Dr. Wes Jackson Interview: The Role Of Sustainable Agriculture In The Community

This column features ecology and homestead news, this issue features an interview with Dr. Wes Jackson on getting back to the land and the role of sustainable agriculture in the community.


| December 1999/January 2000


News brief features an interview with Dr. Wes Jackson on the role of sustainable agriculture in the community.

MacArthur Fellow Dr. Wes Jackson lent some valuable time to the MOTHER staff to talk about getting back to the land and the role of sustainable agriculture in the community. Having spent the past 25 years in Kansas directing research at the Land Institute, Dr. Jackson has become a leading expert not only on sustainable agriculture, but on the culture of sustainable agriculture in what he calls a "coherent community."

Sam Martin for MOTHER: In your last collection of essays Becoming Native to This Place you write that our notion of a "coherent community" has dwindled in the past hundred years. Do you think it's possible to retrieve the notion of community in rural America for the next hundred years? 

Not only do I think it's possible, I think it's essential.

What role will agriculture play in this new community? 

Well, humans have to eat, so anybody that eats better be interested in agriculture and they better be interested in the cultural arrangements that ensure that the product of agrarian life flows toward those who are not on the land, as well as those who are on the land. And they have to flow in helpful ways. You don't want to erode the ecological capital that stands behind food production.





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