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Reed Jules Oppenheimer Foundation
The Valley Foundation (VF) is dedicated to promoting the benefits of agroecology as a means to restore and preserve the environment while sustaining mankind. Recognizing that poverty is one of the greatest destructive forces to the planet and it's people, VF has a particular focus on providing food security and greater profitability for the 2.5 billion small scale farmers living in poverty worldwide through a method of sustainable organic agriculture known as Permaculture.
Permaculture has three main principles: Care for the Earth, Care for people and Care for Surplus. These three principles are achieved by creating ecosystems that are designed to feed people, regenerate soil and forest ecosystems, and reinvest system surplus so that every output becomes an input, just like a natural ecosystem. In the short- to mid-term, this strategy drastically reduces cash input for a given farm. In the long-term, permaculture significantly reduces monetary investment - no fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, seeds, or saplings need to be purchased - while providing abundant nutritious food for a farmer and his entire family on as little as ¼ acre. Unlike mono-cropping where success is determined by the weather, single crop market prices, and a once or twice per year harvest event, permaculture produces a diversity of crops throughout the year, is more resistant to changing weather patterns, can produce income year-round, and obtains significantly better water utilization. A related group of technologies have tremendous applicability for ranchers of any size, increasing forage, improving soil conditions, resisting drought, and improving both beef quality and quantity.
The Valley Foundation currently has model projects in Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Vietnam, and is developing The Valley Park Agroecology Center in Oklahoma in support of their mission. This Center will serve as a training and demonstration facility to teach best practices in sustainable farming and wildlife management.