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Sustainable Agriculture and the Urban Connection

John Ikerd, retired professor of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri and strong advocate for sustainable agriculture, recently spoke to a crowd of sustainability activists in Portland, Oregon. The address helped launch a new campaign called the “Eat Local Challenge.” According to Dianne Stefani-Ruff, executive director of the Portland Farmers’ Market, the challenge asks consumers to commit at least 10 percent of their food budget to buying locally grown food, to try one new fruit or vegetable each week, and to preserve some food to eat when seasonal produce is not available. Several Portland-area farmers’ markets, restaurants, and advocates of sustainable agriculture came up with the challenge as a way to promote locally grown, organic food products. The Eat Local Challenge Web site (eatlocal.net) lists special events and includes a guide to 10 ways to eat locally.

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