MINDS @ UW-Madison

History, Environment and Community: Organic Agriculture in the Lower Wisconsin Riverway

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Soyck, Amy; Kowitz, Kelley; Block, Gretchen; Beissinger, Timothy
May 08, 2009
Lower Wisconsin Riverway; Organic Agriculture
The Lower Wisconsin Riverway is composed of many farming communities, both organic and conventional. Organic farming is growing nationally, but questions remain about the effects of organic farming on local communities. While organic farming may be environmentally and socially beneficial on a national scale, it is important to look at impacts on a local level. Organic farming practices such as crop rotation, cover cropping, and integrated pest management may affect the surrounding environment differently depending on the crop, climate, and soil type. Local assessments of organic practices and their noticeable effect on environmental quality are necessary to understanding the benefits of organic farming in the Lower Wisconsin Riverway. It is also common for organic farmers to have close community ties through farmers markets. The importance of farmers markets in strengthening communities and providing income in the Lower Wisconsin Riverway should be determined. Because of variations in environments and community structures throughout the nation, it is important to consider organic farming on the local scale of the Lower Wisconsin Riverway to determine whether it is a successful and healthy farming method for the region.
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