Vermont Journal of Environmental Law

Volume 21 (2019-2020)

The Public Value of Ecological Agriculture

Embedded in the modern American landscape are two fundamentally different approaches to farming. The dominant form is the industrial approach, which depends primarily on chemicals, biotechnology, and fossil fuels to maximize production. Industrial agriculture is characterized by mechanization, intensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, concentrated livestock production, and monocultural production of a few crops that overwhelmingly end up as animal feed, fuel, and processed products like high fructose corn syrup. The other is an ecological approach, which learns from strengths of natural ecosystems, such as diversity, efficiency, and resiliency, and builds them into agricultural ecosystems to optimize long-term productivity.

The Public Value of Ecological AgricultureThe Public Value of Ecological Agriculture