Skip to main content
Michigan State University

Organic, Sustainable, and Alternative Farming Systems: Websites of interest

This is a general guide to finding information on agricultural and gardening systems that are considered organic, sustainable, or alternative, such as "green", no-till and agroecology.

Websites of interest

Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC)
Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) specializes in identifying resources about sustainable food systems and practices in support of USDA's effort to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and farmers worldwide.

Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF)
The Community Alliance with Family Farmers is building a movement of rural and urban people to foster family-scale agriculture that cares for the land, sustains local economies and promotes social justice. The Agrarian Advocate is the flagship publication of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. It provides timely reporting on the food and farming issues that are important to you. 

Core Historical Literature of Agriculture
The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science,forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science. Scholars have selected the titles in this collection for their historical importance. Their evaluations and 4,500 core titles are detailed in the seven volume series The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, Wallace C. Olsen, series editor.

Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 of 24 June 1991 on organic production of agricultural products and indications referring thereto on agricultural products and foodstuffs

FAO Organic Agriculture Programme
The long-term objective of the FAO Organic Agriculture Programme is to enhance food security, rural development,sustainable livelihoods and environmental integrity by building capacities of member countries in organic production, processing, certification and marketing.  This Website offers information on organic agriculture available at FAO. It also functions as a "road map" whereby users are directed to other relevant websites.

Loepold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Organizations/institutes/networks and other resources that focus on organic agriculture

Organic World - Global organic farming statistics and news
This site provides key data and results of the global survey on organic agriculture of the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, carried out in cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM and other partners. This website supports the global data collection on organic agriculture carried out by FiBL and IFOAM, the results of which are annually published in the yearbook The World of Organic Agriculture. The site contains data tables on organic agriculture worldwide and informs about data revisions and corrigenda  if needed. Furthermore if offers additional material like news and links related to global developments in organic farming.

Sol [Stiftung Ökologie & Landbau] international links for organic organization and information

Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)

Sustainable Farming Connection

Sustainability in Agriculture
Sustainable food systems integrate many disciplines, goals and agricultural practices. Find guides and links to sustainable agriculture information related to: Definitions and History, Environmental Laws and Policy, Economic and Social Issues, and Food Choices and Food Security. this site is part of the USDA Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC).

USDA - Organic Production
Organic production is a system that integrates "cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity." (Source: NOP) Find subject guides and links related to:

Crops and Gardening
Livestock
Standards and Certification
USDA Programs

Digital Repositories

The following are repositories of digital information pertaining to the plant sciences.

Biodiversity Heritage Library
Ten major natural history museum libraries, botanical libraries, and research institutions have joined to form the Biodiversity Heritage Library Project. They are digitizing the published literature of biodiversity held in their respective collections, and so far have over 1.124 million pages of key taxonomic literature available on the web. From a scholarly perspective, these collections are of exceptional value because the domain of systematic biology depends -- more than any other science -- upon historic literature. The “cited half-life” of natural history literature is longer than that of any other scientific domain.

Botanicus
Botanicus is a freely accessible, Web-based encyclopedia of historic botanical literature from the Missouri Botanical Garden Library.

Core Historical Literature of Agriculture
The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science,forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science. Scholars have selected the titles in this collection for their historical importance. Their evaluations and 4,500 core titles are detailed in the seven volume series The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, Wallace C. Olsen, series editor.

Great Lakes Digital Library
Te research papers represented on this site were published by the Great Lakes Research Division, a unit of the University of Michigan Institute for Science and Technology, and later reorganized under the Department of Biology.

Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History
HEARTH is a core electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines, published between 1850 and 1950.

Making of America
MoA is a digital library of primary sources in American social history from the antebellum period through reconstruction. The collection is particularly strong in the subject areas of education, psychology, American history, sociology, religion, and science and technology. The collection currently contains approximately 10,000 books and 50,000 journal articles with 19th century imprints.

National Agricultural Library Digital Repository
The NALDR provides access to primarily historical USDA publications either digitized by NAL or through NAL’s partnerships with other institutions.

Organic Agriculture Information Access
Organic Agriculture Information Access is an electronic collection of historic United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) publications related to organic agriculture. In this collection, there are almost 200 documents published before 1942 (before synthetic chemicals became widely used) that contain state-of-the-art information and data that is still very pertinent for today's agriculture. This collection is provided by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC), a part of the National Agricultural Library (NAL),

TreeSearch
Provides access to publications of the US Forest Service.

Michigan State University