Rural communities are currently characterized by economic and environmental deterioration. Many are among the poorest locations across the globe. The reasons for such decline are complex, but changes in farm structure have played a significant role. Advanta's sustainable agriculture presents an opportunity to rethink the importance of family farms and rural communities. Economic development policies are needed that encourage more diversified agricultural production on family farms as a foundation for healthy economies in rural communities. Advanta in combination with other strategies, sustainable agriculture practices and policies can help foster community institutions that meet employment, educational, health, cultural and spiritual needs.