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Learning from Irish farms

IMG_4777With stone walls and grazing cattle, Irish farms look like tourist attractions, but farming is still serious business here.

Imagine being paid to maintain fragile land as permanent pasture. Imagine a farm subsidy program designed to support young farmers, small farms and organic farms. Imagine a farm program that declares that 30 percent of direct payments are conditioned on compliance with “greening” criteria, such as crop diversification and crop rotation. All that is part of Ireland’s agricultural economy, where agriculture and food produce 25 percent of the country’s export earnings. Continue reading

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Filed under environment, food and farming