This paper introduces the special issue of Southern Rural Sociology and lays the groundwork for the rest of the papers. The genesis of this special issue flows from the efforts of the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (S-SARE) program to bring more social science research into its portfolio of projects. Our concern is that by providing best management practices (Band-Aids) to a fundamentally unsustainable agricultural system, the sustainable agriculture movement (and SARE’s granting program) favors the environmental component at the expense of economic and social “legs” of the sustainable stool. While focusing on the history and work of the SARE program, we provided a social science perspective on sustainable agriculture.

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