Nurturing Diversified Farming Systems in Industrialized Countries: How Public Policy Can Contribute


Alastair Iles, Robin Marsh


conservation programs, direct marketing, diversified farming, farmer knowledge, obstacles, public policy


Ecology and Society

Year Published:


Policy Summary

This paper argues that if Diversified Farming Systems (DFS) are to thrive again in the US, policies and preferences must evolve to reward the environmental and social benefits of sustainable farming and landscape management. Policies can create favorable conditions for taking up DFS, or remove some of the institutional and economic obstacles, including through the market. Policies must recognize the realitiy of potentially high costs of transition and survival of switching to DFS. They present four sets of policies that could be strategically aimed to change different aspects of the industrialized agriuclture system in the USA while aiding farmers already committed to sustainable practices, emphasizing polices that fill in the missing knowledge, incentive and market infrastructure needed to sustain DFS. These include specific examples for policies around financial reforms, regulatory reforms, planning and land-use changes, infrastructure development, procurement and nutrition support, antitrust enforcement, campaign finance controls and farm bill reforms.

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