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Agriculture and Natural Resources

What is Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources?  It is the production and management of agriculture and natural resources in a manner that is socially just, economically viable, and environmentally sound.

| Agriculture-general | Agriculture-education | Agriculture-food | Agriculture-other goods | Natural resouces-general | Natural resources-ecosystem services | Natural resouces-groundwater | Natural resources-lakes and rivers | Natural resources-forests | Natural resources-wildlife | Natural resources-recreation |

Agriculture - general

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Agriculture - education

  • Michael Fields Agriculture Institute
    Michael Fields Agriculture Institute is a non-profit institute for education and research in sustainable agriculture. Programs include crop and soil research, farm and food education, integrated farming systems and public policy.

  • Sustainable Agriculture Education
    The mission is to develop urban edge agriculture, and engage diverse regional populations with the sustainable agriculture movement. The web site offers examples of projects, food shed and agriculture planning, curriculum, public education and outreach materials, links and publications.

  • Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom
    Provides teacher resources, guides, and activities, school garden resources, videos, and the history of Minnesota Agriculture. 

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Agriculture - food

  • National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service
    This web site offers all things related to sustainable agriculture. Sustainable farming learning opportunities, an on-line form to submit sustainable agriculture related questions, publications, sustainable production, marketing and grants.

  • Food Business Innovation Network
    FOODBIN is a University of Wisconsin Extension web site that focuses on food business. There is an event calendar, a list of FOODBIN members, resources, videos, links and partners.

  • Community Food Systems Team
    Another web site produced by the University of Wisconsin Extension with topics including: lunchtime learning series, food waste management, food and agriculture entrepreneurship, colleague resources, and Wisconsin farm to school programs.

  • Food and Value Added Agriculture
    This University of Wisconsin Extension website contains information on local food systems, selling to grocers, selling wholesale, food business incubators and resources.

  • Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
    The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems is an agriculture research center located at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Web site topics include crops and livestock, ecological systems, economics, education and training, farm to fork, future of farming and people.

  • Farm Fresh Atlases
    These directories developed for five regions of Wisconsin provide information on where to find locally and sustainably grown food, from retail outlets and restaurants that feature local foods, to farmers' markets and CSAs, to on-farm sales.

  • Bits and Bytes Community Food Security Resources
    The Building Community Food Security with Bits & Bytes Project, in collaboration with Food Secure Canada, has created an online food security resource database. Fashioned after Wikipedia, the database is intended to grow through the submissions and comments of the food security community who use it. Content covers a range of topics, from community kitchen recipes to the use of comfrey in compost tea, from food miles to nutrition, from food charters to farmers markets, from food sovereignty to hunger.

  • Wisconsin Local Food Network
    A directory of local food initiatives and projects in Wisconsin, helpful local food links, publications and a number of other useful local food related resources for Wisconsin.

  • Regional Food Hub Resource Guide
    Food hub impacts on regional food systems and the resources available to support their growth and development" is a 92-page document, available for free download at the web site above. It was published by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service in April 2012. The report focuses on issues related to Regional Food Hubs, which it defines as "a business or organization that actively manages the aggregation, distribution, and marketing of source-identified food products primarily from local and regional producers to strengthen their ability to satisfy wholesale, retail, and institutional demand".

  • Minnesota Grown
    A directory of Community Supported Agriculture farms, farmers markets, berry farms, orchards, Christmas tree growers located in the state of Minnesota. Data is searchable by city or zip code and by product.

  • Slow Food Movement
    Slow Food International - A non-profit member-supported association, Slow Food was founded in 1989 to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.

  • Counties and Local Food Systems: Ensuring Healthy Foods, Nurturing Healthy Children
    Report by National Association of Counties (NACo) Center for Sustainable Communities (July 2007).

  • Organic food production and processing in Wisconsin: Strong sales driven by health concerns
    This publication explores the connection between pesticides in food production and health risks; maps pesticide contamination of groundwater in Wisconsin; and then describes the prevalence of organic farming, food processing and educational opportunities in the state. 8 pages.

  • Planning an Event? Consider Using Local Food
    A publication on serving local foods at conferences and workshops has been developed and is now available on the UW-Extension The Learning Store Publications web site.

  • Growing Power in an Urban Food Desert
    This is a link to a Yes! Magazine article on Will Allen – a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” fellow and his organization called Growing Power.

  • Growing Power
    Link to Will Allen’s Growing Power, Inc.

  • Growing Power Video
    A video on Will Allen.

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Agriculture - other goods

  • UW-Extension Bio-Energy and Bio-Economy Team
    The purpose of the Bio-Energy and Bio-Economy Team is to build the capacity of Extension Agents and Educators to work with communities, residents and farmers to assess opportunities for developing a sustainable bio-economy. The Bio-Energy and Bio-Economy Team provides training, resources, public education, and networking opportunities for Extension Specialists on the technical, environmental, social, and economic aspects of the emerging bio-economy.

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Natural resources – general

  • Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange (CAKE)
    Climate Adaptation Knowledge Exchange is a joint project of Island Press and EcoAdapt. It is aimed at building a shared knowledge base for managing natural systems in the face of rapid climate change. It consists principally of 4 interlinked components – a virtual library, case studies, a directory, and tools – as well as community forums for the discussion of current issues in conservation in a changing climate.

