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Posts Tagged: webinar

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)

*Ag in Uncertain Times* adds Spanish programming

A webinar series produced by an organization of agricultural economists at Western land-grant universities is adding Spanish programming this month, according to a news release distributed today by Washington State University. Webinars are seminars on the Web.

The webinar series in English, called "Ag in Uncertain Times," began broadcasting in June 2009. Past programs programs have included "Operating in risky environments" and "Operating in the face of uncertain markets." All programs are recorded and available on the Western Extension Committee Web site.

The first Spanish webinar, set for Wednesday, March 10, will address management of finances and credit in an agricultural setting. On March 17, participants will hear about business planning and market strategies and on March 24, strategies, tools and resources for selecting and diversifying crops. All sessions begin at 4 p.m. Pacific and can be accessed at

The Spanish sessions will be presented by a bilingual team led by Ramiro Lobo, small farm program advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in San Diego County. Links to the recorded webinars will be posted on the Ag in Uncertain Times en español Web site after they are presented live.

Ag in Uncertain Times en español Web site.
Ag in Uncertain Times en español Web site.

Posted on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 at 1:57 PM
Tags: agriculture (12), business (1), español (1), marketing (8), Spanish (2), webinar (2)
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