Congress defined sustainable agriculture as an integrated system of plant and animal production practices that will: satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable and on-farm resources; sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
SARE (Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education) was created in response to this need and has been working to protect and advance the American agriculture system through research and education. Today, sustainable can be simply defined as a system that is working, allowing for humane living practices and leaving the environment better than you found it.
From 2011 through 2015, the USDA’s SARE initiative (Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education) looked closely at this issue and investigated the contribution of endangered heritage pig breeds to sustainable agriculture.
SARE’s report concluded that “rare breeds of pigs are a vital part of our agricultural resource” and that “their fitness traits make heritage breed pigs a good choice for sustainable farms and pastured pork production.”
The public’s growing interest in healthier products, food safety, environmental impact and humane production of animal products has led to increased consumer interest in products from pasture raised, rare breed heritage pigs. However, as a result of the years of threats these breeds (which include Choctaw, American Guinea Hog, Mulefoot, Ossabaw Island, Red Wattle, Hereford, Gloucestershire Old Spots, Large Black, Tamworth and Saddleback) have become endangered due to extremely low populations.
VIEW REPORT HERE