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Posts Tagged: ASI

Sustainability - what does it really mean?

What is sustainable agriculture?
Sustainability has become a buzzword. Everywhere you look it's sustainable this, sustainable that. But what does it really mean? What makes something truly sustainable? And what does it mean in terms of food production?

April's Global Food Systems Forum invigorated the conversation. The event convened some of agriculture's leading experts to address the plethora of challenges that face our global food systems. The conversation brought forward several hot topics: GMOs, large scale vs. small scale production, nutrition and more.

But even with the riveting debate, the question remains: What is sustainability? Is it focusing more on natural ecosystems? Is it being completely self-reliant, or turning only to organics? Is it focusing on a larger multi-national scale?

UC ANR has started holding a series of sustainability webinars to continue the conversation and tackle some of these questions. The first webinar took place on Feb. 15, 2013 with Tom Tomich, director of the UC Agricultural Sustainability Institute. The webinar tackled the issue of sustainability: What is it? Is there a sustainability science? What is at stake? The video can be seen on the ASI website.

The second webinar, on May 31, 2013 with Neil McRoberts, professor in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, focused on linking sustainability theory with practice. McRoberts addressed sustainability theory using formal models to plan and track extension outreach efforts, and linking interdisciplinary scientists. Though the webinar is not yet available online, it will be soon on the ASI website.

The next webinar is Thursday, June 13, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Featuring Ermias Kebreab, professor in the Department of Animal Science at UC Davis, the webinar centers on environmental sustainability of animal agriculture. Topics will include: sustainability as a "wicked" problem, water quality and livestock production, and the mitigation of air emissions from livestock operations. The webinar is free and open to the public. More information is available on the Agricultural Sustainability Institute website.

Sustainability is a complex issue. These questions about the definition and concept are not going to be answered overnight. But as long as these types of conversations and learning opportunities continue to take place, I'm confident we'll continue adapting and meeting the complex challenges with which we are faced.

Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 8:48 AM
  • Author: Marissa Palin
Tags: agriculture (12), ASI (2), food system (1), sustainability (7), webinar (2)

UC Davis receives $1.57 million grant from Kellogg

A $1.57 million grant from the Kellogg Foundation will create an endowment for the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute to support a network of scholars at 14 universities working to improve children's access to healthy food, said a brief article in the Modesto Bee.

The article was based on press release distributed yesterday by UC Davis.

“This gift recognizes the work of leaders from across the United States, and I am gratified that my colleagues in the network have endorsed the UC Davis Agricultural Sustainability Institute as the network’s host,” said ASI director Tom Tomich. “We also are grateful to the Kellogg Foundation for supporting such important work."

Tomich is also the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at UC Davis.

In addition to UC Davis, the network currently includes scholars from:
  • Iowa State University and its Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
  • Michigan State University
  • North Carolina A&T State University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Ohio State University
  • UC Santa Cruz
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of New Hampshire
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Washington State University

Tom Tomich
Tom Tomich

Posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010 at 7:46 AM
Tags: ASI (2), sustainable (11), Tom Tomich (4)
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