A Thought on Sustainability

A Thought on Sustainability

August 20, 2015

Scott Steinmaus on Getting the Sustainability Message Out

By Charmayne Hefley, Producer and Associate Broadcaster

When considering the longevity of a farmer’s land, the question of the sustainability of modern day farming practices is often raised. Scott Steinmaus, professor and department head of the Horticulture and Crop Science Department at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, said that it is important to get the message out to consumers that farmers are sustainable because their land is the future for their own children.

“Farmers are sustainable,” Steinmaus said, “even when the general public might say that unsustainable activities might include pesticide applications. There’s no farmer out there who wants to spray pesticides—it costs money. And they don’t want to hand off their land having exposed it to something that’s not sustainable. They have a piece of land, something they value and cherish, and they want to hand it off to their sons or daughters.”

Steinmaus said it is important for consumers to realize that farmers are humans too, and they care about the health of the planet in a way that more directly relates to their careers.

Steinmaus believes it is important for consumers "to understand that direct connection farmers have with the earth, to realize that farmers are humans too, with kids of their own, and to acknowledge that farmers care about the planet more than a lot of urbanites might do themselves. There’s nothing more important than sustainability—minimizing all farm inputs for safe, acceptable food production.”