Australia Sustainable Food, Environment, & Social Systems 2017

Blog site for the 2017 MSU study abroad program.

05-Alyssa C.

Hi there! My name is Alyssa Casey and I am currently a Junior Agriculture Business Management major at Michigan State University.  I come from an extremely small town, Dowagiac, found in southwest Michigan.  I grew up around agriculture and have been in love with  it ever since I can remember.  My grandfather is an apple farmer and my parents owned a business for ten years of my life that centered around our local agriculture community.  My family business had multiple departments in it including: grocery, bakery, restaurant, gift shop, and we pressed our own apple cider.  Along with other fall time attractions like a corn maze and a haunted house.  Since agriculture has always been such a large part of my life and passion, I decided to take that passion with me into my education and eventually career in the agriculture/food industry.

I have always wanted to travel as much as I possibly could throughout my lifetime.  I have only been out of the country twice so far and just figured a study abroad would be a great experience while going into my last year of college.  I applied for this program with hopes of getting in, and I did.  Australia has always been on my list of places I would love to visit.  And now I am finally getting the opportunity to do that.  Australia is a unique country/continent and it is English speaking, which makes my life a lot easier.  With tourist attractions like the Great Barrier Reef and Sydney Opera House, I do not know of many people who would not want to go there if given the opportunity.  I absolutely cannot wait to explore all of what Australia has to offer and take advantage of all the sight seeing and beauty there is there.

Since I am an Agriculture Business Management major, it seems only just that I choose Sustainable Agriculture, or something along the lines of that, for my project topic.

At a sight visit a few questions I could ask would be: 1. What are common methods used in creating sustainable agriculture?  2. Is agriculture only made sustainable in certain parts of the world (based on soil types, precipitation, etc.)?  3.  Can sustainable farming techniques realistically provide food for the world population we have now and is growing?


What is sustainable agriculture? (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from

Foundation, G. C. (n.d.). Sustainable Agriculture – The Basics. Retrieved March 30, 2017, from

Sustainable Agriculture Techniques. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2017, from


While in country, my research was dedicated toward sustainable agriculture in Australia and how the definition of sustainable agriculture will vary based on the location, product or scale.  I then compared much of the information I found while in Australia, to sustainable agricultural practices back home in the United States.

I found that sustainable agriculture practices are used much more often and on a much larger scale than in the United States.  Australia has not be as fortunate as many countries, climate wise, and has gone through a ten year drought just recently.  Climate change has dramatically affected this country and caused them to adapt by using sustainable practices.

These practices and how often they are used came as a shock to me.  Solar panels are installed every where you look, composting occurs on every farm, and drip irrigation along with water conservation in general is consistently in use.  I can only hope that one day the United States could become half as agricultural sustainable as Australia.  It obvious does take work and commitment, but not only will farmer produce safer, cleaner products, they will also help the environment at the same time.

What I have found while visiting another country was truly eye opening, in my opinion.  I plan to take these sustainable agricultural practices with me and hopefully put them to good use one day.  Whether that mean having a small farm of my own, or passing my advice down to farmers in need.  The information was plentiful and inspiring

This is a photo taken at the Wirra Wirra Winery, one of my favorite sustainable agricultural sites we had the opportunity to visit.  Wirra Wirra composts about 600 tons a year and uses that compost as fertilizer for their vineyards.  They also have a water treatment plant on site and follow bio dynamic farming concepts.

These are both photos taken at the Adelaide City Market, one of the larger fresh markets throughout Australia. I had the pleasure of venturing through the market, seeing the produce, and asking how it was farmed and produced.  These products are truly from farm to table and are a great representation of sustainable agriculture.

For more information on other sustainable agriculture sites we visted feel free to click on the links below.


Adelaide Central Market. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2017, from

An Australian Favourite. Retrieved August 02, 2017, from

Mallyons on the Murray. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2017, from

Natural Evolution – Green Banana Flour – Homepage. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2017, from

Queen Victoria Market. (n.d.). Retrieved August 02, 2017, from




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