What Is Sustainable Farming?
Sustainable agriculture means different things to different folks. To Gold Dust and Walker Brothers, it’s a commitment to the future of our businesses and the well-being of the environment.
If you drop the above question into your favorite search engine, a quick scan of the results will show you not everyone sees sustainable agriculture the same way. Depending on the crop or animal being raised, sustainable farming and its practices will have different focuses and meanings for each kind of operation. However, at the core of sustainable agriculture is a set of binding principles that everyone can agree on:
- Resource conservation
- Enhancing and protecting the local environment
- Investing in the future of communities locally and globally
- Remaining commercially competitive
Gold Dust Potato Processors and Walker Brothers farm have worked hard to implement these principles into our businesses. In the past we’ve participated in programs such as the Walking Wetlands by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and currently on the Running Y ranch we are trying to find ways to encourage wildlife around the area while maintaining a profitable farm. For example, by leaving a little grain in the fields when we harvest and flooding some of the fields, we’re attracting water fowl while also naturally eliminating harmful pests. With all of the birds around, folks are brought to the Klamath Basin for birding tours and events such as the Winter Wings Festival, which helps bring income to local businesses. The flooding also allows us to cut down on pesticide and fertilizer costs, making our farm more profitable and competitive. So, in the end, by flooding that one field, we’re cutting down on our costs, keeping pesticides and fertilizer from entering the system while encouraging tourism in the Klamath Basin. And this is just one of the sustainable agriculture practices we use!
Sustainable farming is going to become more important in order for agri-businesses to not only survive, but thrive. Gold Dust and Walker Brothers are proud of the practices we currently use and are always looking for news ways to make our farm and processing plant more sustainable.