Landlabs: An Integrated Approach to Creating Agricultural Enterprises That Meet the Triple Botom Line

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2013-12-01
Authors
Helmers, Matthew
Jordan, Nicholas
Schulte, Lisa
Williams, Carol
Mulla, David
Schulte-Moore, Lisa
Pitt, David
Slotterback, Carissa
Jackson, Randall
Landis, Douglas
Dale, Bruce
Becker, Dennis
Rickenbach, Mark
Helmers, Matt
Bringi, V. Bobby
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Natural Resource Ecology and ManagementAgricultural and Biosystems Engineering
Abstract

Global demand is increasing for food, feed, and fiber; for additional agricultural outputs, such as biofuels; and for ecosystem services, such as clean water and outdoor recreation. In response, new agricultural enterprises are needed that produce more outputs from existing lands while meeting the "triple bottom line" of high performance in economic, environmental, and social terms. Establishing such enterprises requires coordination and development within three critical domains: landscape configurations (i.e., types and arrangements of land uses), supply/value chains (i.e., processing and utilization), and policy and governance. In this essay, we describe our efforts, as land-grant university scientists, to support coordinated innovation and enterprise development in integrated place-based institutions, which we term landlabs. We describe our experiences in three prototyping efforts and outline key features of landlabs that are emerging from these efforts. Land-grant universities have a central and crucial role to play in organizing and operating landlabs.

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This article is from Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement 17 (2013): 175. Posted with permission.

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