CERES Logo CERES Research Project:
Sustainable Agriculture and 
Rural Development

Contact: D. Ferguson

Ball State University, with the support of the Center for Energy Research, Education and Service (CERES) and the College of Architecture and Planning, has engaged in a variety of research efforts in the area of sustainable agriculture and rural development. The intiatives listed on these pages describe several projects which use a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to ‘re-thinking' the rural and small town landscape. The projects are on-going in some cases, and publications describing project results are available as indicated at the project web-sites.

Alternative Profit Potentials for Rural Indiana

Documentation of a comprehensive planning process which used an existing Indiana farm as a case study - applying a range of planning techniques from GIS mapping of alternative crops to participatory design charettes, to arrive at three alternative farm configurations which would increase diversification and profit of the test farm. 

Copies of this report are available through:

Ball State University 
Muncie, IN 47306

Whitewater River Valley Agricultural Market Search

Documentation of a market development process which identified regional markets for diversified farm products which could be produced locally but are currently imported to the region. Of the regional foodstuff institutional buyers who were surveyed, sixty-one percent indicated a willingness to purchase locally produced vegetables and fruits. The total latent market demand for foodstuffs among the sixty-nine surveyed buyers was $3,000,000.

Copies of this report are available through: 

Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306
(765) 285-1135

Crop Diversity in East Central Indiana: An Historical Perspective

Data on Indiana agriculture production from 1860 through 1940 was gathered and interpreted to determine the historic patterns of agricultural cropping in the state. A wide range of crops was identified as viable for cultivation and processing in Indiana. Products were not only used locally but were exported nationally and overseas.

Sustainable Urban/Rural Enterprise (SURE)

A process-oriented project which examined an existing community to determine the potential for reconnecting economic ties from rural enterprise to urban markets. The intent was to provide an alternative to extensive import and export practices by using local resources and value-added processing abilities. A variety of technological, economic and social issues were incorporated into the process and some of the concepts were influential in the reconfiguring of community processes.



Author | Last Modification: February, 1999 | Technical comments to the Webmaster

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