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Jack Hedin, Featherstone Farm, UW-La Crosse, April 18, 2011

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Uploaded on Jun 11, 2011

The term "sustainability" is used very loosely in discussions of agriculture and the environment these days, and there is little agreement on precisely what it means. Is it a step toward certified organic practice, or something well beyond organic? What parameters should be considered (soil management, energy sourcing, livestock management, carbon emissions... the list could go on and on), and over what kind of time scale? Why is this discussion even relevant when so many things seem, at first glance, to be going so well in agriculture these days? Organic farmer Jack Hedin has been a student of sustainability since encountering the term in a rural development studies program at a technical school in Sweden in the 1980s. Hedin believes that a discussion of true sustainability in agriculture must take into consideration the fullest range of issues. He has been working to put this vision into practice at Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables in Rushford MN, since founding the farm with his wife Jennifer McHugh in 1994. His commentary on the effects of global climate change on Featherstone Farm appeared in the New York Times in November 2010. Hedin spoke about his understanding of sustainability and how it affects every aspect of daily operations at Featherstone Farm.

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