Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Women in Natural Resources (1995) 17(2): 4-6.


Agriculture in the Great Plains faces increasing pressure for environmental stewardship and for more economical farming and pest management practices. The concept of sustainable agriculture was developed to address these needs. A sustainable agricultural system is one that consistently enhances environmental quality and the resource bases, provides basic human food and fiber needs, is economically viable, and enhances the quality of life for farmers and society. In the Great Plains, we define agroforestry as the use of trees to help make agricultural production systems more sustainable. The trees function to conserve soil, water, wildlife, and other natural resources. They also improve water quality while maintaining natural resources and crop and livestock productivity and profitability.