Agriculture affects more of the land than any other human activity. For that reason, we—through our foundations and with our personal resources—devote substantial attention to developing more ecologically sound forms of agriculture. It is our contention that preserving wildlands and developing model organic agricultural systems are complementary areas of work. We strive to make conservation a consequence of production: that is, for agriculture and other productive activities to further, not diminish, conservation aims. The agricultural lands we manage serve as biophysical buffers to protected areas, and expand wildlife habitat in the nonproductive areas of the farms.
As our friend Wes Jackson of The Land Institute says, “If we cannot turn around agriculture, then there is no hope to turn around the environmental crisis.” Both of our foundations, The Foundation for Deep Ecology and The Conservation Land Trust, work on ecological agriculture: FDE through grant making and program-related investments; CLT through restoring and managing certain agricultural properties located adjacent to conservation projects. In addition, we personally have invested in restoring numerous farms and ranches in Chile and Argentina, with the aim of demonstrating sound, healthy methods of production and land stewardship.