As residential, commercial, and industrial development spreads into rural areas, agriculture and communities face new challenges. Farmers and residents everywhere deal with increasing pressure to protect our soils, air, and water, while maintaining and improving our food system and sustaining rural communities. Where farms and suburban areas meet, conflicts arise between homeowners and farmers concerning pesticide use, manure management, and other issues.

To help farmers, citizens, and policy makers address these challenges, Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences and the Rodale Institute teamed up in 1992 to establish the Penn State/Rodale Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources in Urbanizing Environments (SANRUE). SANRUE’s mission is to sponsor and conduct research and education programs that focus on agricultural production and related areas such as rural/urban community issues in order to ensure that agriculture remains profitable, environmentally sound, socially acceptable, and energy efficient in an urbanizing environment. SANRUE’s programs in research, education, and public policy are committed to ensuring a safe and plentiful food supply while sustaining farms and helping rural and urban communities to work together.

SANRUE's programs benefit from the combined strengths of research and teaching programs at Penn State University and regenerative agriculture leadership at the Rodale Institute.

SANRUE-Funded Projects

SANRUE programs are funded by state and federal governments, private foundations, corporations, and interested citizens. SANRUE’s current research and education activities are funded in part by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research Education, and Extension Service, the USDA Agricultural Research Service, and the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Some of the projects funded by SANRUE include:

Penn State University/Rodale Institute


Herbert Cole, Penn State University
Jonathon Landeck, Rodale Institute

The SANRUE Board, which provides guidance on policy and operations, is headed by:

Co-chair: John Haberern, president of the Rodale Institute
Co-chair: Lamartine F. Hood, dean of Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences
George Bird, professor of Nematology, Michigan State University
Wayne Schutjer, associate dean of Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences

For more information, contact:

Herbert Cole College of Agricultural Sciences The Pennsylvania State University 211 Buckout Laboratory University Park, PA 16802 Telephone (814)863-7235 FAX (814)863-7217

Jonathon Landeck Rodale Institute 611 Siegfriedale Road Kutztown, PA 19530 Telephone (610)683-1429 FAX (610)683-8548