Discussion 01- Priorities for Sustainability?


Module 1 deals extensively with the tenets of conventional agriculture that present barriers to sustainability.  For this discussion, please consider; What is the issue of greatest importance to you regarding the sustainability of agriculture? There is no right answer. I want to hear which of the issues discussed in the text and video presentations are most important to you and why. 

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Utilize the primary and/or popular literature (Make good choices here, folks!) to select your issue. Then pursue further details about areas of research or innovation which may provide more sustainable options for agriculture in the future. Here are some readings to get you started. These two articles present similar information, from the same lead author, in different versions from different types of publications.

This article from the journal Nature is considered primary literature. Supplementary material is added for more detail:

Foley, J. A., et al. (2011). Solutions for a cultivated planet. Nature. 478, 337–342

. (pdf)

Supplementary figures, methods, table and additional references. (Links to an external site.)


The second is from a recent issue of National Geographic. Although it is a highly respected publication this is considered a “popular” source since it does not contain the parameters of primary literature (most notably, it is not subjected to the peer review process). Most photographs were removed to keep down the file size. 

Foley, J. A. (2014). A five step plan to feed the world. National Geographic, 225 (5), 27 – 47

. (pdf)

Keep in mind that an environmental issue is a complex problem with many variables which are constantly changing. The relationships between the variables are also changing. Some variables are beyond our control. Environmental issues involve ecologic, social, and economic perspectives. Although broad agreements are often difficult, we still must make decisions in an attempt to find solutions.

  Your post should be a thoughtful response and should include outside reference material from the internet or primary literature. That reference should be referred to specifically with an in-text citation (author, year) and your post should have a bibliography with those outside sources you used cited in APA format. You must also include a question in every post directed at your classmates. This gives them something to respond to in the next week 


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