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This whitepaper, which grows out of interdisciplinary research at the University of Washington Tech Policy Lab, argues for a widening of the aperture with respect to contemporary technology policy in agriculture. Emerging technology could, as advertised, reduce costs and increase food production. But the industrial model of agriculture that technology currently supports—focused on faster, more, and cheaper— has its tradeoffs. Precision agriculture remakes the land to serve technology, introduces new sources of instability into agriculture, and contributes to the destabilization and vulnerability of the American food system. Greater resources should be allocated to “civic” agricultural approaches that transition away from a reliance on hydrocarbons and foreground goals such as soil restoration, regional supply-chain resiliency, and strong local economies.
University of Washington School of Law Tech Policy Lab
Agriculture Law | Science and Technology Law
Ways to Grow: New Directions for Agricultural Technology Policy,
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/techlab/20