Texas AgriLife to promote Field to Market, promoting sustainabiltyTexas AgriLife to promote Field to Market, promoting sustainabilty
Field to Market focuses on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production nationwide.Goal is to promote sustainable agriculture production in Texas
August 8, 2017
Texas A&M AgriLife recently held its first Texas meeting with Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, in Austin.
Field to Market focuses on defining, measuring and advancing the sustainability of food, fiber and fuel production nationwide. The meeting is part of a goal of partnering with other state agencies and agricultural associations to launch the program statewide, according to organizers.
AgriLife became an affiliate member of the organization in 2016, and aims to promote sustainable agricultural production in Texas, participants said.
“Right now, we are trying to bring awareness of the organization to the state of Texas,” said Andrea Maeda, one of the project coordinators and research associate with Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Corpus Christi. “We want to spread the word about the program to statewide agricultural associations, Texas growers and the scientific community.”
The meeting featured key representatives from Field to Market, AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, National Cotton Council, Cotton Incorporated and academia to establish a set of program plans to be carried out in the future.
One of the agenda items was an overview of the Fieldprint Calculator.
“The calculator was created by Field to Market,” Maeda said. “It’s an educational tool that provides a quantitative index of sustainability given specific management practices and identifies opportunities for improvement. It uses models from diverse sources, including NRCS, and allows a producer to visualize and understand the environmental impacts of their management decisions. It also allows a comparison of the user’s sustainable practices to state and national averages.”
Maeda said the Fieldprint Calculator could be used by scientists, Extension specialists and county agents, commodity organizations and growers.
“We believe that the calculator is a useful platform to quantify sustainability and assist with identifying best management practices for farmers, and for cropping systems scientists and Extension specialists to use as a research and education tool.”
Maeda said the group is exploring hosting workshops and/or field days to provide educational programming to agricultural producers across the state.
“Overall, the meeting was very successful,” she said. “It generated a lot of discussion and helped get things in motion with regards to building awareness about the program.”
Current faculty contributing to the Field to Market program at Texas A&M AgriLife include Drs. Juan Landivar, Jamie Foster and Josh McGinty in South Texas; Gaylon Morgan in Central Texas; Lee Tarpley in Southeast Texas; and Katie Lewis, Jourdan Bell and Paul DeLaune in the Panhandle.
For more information about the program, visit www.fieldtomarket.org.
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