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Book by Biologist Kleppel Heralds a Farming Revolution

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 18, 2015) — “Most of the food that most Americans eat comes from an industrial system of agriculture that is neither safe, nor ethical, nor sustainable.”

So says Professor Gary S. Kleppel of the Department of Biological Sciences and former longtime director of the University’s Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy Program. But Kleppel, who with wife Pam became owners of Longfield Farm in Altamont (producing grass-fed lamb, wool, free range chickens and eggs, and artisanal breads) after he arrived at the University 15 years ago, writes of a solution.

In The Emergent Agriculture: Farming, Sustainability and the Return of the Local Economy, a collection of 14 thematic essays on sustainability viewed through the lens of farming, Kleppel paints an agronomical landscape that can be sustainable and profitable, grounded in stewardship of the land, attaching value to food and the craft involved in producing it, and respecting the dignity of farmers, consumers and livestock.

He believes a revolution in food production that adheres to these principles is happening. His book is a clarion call for that new paradigm — “possibly the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he said.

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