John Ikerd is a a retired professor of Agricultural Economics from the University of Missouri, and has been brought to Montana State University by the Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Program to have a conversation about sustainability. Ikerd has written extensively—a ton—about sustainable agriculture and with particular interest in and emphasis on the economic component of sustainability.
Many of his publications can be found here: http://web.missouri.edu/ikerdj/
Below are some excerpts from various talks:
“We are at a critical time in agriculture and cannot go on. if towns are really lucky they can get a prison. If you cannot get that, maybe a landfill. and if all else fails, a CAFO. This model of rural economic development will not work.
It is also a time of great possibilities, we are going through a period of great transformation. we are moving out of the industrial era and into something fundamentally different. The big question is the one of sustainability. We have gone though decades of extraction, and its gone. so how do we meet the needs of the present without diminishing the needs of the future?”
“There is a growing realization that when you use up the productivity of nature and of people you realize that there is no place to get anything anymore. The financial crisis, the gulf. we cannot continue to extract and exploit. Going through the transition we must rethink every aspect of our lives and when we are done our lives will be fundamentally changed.”
“The structures of the future may be new and energy efficient, but will be built on the ideas of the past. Rural places have great opportunities. Many still have water and air and a sense of belonging and caring, of being a part of something bigger than yourself. And the preserved architecture is the most visible sign of the viability of a community.”