In 1990, Congress defined Sustainable Agriculture (SA) "as an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site specific application that will, over the long-term: satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm/ranch operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers/ ranchers and society as a whole (Title XVI, Subtitle A, of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990).
Crop Science faculty collaborate with faculty from many departments on SA research, extension and teaching projects. Our SA faculty focuses on meeting our current and future agricultural needs for food and fiber and protecting or enhancing the natural resources within societal expectations.
The USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE) manages competitive grant programs that provide opportunities for Land-grant University SA programs. N. C. State University SARE project proposals for research, teaching, and outreach evolve with substantive input from farmers, NGOs and collaborating agencies in both planning and implementation. Many of the projects and programs are concentrated at or linked to The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), a 2000-acre research, extension and teaching facility located near Goldsboro, NC.