"Sustainable farmers are linked by their common commitment to the principles of sustainability. Intergenerational equity is the hallmark of sustainability - meeting the needs of the present while leaving equal or better opportunities for the future. The hallmarks of sustainable systems, derived from intergenerational equity, are economic viability, ecological soundness and social responsibility- interdependent dimensions of the same whole. Thus, holistic management is a hallmark of sustainable farming -- balancing economic, ecological, and social objectives - in harmony with some higher order of things. Nature and society are within the bounds of their decision-making - they consider the environment and the community in every decision. Guided by a higher self interest sustainable farmers build relationships and practice stewardship, neither for economic gain nor personal sacrifice, but instead to enhance their overall quality of life. The principle hallmark of sustainable farming is the pursuit of higher quality of life -- for farmers, families, communities, for all people, both now and in the future."
John E. Ikerd
The Hallmarks of Sustainable Farming Systems
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