Sustainability and “Appropriate Technology” Explored

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (N-CAT) has been promoting sustainable living and farming for over 40 years. NCAT Southeast Regional Office Director Margo Hale gives an overview of what they do as an organization.

“NCAT was founded in 1976, and since that time, we work in a variety of areas, primarily sustainable agriculture and sustainable energy. And we help communities be more resilient, and offer them solutions to their problems, whether it be related to energy or agriculture and protecting our natural resources.” 

But what are appropriate technologies? Hale explains.

“It’s those practical solutions that make sense for whoever, or wherever. The problem is, exists. So, there’s not a one size fits all solutions, so we are working directly with farmers or communities or on our energy side, sometimes it’s businesses or municipalities to figure out the solutions that make sense for them.” 

Their agriculture team has first-hand experience to help farmers and ranchers.

“On the agriculture side, our ATTRA program, which has been an operation since 1987, that provides trusted practical knowledge and resources for farmers. And most of our agriculture staff are farmers ourselves or have been farmers or have worked in commercial production, and so we have a lot of firsthand knowledge and are able to share our own experiences.” 

And as a non-profit, their services are free.

“We have a lot of really good information, amazing resources that we’ve developed, and we also help connect people to the resources and their location. So, we want them to be connected to all those amazing organizations, the government agencies, the programs that are available to them. And that’s what we spent a lot of our time doing is making sure that they know about those things and are able to access them.” 

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