NPSAS promotes sustainable food systems through education, research and advocacy.
Core Values & Beliefs
NPSAS members value the wise use of resources and healthy food provided through a holistic, biodiverse, ecologically and socially sound food production and distribution system. NPSAS recognizes the human place in the circle of life with humility and acknowledgment of our spiritual values. We honor the choices and voices of our patrons. We, as a community, believe every member is valuable and we practice the principles of respect, inclusiveness, accountability and mutual support. We prize our collective voice and operate under democratic principles with a commitment to ecological, economic, political and social justice.
NPSAS envisions sustainable farming cultures that provide for the health of the earth and its community of life. We envision a society based on justice for all of creation and where the food and agriculture system is a building force in communities. Many people in our communities earn their living from food production, processing, distribution and preparation with an emphasis on producing for local consumption first. Social justice is a part of all transactions and healthy food is available to all people.
The methods used to produce, transport and distribute food are ecologically sound, with a strong emphasis on utilizing renewable resources so that the system can be sustained. Freshness, nutritional value and taste are emphasized in the regenerative/organic production of crops and livestock. Farm animals are treated well, recognizing and providing for their physical and behavioral requirements for health and well-being. Crop varieties are developed utilizing their natural reproductive systems. Farmers continue to have the freedom to grow and save their own seed, building food security.
This system enhances physical, mental and spiritual health by providing the basis for communities that are economically vital, socially just, food secure and culturally rich. NPSAS nurtures the community atmosphere of our organization by sharing the responsibility for caring for each other and working together on projects of mutual interest and benefit. With a firm base of trust and mutual regard, members are empowered to fulfill their individual goals and their leadership roles in the organization and their communities.
Niche & Constituency
NPSAS fills an educational niche in agriculture that has been historically underserved by land grant universities and the agricultural extension service—sustainable / organic agriculture. NPSAS proactively works to be a knowledgeable, helpful, credible and respectable source of information. We dare to be philosophical and bring in ethics while tackling the big issues confronting agriculture. NPSAS works to back up its positions with verifiable research and data, calling for accountability from decision makers. We have been referred to as the “conscience of agriculture,” a designation we take seriously and work to live up to.
Our members are concentrated in the northern great plains, with representation from numerous other states and several foreign countries. Most members are agricultural producers operating family-sized grain or grain / livestock operations. Increasing numbers of our producer members are working to diversify their production and marketing to include direct local and regional markets to consumers. Most NPSAS members are certified organic producers and consumers interested in ecologically sustainable, local or organically-produced food. A family atmosphere pervades our organization with a deep respect for community, for each other, and the depth of knowledge and leadership contained in the diversity of our membership.