerd
February, 1998

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