(iskconnews.org) – ISKCON News | Certification of Farms Marks Milestone Initiative Toward Unifying Standards
Kalakantha Das (far right) during a visit to the Ahmedabad farm, which started in Srila Prabhupada’s time.
In a groundbreaking move aimed at furthering the mission of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), the GBC Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture has embarked on a new phase of certifying ISKCON farms. This recent tour involved visiting six farms and certifying four prominent locations: Mayapur, Vrindavan Gurukul, Ahmedabad, and Govardhan Eco-Village. This initiative is a vital step forward, setting unified standards for ISKCON farms and opening them to the public, enhancing the community’s credibility.
Kalakantha Das, the Global Minister of Cow Protection and Agriculture, shared more details with ISKCON News, “The certification process is not only about elevating the farms but also strengthening the Ministry’s relationships with these sites, learning about their needs, and providing essential education and support. This dynamic approach aims to set new benchmarks for the community and is a significant stepping stone toward achieving broader goals.”
Kalakantha further highlighted the essence of this certification process, “By certifying these farms, we’re not just setting uniform standards; we’re establishing transparency and trust. It’s about ensuring that our farms meet ideal standards, maintain a close relationship with the Ministry, and are open to public scrutiny. It enhances the credibility of ISKCON as a movement deeply committed to ethical and sustainable agricultural practices.”
The certification process is a gradual yet pivotal step that aims to create a standard benchmark to enhance ISKCON farms’ authenticity and reliability worldwide. Moreover, these certified farms will serve as living models of the principles espoused by ISKCON, promoting spirituality, sustainability, and ethical living.
In our conversation, Kalakantha discussed the educational aspects of this initiative. He expressed, “Our focus is not solely on certifying farms; it’s equally about education and training. We’re striving to not just transform the farms but to educate the entire ISKCON community, rural and urban, about sustainable living, fostering a profound understanding of the connection between spirituality and agriculture.”
The Ministry’s mission is not confined solely to farms but extends to urban communities, encouraging a simpler way of life. By providing education on urban farming, vertical gardens, and small-scale agricultural practices, they aim to bridge the gap between urban and rural living. Kalakantha emphasized, “We want to make the concepts of sustainable farming and cow protection accessible to everyone. That includes urban dwellers, reintroducing them to simple, high-thinking living.”
The importance of this certification process lies not only in certifying the farms but also in strengthening their core values. It’s about ensuring that ISKCON remains firmly rooted in its spiritual and cultural principles while adapting to contemporary needs. The move towards certified farms is a critical strategic decision aligned with ISKCON’s larger vision.
Furthermore, Kalakantha shared intriguing anecdotes about his tour, “Visiting these farms has been enlightening. We’ve seen how these farms are not just about agriculture but a holistic way of life. The interaction with devotees in these rural settings shows the depth of their connection to nature and spirituality.”
As these certified farms stand as tangible models of ISKCON’s values, the Ministry aims to inspire and encourage donors, activists, and the broader community to engage and support these initiatives. The farms offer transparency, allowing donors to play an active role in urging them to elevate their standards. This process also encourages activists to promote these models and actively engage the community. It stands as a testament to the commitment of ISKCON towards fostering a harmonious blend of spirituality, sustainable living, and ethical agricultural practices, resonating deeply within the hearts of the global ISKCON community.
To follow and learn more about the inspiring service of the GBC Ministry of Cow Protection and Agriculture across many platforms, visit their social media links here.