  • People and Planet Report
    People and the Planet Report (April 2012) is a report by the Royal Society (UK) that addresses human population, consumption, human health and well being and the natural environment. Additional links include: policy with a focus on sustainability, library, grants, awards, education and more. The Royal Society is a Fellowship of the world's most eminent scientists and is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence.

  • Planning for Climate Change in Habitat Restoration
    The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and EcoAdapt have partnered with NOAA’s Restoration Center Great Lakes Region with funding from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to help make sure that Great Lakes restoration projects are climate-smart and have an increased chance of resiliency over time. This web site contains on the ground examples of restoration examples.

  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
    IGBP was launched in 1987 to coordinate international research on global-scale and regional-scale interactions between Earth's biological, chemical and physical processes and their interactions with human systems. IGBP views the Earth system as the Earth's natural physical, chemical and biological cycles and processes AND the social and economic dimensions. IGBP's vision is to provide essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society onto a sustainable pathway during rapid global change.

  • Center for International Earth Science Information Network
    CIESN works at the intersection of the social, natural, and information sciences, and specializes in on-line data and information management, spatial data integration and training, and interdisciplinary research related to human interactions in the environment. The web site has a Programs and Projects section that includes the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, IPCC Data Distribution Centre and other projects and programs. The Data and Information section allows for browsing by subject, searching for data along with downloadable data, metadata catalogs and online tools and applications. The Education and Outreach section includes publications, meetings, resources, metadata, discussion lists, GIS service center and CIESIN Wiki.

  • Sustainability Science
    The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has dedicated a section of the journal to sustainability science, an emerging field of research dealing with the interactions between natural and social systems, and with how those interactions affect the challenge of sustainability: meeting the needs of present and future generations while substantially reducing poverty and conserving the planet's life support systems.

  • National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Science collection
    The complete collection of the National Academy of Sciences sustainability science articles.

  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme
    IGBP was launched in 1987 to coordinate international research on global-scale and regional-scale interactions between Earth's biological, chemical and physical processes and their interactions with human systems. IGBP views the Earth system as the Earth's natural physical, chemical and biological cycles and processes AND the social and economic dimensions. IGBP's vision is to provide essential scientific leadership and knowledge of the Earth system to help guide society onto a sustainable pathway during rapid global change.

  • Soil Erosion and Nuclear Reactor Management Emerging as key Green Issues for the United Nations
    The depletion of soil and the growing number of end-of-life nuclear power plants are the focus of the United Nations Environmental Program yearbook. The 2012 Year Book may be downloaded from this page.

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Natural resources – ecosystem services

  • The Natural Capital Project
    The Natural Capital Project has developed tools for quantifying the values of natural capital in clear, credible, and practical ways. In promising a return (of societal benefits) on investments in nature, the scientific community needs to deliver knowledge and tools to quantify and forecast this return. To meet this need, the Natural Capital Project has developed InVEST, a family of software-based tools for Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs. InVEST enables decision-makers to quantify the importance of natural capital, to assess the tradeoffs associated with alternative choices, and to integrate conservation and human development.

  • Environmental Services Database
    This web page is part of the Natural Capital Project. The database contains strategies and outcomes from environmental services programs all around the world (compiled between 2006-2009) and illustrates how ecosystem services have been put to work by the world's two largest conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.

  • Ecosystem Services
    This webpage provides definitions and explanations about ecosystem services. The site discusses using a free-market economy to help protect ecosystem services and then gives three steps to determine if that is possible: 1) giving the service a name; 2) measure the service; 3) convince society to pay for and invest in the service.

  • The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity
    The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) study is a major international initiative to draw attention to the global economic benefits of biodiversity, to highlight the growing costs of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, and to draw together expertise from the fields of science, economics and policy to enable practical actions moving forward.

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Natural resources – groundwater

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Natural resources – lakes and rivers

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Natural resources – forests

  • Wisconsin Land Use Megatrends: Forests
    The goal of this brochure is to illustrate statewide land use trends related to Wisconsin’s forested lands. By increasing awareness and understanding of the importance of forests, we hope to engage local communities, government officials, planning professionals, and individual landowners in a dialogue about the importance of Wisconsin’s forests. We encourage Wisconsin communities to develop local land use strategies that will enhance conservation and management of the state’s forest resources. 12 pages.

  • Forest Management and Climate Change: A Literature Review
    Authored by the Food and Agriculture Organization, March 2012. This document summarizes knowledge and experiences in forest management as a response to climate change, based on a literature review and a survey of forest managers.

  • USDA Forest Service Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies
    The research of this Institute if guided by the link between energy, climate and tree genetics, an increased understanding about climate change impacts, the link between spatial and temporal dynamics of landscape elements and ecological processes and innovative scaling concepts and tools to integrate research and translate forestry knowledge to policy-relevant scales.

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Natural resources - wildlife

  • RARE
    The mission of RARE is to conserve imperiled species and ecosystems around the world and to inspire people to care about and protect nature. The web site has a blog, publications, discusses programs and success stories.

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Natural resources – recreation

  • Wisconsin Land Use Megatrends: Recreation
    This publication illustrates state-wide land use trends related to recreation. The first two sections of the report discuss many of the historic, demographic, and geographic forces that have shaped Wisconsin’s recreational landscape. Trends related to three types of recreational resources are highlighted in subsequent sections: nature-based land recreation, water-based recreation, and developed land recreation. This publication is intended to help local communities, government officials, planning professionals and individual landowners think about ways to plan for and better manage local and regional recreational resources. 8 pages.

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