Barriers to Sustainable Agriculture Training in Oklahoma
1.) To arrive at a definition or vision statement of the sustainable concept and how sustainable agriculture concept can be usefully applied to the benefit of Oklahoma agricultural rural and urban clientele. The sustainable agriculture vision for Oklahoma should be clearly communicated with faculty, staff, and all interested public clientele.
2.) To provide guidance on how sustainable agriculture concepts can be integrated with current educational and research programs in DASNR. This will include identifying areas of complimentary with current programs, to suggest areas of additional programming, and to help set priorities for the allocation of increasingly scarce resources. One outcome of this objective would be to indicate how sustainable agriculture research and education fits in to the DASNR strategic plan.
Initial sustainable agriculture training efforts in Oklahoma have met with considerable resistance due to misconceptions and preexisting biases about what sustainable agriculture is and isn’t. These negative connotations are made worse by the lack of a clearly stated definition of sustainable agriculture, in the context of mainstream commercial agriculture in Oklahoma, and the inability to demonstrate how sustainable agriculture concepts can be complimentary with, and extensions of, current programming efforts rather than a vastly different new program area. This proposal recognizes this as a major barrier and proposes a plan of action to overcome this obstacle as a prerequisite to future training in sustainable agriculture.